Since April 1998, SC/US had been executing a microfinance program with its implementing partner, the Women’s Union (WU), in the Nong Cong District of Thanh Hoa Province. At the end of October 2003, the program counted 4,012 active clients in 11 communes, with US$151,536 in outstanding loans. Ninety-nine percent of the active clients were women. After five years of operation, SC/US decided to conduct a comprehensive program evaluation and impact assessment to determine whether the program achieved its goals and objectives, and whether the program had its desired socio-economic impact on the targeted beneficiaries and their community.

This research project had two objectives. Firstly, it surveyed the private consulting companies in Hanoi and identified their capacities to deliver specialized services for the Danish Embassy and Danish projects. This was due to little comprehensive information having been available about the consulting companies currently operating in Hanoi and their capacity to provide different consulting services. During 2005, the Royal Danish Embassy in Hanoi commissioned Mekong Economics Ltd. to survey the leading private consulting companies in Hanoi to identify their capacities for providing specialized services for Danish projects in Vietnam. Secondly, to estimate appropriate rates for Vietnamese consultants in Hanoi working for foreign donors and to develop a framework that can be used to estimate consultant wages into the future for both donors and the Government of Vietnam.

At the time of this project, DANIDA had three sector programs in Vietnam, including water (WSPS), fisheries (FSPS) and agriculture (ASPS). These three sectors had a cross-cutting sub-component of microcredit. The approach chosen for establishing credit lines within the different sector programs is apparently quite different. Due to the differences in the three sectors in providing credit, the supervision and working mechanisms were not consistent and unclear.

The WB has focused on expanding access to finance in Vietnam through two inter-related approaches: top-down (macro-level focused on policies and regulations) and bottom-up (micro-level focused on institutions and operations). However, there had been no comprehensive analytical assessment of the microfinance landscape in Vietnam, nor was there a strategy to transform the regulatory framework and all of the institutions involved in the provision of microfinance.

Vietnam copes with rapid urbanization, decentralization, high rates of economic growth, and globalization. There was wide agreement that a significant investment gap exists vis-à-vis municipal infrastructure investment. At the time, it was unlikely that the private financial markets in Vietnam were going to become in the near to medium term adequately deep or broad enough to meet Vietnam’s infrastructure financing needs. The absence of an appropriate institutional and legal framework at the provincial level for attracting private capital in infrastructure further compounded the problem. In general, Vietnam had not yet been able to establish appropriate channels for attracting direct and indirect long-term private sector investment into developmental infrastructure.

The objectives of the this project were to: review the housing loan offer in Vietnam and assess the accessibility potential for poor families with no collateral; assess the feasibility of the sustainable revolving fund for the poor for preventive strengthening of houses against damage caused by natural disasters in Central Vietnam; and evaluate house strengthening costs over the past five years, with regards to inflation, the profile of borrowing, minimum subsidy and direct cash or non-cash contributions by families.

The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been one of the donors of Debt Management and Financial Analysis System Program (DMFAS) of UNCTAD, for more than a decade. The last commitment for financing the program ended in 2008. For making a sound decision on their role and on contributions in the future they requested to have an assessment of DMFAS.  The aim of this assessment is to provide insight into the development, management and implementation of the program since May 2005, indicate any problems that arose and how they were dealt with them, record results both interim and final, and to recommend improvements. The emphasis of the evaluation is on the policy relevance, effectiveness and efficiency of the program. The result contains recommendations for the MFA’s future contributions to DMFAS as well as findings and recommendations on the overall policies and operations of the program.

The objective of this Agriculture and Rural Development Public Expenditure Review (PER) is to contribute to the preparation of the proposed poverty reduction and rural development operation in the Central Region through consolidating lessons learned from the recent period Public Expenditure Management (PEM), and making recommendations on how selected provinces and central agencies in charge of the implementation or coordination of related programs can effectively and efficiently use available financial resources for achieving the rural development and poverty reduction goals set out in core strategies/development plans for the forthcoming period. The PER is also expected to help address systematic PEM issues in the Agriculture and Rural Development sector by informing boarder institutional and public spending reforms at the national level

The Ministry of Education and Training (MOET) implemented the Primary Education for Disadvantaged Children Project (PEDC) with financing from the International Development Association (IDA), bilateral donor grants and the Government of Vietnam. The objective of the project was to improve access to primary school and the quality of education for disadvantaged girls and boys. The PEDC introduced the concept of Fundamental School Quality Levels (FSQL) in Vietnam. This represented the first step toward achieving national school standards in Vietnam. FSQL defined the minimum package of inputs necessary for providing a quality education at a school, and the basic outcomes that are expected of schools.

The overlying challenge of the Vietnamese government is the creation of a “fair, level and competitive playing field for all enterprises, state and private, domestic and foreign” in line with the country’s Comprehensive Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy. The Business Sector Programme Support (BSPS) funded by the Danish Government aims to address major issues to create an enabling and fair environment in particular for private businesses.