The objective of the assignment was to provide an assessment of PFM systems in five targeted provinces, possible fiduciary risks, and to propose systematic measures to mitigate risks and ensure safeguards when sector budget support is provided. 

The project was initiated in the meeting on harmonization of assistance procedures and practices among the five banks (i.e. the World Bank, ADB, JBIC, KfW and AFD). The proposed harmonization focused on project preparation, particularly on the standards and procedures of the Government of Vietnam (GoV) and the five banks. The objective of the study was to provide support for ongoing work both at the GoV and at the five banks in project cycle harmonization and attempt to provide consolidated documentation to act as a reference for the GoV and donors on best practice in project preparation.

This project consisted of a survey of microfinance in Vietnam as a follow-up to a similar UNDP survey in 1996. The need was not simply due to the time lapse, but also because larger multilateral donors were showing greater interest in funding microfinance activity. It was, therefore, a good time to survey the sector and identify strategic issues and “lessons learned” for their benefit. The results of the survey were presented to more than 100 representatives in Vietnam and overseas. The survey and report focused on rural microfinance schemes, particularly those aimed at improving the lives of the poor.

In order to better inform its Southeast Asia grantmaking, the McKnight Foundation required research and preparation of a paper on the changing microfinance environment in Cambodia and Vietnam. One of the Foundation’s themes in the region has been support for projects addressing poverty and the lack of economic and/or employment opportunities. McKnight has supported and continues to support several microfinance projects in Cambodia and Vietnam to address this issue but wanted to learn more about the changes taking place to determine how effective microfinance schemes have been in addressing poverty and the lack of economic opportunities, which approaches are most effective in the current environment, and what resources are necessary to support the field. In particular, McKnight wanted to know whether continued Foundation investments make sense, and if so, what was the best way to target the program’s modest resources for greatest impact.

About one third of the Vietnamese population lives below the poverty line, and 85% of the poor live in rural areas. The primary expenditure instrument used by the Government of Vietnam to improve rural incomes has been subsidized irrigation investments. Irrigation accounts for about half of all public expenditures in the agricultural sector, and three-quarters of all capital investments. The primary question posed by this study is: how effective are public irrigation expenditures in increasing rural incomes, particularly for the poor?

This ASEAN-wide RETA project was designed to strengthen the capacity of the Ministries of Finance (MoF) in selected DMCs to understand and forecast financial crises. The objective of the project was to develop such capacities, and in particular to improve the quality of financial system monitoring for ASEAN Finance Minister meetings.

The Vietnam-Finland Forestry Sector Cooperation Programme has implemented a Credit Scheme since 1996 in Bac Kan Province covering two districts and nine communes. The Credit Scheme has evolved over the years since 1999 and in recent years has been managed by four separate operators: the Vietnam Bank for Poor in Cho Don and Ba Be, and the Women’s Union in Cho Don and Ba Be.

This study was undertaken as part of the ILO project “Extension of Micro-insurance and Microfinance to Informal sector Women Workers”. This project was part of an inter-regional programme, funded by the French government, whose objective was to develop a variety of innovative mechanisms to expand social protection to excluded groups. The other participating countries were Burkina Faso and Ethiopia. The lessons learnt from these three experiences were intended to contribute to national and international debate on poverty reduction and the extension of social protection.

Economic Reform and Development of the Market Economy (WiRAM)” is one of the three priority sectors of Vietnam-German Development Cooperation. The overall framework for the cooperation in this sector was set by the official WiRAM Strategy Paper, which – after consultations with the Vietnamese Government – was officially approved by both sides in October 2002. The paper defined SME promotion and financial services development as a key priority, together with economic reform and vocational training. A mission to “Elaborate an Implementation Strategy for the focal area Economic Reform and Market Development” was carried out in March 2003. The mission confirmed that the area of SME Promotion and Financial Systems Development is a priority field under “WiRAM”, which is the centre of the cooperation activities. In the context of this mission, the option was considered to work in close coopera­tion/part­ner­ship with a planned EU-Vietnam Private Sector Support Program (sub-component to create an enabling environment for private sector growth at provincial/municipal level).

The project required consultants to: provide a brief history of civil service salary reform in Vietnam since 1990; describe contemporary developments in civil service salary reform; explore competing explanations for the content and direction of contemporary salary reform initiatives; and identify political and other constraints to the implementation of the proposed reforms, and thence to offer some diagnosis of the nature of the problems facing reform and the likelihood of their resolution.