Oxfam in Vietnam on March 28 launched its new project on “Pro-poor Policy Monitoring and Analysis in Vietnam”, which will be carried out in 10 provinces and cities nationwide between 2014 and 2016, the Communist Party of Vietnam's online newspaper reported.

The project, funded by Irish Aid and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), will provide findings and recommendations based on the collected evidence to inform policy makers at provincial and national levels, representatives of elected bodies, donors, civil society organisations and the public about the renovation in developing and implementing pro-poor policies in Vietnam, said Le Kim Dung, Associate Country Director of Oxfam.

It will conduct longitudinal pro-poor policy monitoring and in-depth thematic policy analysis based on four main themes -ethnic minority poverty, inequality, urban poverty and local governance reform and three types of policy -Planning and Fiscal Decentralisation, Agricultural Development and Vocational Training.

Oxfam in Vietnam recently conducted research into existing pro-poor policies. They found that, as of March 2014, there are 501 pro-poor policies currently being implemented in Vietnam. Of these policies, 188 provide support to the poor directly through monetary support, education programmes and 313 provide support to the poor indirectly.

Almost all of these policies focus on supporting the specific needs of poor individuals, poor households and poor areas. There have not been any specific policies on how budgets should be allocated or spent, on monitoring and evaluating resource management, or on which methods should be used to implement pro-poor interventions.

Although pro-poor policies and programmes have been increased in scope and size, many are still inefficient because of various reasons

Vietnam has become a low-middle income country and the role of international donors has changed. The Consultative Group meeting has been transformed from an aid sourcing event to a policy dialogue forum – Vietnam Development Partnership Forum, for example.

These changes have created new problems, leaving government agencies in need of evidence-based policy advice to support increasingly complex policy reforms.

Previous pro-poor policies focused on reducing poverty through general economic growth. In the face of a changing society, increasing inequality and the concentration of poverty into mountainous and ethnic minority communities, this approach is no longer appropriate.-VNA