Hanoi (VNA) – Whether a new provision or policy can bring into play its effects in the reality, it depends much on the impact assessment in the building, but assessments are exposing various limitations.

Social impact assessment: vacuum in policy building hinh anh 1Experts discuss social impact assessment.
(Photo: VietnamPlus)

At a forum on social impact assessment held by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs in Hanoi on March 20, experts exchanged views on the role of the social impact assessment in the policy building.

Impact assessment of policies needed

Impact assessment is one of the important requirements in the management of interferences or acts right from the building of the plan, in the implementation and conclusion.

Doctor Klaus Sauerborn of the Science-Labour and Society Institute held that the policy impact assessment is a scientific tool that can prevent policy failure and improve policies in the initial stage of the building of policies and laws. He particularly stressed that there is not any policy that impact all the people in the same way as the others, and that is why it is necessary to know which social groups, when and to what extent are impacted.

Doctor Ta Thi Minh Ly, President of the Vietnam Judicial Support Association for the Poor (VIJUSAP) pointed out that currently, there are too many policies issued but have yet to be implemented or sufficiently assessed, that is why they still fail to bring about right solutions in the life.

“For important policies that relate to urgent issues of the life and interests of many people, especially of the disadvantaged groups, the social impact assessment is very necessary to avoid possible risks, especially the adverse consequences,” she stressed.

Too general

Policy impact assessment is the analysis and forecast on the impact of the policies being built on different groups of people aimed at selecting the optimal measures to implement the policies. Yet, there seems to be vacuums in this work.

Former National Assembly Deputy Bui Thi An raised a question on the assessment of impact in the building of the current major projects.

“For major projects like the North-south railway, expressways, airports, etc… which authorities are inspecting the social impact assessment? My idea is that before being put into commercial utilisation, very many projects need social impact assessment as the scope of their influence is very large,” An said.

Social impact assessment: vacuum in policy building hinh anh 2Impact assessment will help better the implementation of policies. (Photo: VNA)

As for the vacuum in impact assessment of projects and provisions, Nguyen Thi Kim Thoa, former head of the Administrative and Criminal Laws under the Ministry of Justice, said the social impact assessment is currently compulsory for legal documents, not for those managed by authorities like projects on traffic congestion easing, golf courses or economic development.

“This does not mean that authorities fail to assess when building the projects, but that the assessment is relatively ambiguous,” she said, adding that in many other countries, there must be impact assessment on any act by the government and local administrations.

Tran Van Loi from the Department of General Issues on Law Building under the Ministry of Justice affirmed that policy social impact assessment is a must when building policies and measures to implement the policies. There must be social, economic and legal impact assessment for any policy and measures to implement the policies.

However, he also admitted that currently, the groups of people are not differentiated in the assessment as the work is very general, and the contents of the social impact assessment are still exposing various problems which are not regulated in the laws.

The Ministry of Justice is currently amending and supplementing a number of the law on the issuance of legal documents which makes a number of social impact assessment clearer and more concrete./.

Forum on Social Impact Assessment comes within the project on social goals in sustainable green growth in Vietnam implemented by the GIZ and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs since 2016 with the goal of strengthening the integration of social factors in building green growth policy and strategy which is expected to last until 2021.