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The Viet Nam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI) 2011

Centre for Community Support & Development Studies (CECODES)
Publication year: 
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The Viet Nam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance  Index (PAPI) provides objective, evidence-based measures of provincial performance in governance, public administration, and public service delivery. It also sheds light on analytical issues that need policy consideration at the national level.Given the increasing demand for objective information;  improved transparency and accountability in policy making and implementation; and more  equal access to corruption-free public services, non-state actors are
encouraged to play a more active role in monitoring the performance of local governments. The philosophy behind PAPI is to consider citizens to be “public administrative services end-users,” who are capable of monitoring and assessing governance and public administration in their localities. Based on the knowledge and experiences of citizens, PAPI provides a set of objective indicators that help assess the performance of governance and public administration, while at the same time providing an incentive for provinces to improve their performance over the long term. PAPI also augments performance in the three components of the policy cycle, which includes policy making, policy implementation, and monitoring.

Pursuing a multi-dimensional approach, PAPI looks at six dimensions: (i)  participation at local levels, (ii) transparency, (iii) vertical accountability, (iv)  control of corruption, (v) public administrative procedures, and (vi) public service delivery. PAPI can thus be seen as a combination of six different pieces in a  larger puzzle of governance and public administration performance. After two rounds of validation and fine-tuning the measures used in the study, first in  three provinces in 2009 and then 30 provinces in 2010, in 2011 PAPI was conducted for the first time in all 63 provinces in Viet Nam. Lessons learnt from  the pilots were invaluable for honing the methodology, particularly in terms of sampling and fieldwork. Because the previous pilots were used to refine our  methodology, we consider the PAPI data collected in 2011 to be the baseline for tracking trends in provincial performance of governance and administration over  time. The PAPI results are grounded in the everyday experiences of 13,642  citizens, who were selected randomly in order to provide a representative  sample of the different demographic groups across the country. The survey  results will be an important diagnostic tool to convey social feedback about the performance of local governments and state agencies to policy makers and  executive agencies at the central and provincial levels. FOREWORD X PAPI The scientific nature and orientation towards
beneficiaries, as well as the validity of PAPI as a set of indicators measuring performance in governance and public administration are ensured thanks to the close and effective  coordination between national partners — the Front Review of the Central Committee of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front (VFF) and the Centre for Community Support and Development  Studies (CECODES) — and international partner, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The quality and validity of the study also benefit from the close coordination  domestically between the central level (i.e. the Central Committee of VFF) and the provincial level (VFF committees from provincial to grass-roots levels). The project also enjoyed  strong, substantive support from the National Advisory Board. PAPI’s Advisory Board is comprised of senior national experts with a wide range of expertise and knowledge from  relevant state agencies and the research community.

Since February 2012, the Commission on People’s Petitions (CPP) under the National Assembly Standing Committee has  become a crucial  counterpart in the PAPI research process in its capacity as both a disseminator of the PAPI findings within the National Assembly and as a collaborator in implementing the research. A  key expectation of the study is that the findings and analysis in this PAPI 2011 report will contribute significantly towards ongoing efforts to improve performance in governance and public  administration at the provincial level. As a rich source of objective data collected using state-of-the-art, scientific methods, this report will also serve as a useful reference for policy makers, civil servants, mass organisations, and academia in Viet Nam.