(VOV) - Over the years, Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding has significantly contributed to Vietnam’s socio-economic development strategy, especially poverty reduction.
In 2007, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) issued a decision to monitor and assess ODA-funded programmes and projects for 2006-2010 with the aim of enhancing the effective use of ODA funding in Vietnam.
Under the decision, Vietnam has built a system to evaluate projects. However, the system is not operating effectively due to poor skills of management staff involved in this field.
For this reason, ODA donors and the Vietnamese government still have no standard tools for asssing the efficiency of ODA-funded projects in Vietnam.
Since 2007, the MPI and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has closely worked on a cooperation programme to improve the capacity for evaluating and effectively implementing Japan-funded projects in the country. The Vietnam-Japan joint evaluation programme has helped Vietnam enhance its evaluation capacity on a sustainable basis.
The Deputy Chief Representative of JICA Vietnam, Nagase Toshio, says in four years (2007-2011), the cooperation programme had completed 11 projects in Vietnam to improve the evaluation of projects run by both state and private sectors.
The programme was based on joint efforts of both countries. Initially, the Vietnamese side was only involved in some parts of the eveluation process such as conducting fact-finding tours or making project reports. After three years, Vietnamese experts have been more active in both mananging and evaluating projects with the assistance of Japanese partners.
Of more than 200 central and local cadres who were trained under the programme, 20 have become lecturers, experts and consultants.
Cao Manh Cuong, Deputy Head of the External Economic Department under the MPI says the program has enabled the MPI to improve mechanisms and institutions for evaluating JICA-funded projects, particularly those on transport and electricity in Vietnam.
Vo Toan Thang, Deputy Director of the Aviation Terminal Centre of Tan Son Nhat airport says the project to build an international terminal at the airport has been completed ahead of schedule to meet the growing demand for air travel and convenient services.
In recent times, the number of passengers at the terminal has increased considerably and it is expected to shoot up in the coming years, Thang notes.
In terms of electricity, the Dai Ninh hydro-electric power project has achieved three goals of meeting the growing demand for power supply, increasing the acreage of irrigated agricultural land in Binh Thuan and improving the living standards of people living in the surrounding area.
Nguyen Thi Hong Thuy, a deputy director says the project has been classified in grade A category for suitability, effectiveness and sustainability.
Keishi Miyazaki, Head of the JICA evaluation team, says after four years of cooperation the Vietnamese government has succeeded in developing the evaluation system and improving the institutional capacity and development of human resources involved in evaluating ODA-funded projects.
Judging from the outstanding results, the joint evaluation programme has proved very effective in laying the groundwork for the Vietnam Investment Evaluation Association (VIEA) to take shape soon.
The MPI and JICA hope that the improved evaluation work will bring about drastic changes in Vietnam’s socio-economic development.