Delegation from Vietnam Learns about Korean Anti-Corruption ToolsDec 19, 2017
Government policymakers from Vietnam participated in a technical workshop in Sejong City co-hosted by the UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC) and the Anti-corruption & Civil Rights Commission (ACRC) of the Republic of Korea on 23-27 October, 2017, to deepen their understanding of Korea’s anti-corruption experience and to refine their application of ACRC’s Anti-Corruption Initiative Assessment (AIA) tool. The Vietnamese delegation, headed by Mr. Phi Ngoc Tuyen, Deputy Head of the Anti-Corruption Bureau of the Government Inspectorate (GI), also included government officials from Party Central Commission of International Affairs, State Audit, and Office of the Government, which allowed lively discussions with diverse perspectives.
Implemented since 2002, AIA assesses key anti-corruption initiatives undertaken by public institutions and utilizes the power of public information disclosure and institutional competition by publishing the assessment results with a tiered ranking for each organization assessed.
Co-implemented by the UNDP Vietnam Country Office and the GI of Vietnam, in partnership with ACRC of Korea, the DSP-supported project enabled the Government of Vietnam to benchmark the Korean assessment methodology and create the “Vietnam version” of AIA. In 2015, USPC and ACRC co-authored a publication detailing the AIA methodology and its lessons learned, and conducted a three-day workshop on AIA with over 60 Vietnamese government officials. ACRC and USPC first developed a joint publication detailing the assessment methodology and its lessons learned, and travelled to Vietnam in late 2015 to share the AIA in Hanoi over a three-day workshop convened by the GI. Then in 2016, GI partners studied the material, and modified ACRC’s assessment methodology to develop a “Vietnamese” version of the assessment over the next months. The result was the Vietnam version of the Anti-Corruption Initiative Assessment, under a new name, “Provincial Anti-Corruption Assessment (PACA)”. During the process of modification, ACRC-USPC gave technical comments and recommendations, which were reflected in the finalization process. GI with UNDP Vietnam finalized the assessment and successfully piloted this tool in all 63 provinces of Vietnam by the end of 2016. Results of the pilot assessment were also presented at the National Workshop in March 2017.
This study mission was undertaken for USPC-ACRC to provide follow-up technical assistance and advisory support to GI for refining the methodology and building further institutional support within Vietnam to sustain the initiative. The partners affirmed that this initiative has led to real application of Korea’s Anti-Corruption Initiative Assessment tool directly through the GI’s annual monitoring and evaluation system. What was unique to this study visit was the demonstration of how Vietnam, with UNDP, has made the “Vietnam version” of Korea’s anti-corruption initiative assessment to fit the country’s own needs and situations, and then to pilot that tool within 2 years in all 63 provincial and city branches of GI in Vietnam. Following ACRC’s methodology, the GI made a ranking of all the target institutions based on the final assessment scores. After the pilot implementation of this tool with rankings of the target provinces and cities, Vietnam already saw an improvement in the quality of the reports submitted and a greater attention for anti-corruption work from the target institutions. This proved the usefulness of the AIA approach in terms of generating institutional pressure and incentives for anti-corruption work and reporting.
The results of Vietnam’s first assessment will be discussed at the National Assembly in the coming months, and the GI is working on a revision of the relevant anti-corruption law to provide a solid legal basis for implementing this Korea-inspired evaluation in future years. This will create a much-needed solid legal foundation for annual implementation of the initiative assessment; and for expanding it to the central level. The revised law is expected to pass by early 2018.
In short, Vietnam-UNDP partnership, through USPC’s DSP programme, has led to a real application of Korea’s AIA tool directly through the government system. Vietnamese partners have affirmed that this project helped them enhance their anti-corruption monitoring and evaluation approaches and generate greater attention from the target institutions towards anti-corruption work.
DSP is USPC’s flagship programme, initiated in 2014, to act as a knowledge broker and facilitator to connect Korea with the wider UNDP network and enhance the Korea-UNDP partnership on strategic development issues. Anti-corruption is one of the key areas of USPC’s current work.