Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are among Vietnamese localities ranked worst in terms of control of corruption, according the 2018 Vietnam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI) report released on Tuesday.
Although the report shows that fewer citizens had to pay bribes for state employment, public healthcare, primary education, or construction permits in 2018 as compared to previous years, less than 50 percent of those interviewed agreed that corruption at the national level had decreased in the past three years.
Corruption was one of the top three issues of greatest concern in 2018, with nearly 7.4 percent of respondents citing it as their top concern, the report shows.
Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City were among the worst ranked localities in terms of corruption control alongside Dak Lak, Hai Phong, Ha Nam and Hoa Binh.
PAPI, published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), assesses citizen experiences with national and local government performance in governance, public administration, and public service delivery.
The 2018 PAPI report was compiled from interview answers by over 14,300 Vietnamese citizens randomly selected from all 63 provinces and cities.
Overall, Vietnamese citizens had greater satisfaction with most basic public services thanks to the substantial improvements in provincial and local government performance, the report revealed.
Positive progress was observed by all provinces in administering public services, although there is still room for improvement, the report noted.
Results show several positive trends in citizens’ political participation at the local level in 2018, as transparency in local decision-making also saw significant improvements.
Poverty was again the most important issue for citizens in 2018, with about 25 percent of respondents cited poverty as their top concern, the report shows.
|A bar graph illustrating the top issues of concern for Vietnamese citizens according to the 2018 PAPI report.|
Findings from the survey show that a majority of voters have no preference for either male or female candidates when electing people into leadership positions.
“The 2018 PAPI findings highlight an important opportunity for more women to be elected to political positions, while also suggesting that efforts are needed to end societal stigma against women in elected positions, especially among female voters,” Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Craig Chittick was quoted by Vietnam News Agency as saying at the report’s launch event in Hanoi on Tuesday.
This year’s report marks a decade since the first PAPI research began in 2009.
Over the past decade, more than 117,000 Vietnamese citizens from all parts of the country have been interviewed for the annual report, which provides objective, up-to-date data on local government performance.
Speaking at the report’s launch event in Hanoi on Tuesday, UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen noted that PAPI continues to serve as “a powerful instrument to promote good governance in Vietnam” after ten years.
“The heart of PAPI is very close to UNDP’s mission – putting people at the center of development,” Wiesen was quoted as saying by Vietnam News Agency.