The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is sharing the 3 billion VND (162,000 USD) cost to build a model that promotes their involvement in community management with locals in the capital city of Nam Dinh province.
The model aims to equip citizens with the know-how to team up and recruit volunteers in making plans and monitoring projects and socio-economic development activities within the community. All these activities are expected to instil a sense of responsibility and ensure the transparency and efficiency of the projects.
Nam Dinh city, in the Red River Delta province of the same name, now has 54 residential groups in 11 districts establishing their own “community groups”. They are running over 260 sub-projects valued at almost 3 billion VND, of which close to 1.7 billion VND has been funded by the SDC and the rest has been contributed by the locals themselves.
The funds have helped upgrade local infrastructure projects--such as street lighting, sewage and traffic systems—and to generate jobs through establishing clubs to supply credit, as well as promoting education and small businesses. The sub-projects also aim to promote citizens’ health by establishing clubs on relaxation and physical exercise.
La Thi Thuy, Director of the Nam Dinh Community Friendship Centre, which provides consultancy for the target residential quarters, said the sub-projects have succeeded in promoting the sense of initiative among the community members and received strong support from local authorities.
Groups of residents in poor quarters such as Team 26A in Ha Long district and Team 21 in Van Mieu district, for example, have held meetings on fund-raising and reached consensus on the financial and in-kind work contributions needed to build concrete roads and upgrade the sewage system, giving their residential quarters a face lift.
This model is expected to expand to another four low-income, populous districts in the city by 2012./.