The review took place from 5th to 19th July 2010 with participation of representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and Training, AusAID, Danida, the Netherlands and DFID, and World Bank as observer.
As this year is the last year of the National Target Programme II for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (NTP II), findings and recommendations from the review will be incorporated into the next phase of the programme.
The review found that implementation of the NTP II for RWSS has continued to improve. NTP II is a significant improvement compared to NTP 1. The national Monitoring and Evaluation program undertaken in 2010 is being carried out well. It will provide for the first time an accurate database of clean water and hygienic sanitation coverage.
Information available from the 31 rolled out provinces that received donors’ support in 2009 indicates that the number of additional people having access to water and sanitation in 2009 was around 1,300,000 and 950,000 persons respectively.
In terms of Operation and Maintenance, the review found that medium to large sized water piped schemes are being well managed while smaller piped schemes run by community groups are not so well managed. Most provinces have implemented the guidelines of Joint Circular 95/2009 on water tariffs enabling the operating agencies to generate sufficient revenue to cover their operating and maintenance costs.
As for financial management of the programme funds, the State Audit of Vietnam (SAV) conducted an audit covering 15/31 pilot provinces receiving donor funding in 2009. The audit report confirmed that in general NTPII implementation provided value for money, complied with the budget law, the construction law and public finance and accounting policies and, adhered to NTPII regulations. Triggers and benchmarks were substantially achieved.
Concerning sanitation which is the biggest challenge of the programme, the review found that most latrines being promoted and built are the most expensive septic tank models, which is not affordable for poor people. The demonstration latrine program has not worked as expected. It is effectively a subsidy program that has had very little demonstration effect.
The mission came up with four key recommendations which were considered crucial for improving the effectiveness and sustainability of the next national rural water supply and sanitation (2011-2015). These recommendations will be submitted to the government and donors for approval during the Joint Government Donor Annual Review Meeting in September 2010.