Representatives of the Embassy of Ireland visiting Thuan An Cooperative

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To assess the results of the project "Strengthening social accountability and good governance for better targeted and sustainable poverty reduction in Dak Mil district, Dak Nong province", on 15 September 2015, the representatives of Irish Embassy, leaded by Ms. Nuala O'Brien, visited the project area in Thuan An commune, Dak Mil district.

The working group visited coffee plantations of the beneficiaries of the project, the wet coffee processing plants and some households and held a discussion with members of  Thuan An Cooperative. Delegation was glad to see firsthand the fruits of that project and people have come together to strive to achieve. The majority of households after participating in a fair agricultural cooperatives Thuan An has been a positive change in the lives, livelihoods are improved by coffee price under Fair Trade standards are higher than the market price while community project area has also benefited more from the welfare fund from the sale of coffee. Cooperatives have befriended welfare fund supports road in CHC, supported housing for disadvantaged families in the commune.

In the group discussion, the delegates listened to thoughts and aspirations of the members. There are still a lot of difficulties on the uncertainty of coffee price, the products sold under the fair trade channel have not been much, however, most people are excited about the benefits of joining the Cooperative and being supported by the projects, and also want to continue receiving the support of the Project for sustainable coffee production and promoting sales coffee products. Irish Aid has approved the new project for the period 2015 - 2016, “Improvement of livelihoods of the poor and ethnic minorities in the Central Highland of Vietnam through engaging into sustainable coffee production and pro-poor market access” to continue supporting Thuan An Cooperative as well as some other coffee producer cooperatives in the Central Highlands provinces.


Announcement of Open Budget Index 2015 (OBI 2015)

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[September 05, 2015] The results of global survey about the Open Budget Index in 2015 (OBI2015) showed that 98 out of 102 countries have not reached the public system in the full budget. This lack of accountability system budget of many countries brings up challenges in the implementation of international commitments such as commitments on Sustainable Development Goals of the UN.

Global situation and comparisons between countries

Ninety-eight of 102 countries surveyed lack adequate systems for ensuring that public funds are used efficiently and effectively, according to the International Budget Partnership’s Open Budget Survey 2015. The report, the fifth of its kind, is the world’s only independent, comparative survey of budget transparency, citizen participation, and independent oversight institutions in the budgeting process. The 98 countries fall short on at least one of these pillars of accountability; 32 of these fall short on all three. The widespread lack of strong budget accountability systems poses a threat to the implementation of critical international agreements, such as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the international agreement that is expected at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference.

“The public needs access to budget information and opportunities to participate throughout the budget process. Coupled with oversight by legislatures and audit institutions this contributes to a more accountable use of public money,” said Warren Krafchik, Executive Director of the International Budget Partnership. “A growing body of evidence indicates such budgetary checks and balances yield better outcomes for people, especially those who are poor or vulnerable.”

A mere 24 countries - less than one in four - score over 60 out of 100 on the Open Budget Index (OBI), the part of the survey that assesses transparency, and thus provide citizens with sufficient information to enable them to monitor the government’s use of public money. Alarmingly, the remaining 78 countries that provide insufficient budget information are home to 68% of the world’s population. Seventeen of these countries provide scant or no budget information to their citizens.

However, the study finds that budget transparency is generally improving - a finding consistent with previous reports. The average OBI score has increased to 45. Progress was particularly robust among some countries and regions that were previously not as transparent, including the Kyrgyz Republic (its OBI nearly tripled), Tunisia (its OBI effectively quadrupled), and Francophone West Africa.

Compounding the widespread lack of transparency that nonetheless remains is a similar lack of opportunities for public participation and oversight. With scores of 60 or less on this part of the survey, 95 of 102 countries fall short in providing opportunities for public participation. Further, the survey finds that legislative research and analytic capacity, as well as quality assurance systems in most national audit bodies, are lacking, severely compromising the ability of oversight institutions to be effective guardians of the public purse.

Results of Vietnam’s OBI survey

Open budget index of Vietnam announced for the year 2015 (OBI2015) is 18 points out of a total score of 100. This score level is almost unchanged compared with the assessment in 2012 (19 out of 100 points) and considerably lower more than the global average (45 points). This shows that the public is provided little information on the budget.

Compared with other countries in the region, the level of budget transparency of Vietnam is higher than China, Cambodia, Myanmar but lower than many other Southeast Asian countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, in particular the Philippines the highest degree of transparency significantly better (65 points).

Score ratings of the three pillars of public budgets Vietnam have remarkable changes. The involvement of the public on budget issues gains 42/100  points and in limited degree. However, in this pillar, Vietnam ranked higher than the global average of 25 points and most countries in the region such as China, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia.

About pillars budgetary surveillance of legislatures and auditors, Vietnam is considered sufficient to point 61/100 ranking points for the legislature and 75/100 ranking points for agencies accountant. However the survey questions of Vietnam shows that supervision in the budget planning process is sufficient and in the process of implementing the budget is limited. The Legislative body includes the Finance and State Budget Committee and but does not have its own budget research and analyzing department as international best practices. The Legislature did not make decisions in the use of reserve funds which is not in the budget adopted by the National Assembly.

In the eight key budget documents should be made public, in OBI2015 period, Vietnam has announced the additional Budget Documents available to Citizens and increase the complexity of the budget report for the period (quarterly report). However, the draft budget has yet to be announced. Moreover, the interim report (6 months) has not been considered Interim report according to international rules because there is no quantitative information on macroeconomic forecasts and financial forecasts for the next stage of the budget period. The state audit report is released later than international regulations (no later than 18 months after the end of financial year).


The Open Budget Survey uses internationally accepted criteria developedby multilateral organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI). It is a fact-based research instrument that assesses what occurs in practice through readily observable phenomena. The entire research process took approximately 18 months between March 2014 and September 2015 and involved about 300 experts in 102 countries. The Survey was revised somewhat from the 2012 version to reflct emerging developments in accepted good practice and to strengthen individual questions. A full discussion of these changes can be found in a technical note on the comparability of the Open Budget Index over time (see below).

Survey responses are typically supported by citations and comments. This may include a reference to a public document, an offial statement by the government, or comments from a face-to-face interview with a government offial or other knowledgeable party.

The Survey is compiled from a questionnaire completed for each country by independent budget experts who are not associated with the national government. Each country’s questionnaire is then independently reviewed by an anonymous expert who also has no association to government. In addition, IBP invites national governments to comment on the draft results from the Survey and considers these comments before fializing the Survey results.

See the full survey report for each period between 2006 and 2015 and the reports of 102 countries:


Scoring selection for mid-term public investment list for 2016-2020 in Quang Tri province


To provide information to support for the activity “Planning for medium-term public investment” in the 2016-2020 period, Quang Tri province, a team led by the Economic-Budget Commission under the People’s Committee of Quang Tri province, with technical support by Professor Dang Hung Vo, Center for Development and Integration (CDI), non-governmental organizations in the budget transparency network (Oxfam, CECEM, ACDC, CEPEW, GPAR) has developed a set of criteria and processes to evaluate and select new investment projects at commune, district to provincial level under the method of preferential scoring. This is an activity within the framework of the project "Promoting transparency, accountability and the participation of people in managing the state budget" funded by the Delegation of the European Union (EC) and Oxfam.

The application of this tool is expected to help the authorities in Quang Tri Province understand the information relating to investment projects from the perspective of the needs and priorities of the people - those who will directly use and benefit from these works. Since then, the activities will help improve the efficiency in the use of investment projects as well as promoting openness and transparency and the participation of people in managing the state budget in Quang Tri province.

After the preparatory process from May 2015, in August 2015, in Quang Tri, the Economic - Budget Commission of the provincial People’s Committee has cooperated with the Centre for Development and Integration (CDI) to held the briefing at the villages, communes and districts in the province on the application of the evaluation process and the criteria for ranking list of the medium-term period public investment projects of 2016-2020. The specific application at the grassroot level in the province will also be implemented according to the plan right after the training session.


The following actions in the series of activities of the evaluation and selection process of medium-term investment list for 2016-2020 period in Quang Tri province to continue to consult the departments and unions of the province and experts are expected to take place in September and end in the first half of October 2015.


ANROEV Conference 2015 "Prevention of Occupational Diseases and Improving Workplace Safety"


[Hanoi] From 4th to 5th September 2015, the meeting of the Asian Network for the Rights of Occupational and Environmental Victims (ANROEV) meeting will be held and is jointly organized by the Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC ) Hong Kong and Center for Development Initiative (CDI), Vietnam. The meeting will be attended by more than 100 delegates from 20 countries around the world including delegates from Asia, Europe, North America and Australia. The delegates will include representatives of health and safety organizations, labour organizations, environmental organizations, academics and scientists from various Universities, policymakers from Vietnam, representatives of International organizations like the ILO and the WHO and representatives of the victims organizations.

The two-day meeting comes in the backdrop of Asia’s growth as the manufacturing hub of the world and the price paid by the workers and the communities in terms of increasing accidents and diseases caused  by both the occupational and the environmental reasons.  Vietnam itself is at the threshold of a major industrial revolution with increasing share in the manufacturing especially in the electronics and garments sector and thus like other Asian countries is facing problems of occupational and environmental health and safety for its workers and communities. The key issues that would be discussed in the meeting include:

1) Overall problems of Occupational and Environmental Health in Asia - considering that most of the countries do not have proper data regarding the impact on workers and community health (in terms of accidents and diseases at work). The ILO and WHO estimates about 1 million people die due to work related reasons in Asia and millions more get injured and sick. Toll due to environmental pollution is much higher.

2) Major Accident/disasters in Asia in recent years: The meeting will discuss the recent spate of accidents ranging from Tianjin explosion in China, Kentex shoe fire in Philippines, Factory Fires in Bangladesh and Pakistan among others. Some victims/survivors from these tragedies (from Philippines, India) will share their experiences. Why accidents are increasing would be discussed and analyzed by various experts from across the world.

3) Occupational and Environmental Diseases in Asia: The meeting will discuss the increasing occupational diseases in Asia ranging from dust related lung diseases, cancers due to exposure to chemicals in various industries including electronics and asbestos manufacturing and benzene related cancers. Victims / activists from the ground will share their experiences of exposure and disease and their struggle for justice. Experts and scientists will  share their findings on reasons for increase in occupational and environmental diseases in Asia and possible ways to deal with it.

4) Building Cross border collaboration to effectively eliminate or reduce occupational and environmental diseases: Participants (both grassroots victims and scientists) will share the best practices in terms of how the problem was dealt in different countries under different scenarios and meeting is expected to provide a platform for cross border sharing and developing joint strategy towards making Asia a safer and healthy place


This is a unique gathering of grassroots organizers, policy makers, NGO experts and academics from many prestigious universities and would be a good opportunity to talk to them on issues that confront Vietnam also including prevention of Occupational accidents, occupational and environmental diseases and lastly but not the least efforts to eliminate dangerous chemicals and processes from Asia and Vietnam including Benzene, Asbestos among others.


BTAP Coalition’s workshop on activity planning

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From 30 to 31 July 2015, the BTAP (Budget Transparency Accountability Participation) Coalition’s workshop on activitiy planning, an activity of the project "Promoting transparency and the participation of citizens in state budget management" funded by EC took place in Hanoi. The workshop aimed at planning the activities of the Coalition in 2015-2016 with participants including representatives of the coalition’s member organizations: Oxfam, CDI, ACDC, CEPEW; representatives of the People’s Committee and Women's Union of Quang Tri province; and representatives of the People’s Committee and Farmers’ Association of Hoa Binh province.

In the first meeting, the Coalition’s members have discussed and made operational initiatives for the Union in 2015-2016. The members presented 10 activity initiatives for the Coalition in the years after the first meeting, among which 5 initiatives are evaluated with the highest priority points are:

 widespread practice of budget publicity and transparency process (provincial OBI)

 clear budgeting process and relevant criteria. Budget allocations having the participation of the people

 Apply information technology to information access and budget monitoring

 Develop and publish a citizen budget

 Supervise the work efficiency of projects after investment


During the 2nd day of work, the Coalition launched a detailed implementation plan for the five priority action initiatives in 2015-2016. In particular, activities related to the budget allocation process, citizen budget and efficient budget monitoring after investment were planned to be implemented in Hoa Binh and Quang Tri. The activities related to provincial OBI (Open Budget Index) and information technology for the Coalition were also planned in details by member organizations. Finally, members of the Coalition together unified a coordination mechanism in the Coalition to achieve the highest efficiency in order to strengthen the Coaliation as well as expanding the it in the future.

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