National Workshop in Vietnam – Concentrating on Sustainability

National Workshop in Vietnam – Concentrating on Sustainability

Viet Nam

As part of its remit to ensure that the experiences of DELGOSEA’s pilot cities feed into the policy development on national and regional level, the project team is encouraging and facilitating the partners from the five project countries to develop policy recommendation to improve national legislation and administrative procedures to favor good governance.

On 27 April 2012, it wasVietnam’s turn to conduct a national workshop, concentrating both on these policy recommendations as well as on the wider field of sustainability and advocacy. More than 50 participants from the three pilot cities (Vinh, Tra Vinh and Danang) as well as local government associations (LGAs), the EU, CSOs, media and academia came together with the aim of finalizing the policy recommendations, developing concrete steps for advocacy and drawing up a strategy for sustainability of the project activities and results.

The focus of the workshop was very much on the experiences of the pilot cities and the lessons that they had learnt through the replication of best practices. There was agreement that the attitude of a city’s leadership was crucial – if the mayor was enthusiastically supporting the project, it was bound to be a success. The cities had also realized that it was important to adapt a best practice to the individual conditions of the pilot city and to involve the community at every step to create a sense of ownership. The importance of good communication within the city and clear coordination mechanisms was stressed by everybody, as all cities had experienced misunderstandings and delays due to communication problems. While this had not been essential for success, municipalities had made good experiences with cooperating with other stakeholders, for example universities, who had added an extra dimension to the activities.

The debate on how to proceed after the end of the EU co-financed project was animated, and many ideas were put forward on how to instutionalise a best practice exchange and how to lobby effectively for support for the existing and future exchange schemes. These will all find their way into the final policy recommendations to be presented at the regional conference in May inPhnom Penh. There are also plans to intensify and extend a network of stakeholders as well as to draw up a detailed advocacy plan under the leadership ofVietnam’s LGA, ACVN.

All participants agreed that it the replication of a best practice had been an invaluable experiences for the pilot cities – some of whom are becoming best practice cities in their own right. This kind of snowball effect will help to keep the DELGOSEA spirit alive.