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Knowledge, information and economic policy-making in Vietnam

Research reports

Written by Ajoy Datta

This knowledge context study presents an in depth analysis of the role of knowledge and information in economic policy-making in Vietnam.


Drawing on political economy analysis and the Knowledge, Policy and Power framework, the authors take a broad approach to policy-making, reviewing the role of knowledge in agenda setting, drafting and consultation, policy implementation and policy communication through the media. They offer insights and recommendations for external agencies in Vietnam who wish to improve their programming and the quality policy-making in relation to the use of research and evidence-informed knowledge.


The report finds that:


  • Power across the Vietnamese state is scattered; but formal knowledge is still relatively centralised


  • Despite pressure to sustain rapid economic growth, liberal inspired research findings tend to face obstacles in the form of economic interests, ideology and informality


  • The way in which civil servants are recruited, trained, managed, promoted and remunerated continues to be highly politicised, constraining the quality of policy-making


  • Genuine local-level authority to formulate policy varies depends on a range of informal factors, with some localities drawing on a wider pool of knowledge to adopt more locally specific policy


  • Development partners could improve their policy work by keeping a close eye on the context, working with government to highlight problems and enabling different stakeholder groups to discuss possible solutions.




Ajoy Datta and Pham Lan Huong