Decentralization and Local Governance on Public Services Delivery: The Cases of Daknong and Hau-Giang Province in Vietnam

26 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2012

See all articles by Viet Quoc Nguyen

Viet Quoc Nguyen

VNU University of Economics and Business

Date Written: May 28, 2009


The economic growth and the pace of change in Vietnam over the last decade have been impressive. A number of the reform achievements were centred on reforms at central level, e.g. legal and regulatory frameworks, national policy frameworks etc. The number of provinces in Vietnam has grown 60% due to the process of provincial separation starting since Domoi process in 1996. As Vietnam moves further along the reform, and in line with the Government’s priority of people-centered development, the issue of development and empowerment of people at the local level is likely to become more important.

Although understanding the process of decentralization in Vietnam is very important but my main question is having economic growth in general as well as social development and poverty reduction in the region been affected by decentralization? This paper thus focuses initially on creating fundamental basis for analysing local governance on public services delivery in Vietnam in the context of decentralization process. The case studies presented here show that the impact of decentralization varies greatly depending on circumstances and institutional quality of local governance.

In this paper, I argue that rapid development of investment initiatives and of physical infrastructure are very important for economic growth but the improvements of local authority capacity in public service delivery were also important for the success of social-economic development goals at all level of governance. The situation of decentralization in Vietnam still shows that these public goods and services were delivered largely through central institutions due to the weakness of local institution capacity.

Keywords: Decentralization, public service, institutional change, local governance

JEL Classification: H11, H41, H71, H72, O18, P30

Suggested Citation

Nguyen, Viet Quoc, Decentralization and Local Governance on Public Services Delivery: The Cases of Daknong and Hau-Giang Province in Vietnam (May 28, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Viet Quoc Nguyen (Contact Author)

VNU University of Economics and Business ( email )

144 Xuan Thuy Str
Cau Giay


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