With Danish support ActionAid Vietnam promotes grassroots level involvement in monitoring progress in Public Administrative Reforms (PAR) and assists poor people access information about government services in Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Dak Lak and Ha Tinh.
“Information kiosks about public services of relevance to people in their daily lives is something new for our district, but it is helping us to reach people in a way we have not been able to before”, says Vice Chairman of Tam Duong district in Lai Chau, Mr. Tran Minh Que.
In Tam Duong district three such information kiosks have recently been established as part of a Danish funded project to support the involvement of the grassroots level in PAR carried out by ActionAid Vietnam.
Two kiosks are situated in the communes of Binh Lu and Ban Bo. The aim of establishing the kiosks is to create forums where local people can access helpful information relevant for their daily lives. The local people in Tam Duong seek assistance from the kiosks in diverse areas, such as health care, education, husbandry and administrative issues.
Furthermore, the kiosks are equipped with computers with internet access and with a multilingual hotline in both Vietnamese and the local minority language. In the future the kiosks aim to include legal documents and brochures from the Government and thereby provide the people in the provinces with an insight into government services and how they can access them.
To promote awareness about PAR and ensure access to both government services as well as means to assess how to influence local budgets 30 self-governance groups have been established in the Tam Duong district. The self-governance groups meet once a week to discuss issues relevant to their lives and work and consist of both men and women from different ethnic groups.
The Danish funded project ”Working Out a People’s Framework in Monitoring the Progress of Vietnam Public Administration Reforms – The Pilot Case” implemented by ActionAid Vietnam has an overall budget of DKK 5,000,000 (USD 986,000) runs from 2008 to 2010.
The project aims to support people to exercise their rights to information; pilot a model for local monitoring of by community groups; and strengthen the representation and working methods of local People’s Councils to ensure transparency, accountability and effectiveness.