News

UN Survey Queries Vietnamese About Corruption

Villagers stand next to riot police deployed to Vietnam's northern Hung Yen province during a protest on April 24, 2012. Local residents tried block police from taking control of a disputed plot of land outside Hanoi in the second high-profile clash over
Villagers stand next to riot police deployed to Vietnam's northern Hung Yen province during a protest on April 24, 2012. Local residents tried block police from taking control of a disputed plot of land outside Hanoi in the second high-profile clash over
Marianne Brown

Many people in Vietnam consider bribery to be a systemic problem. But a new survey by the United Nations and the Vietnamese government aims to give ordinary citizens a means to voice their experience with corruption so authorities can do something about it.

The survey, conducted by the United Nations Development Program and the Vietnam Fatherland Front, comes at a time of economic growth in Vietnam, prompting more people to demand better services from the government, said UNDP policy advisor Jairo Acuna-Alfaro.

“The more educated citizens are, the healthier they are, the more they expect in terms of quality [like] better education, health and more competent public officials that deal with their administrative procedures in a timely manner,” he said.

Many of those on at the forefront of this change are farmers who have lost their land to development projects.

Last week hundreds of farmers in Hung Yen province protested a plan to clear land for a new satellite city. Le Hien Duc, an anti-corruption activist and former member of staff for the country’s first president Ho Chi Minh, said witnessed about 1,000 policemen use tear gas to disperse 3,000 farmers. According to state-run media reports 20 people were arrested.

The incident came only a few months after a farmer in Hai Phong province used guns and landmines to fend off authorities trying to evict him from his land. Land disputes are of particular concern, said Alcuna-Alfaro.

“I think this is what we are seeing in terms of land," he said. "All the problems that we have seen in the first few months of this year where citizens are starting to raise their voices and complain to the government that perhaps all these land dealings have not been favorable to them.”

Land use issues are an important part of the Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index, launched on Thursday.

Of the 13,500 people interviewed for the survey, only nine percent of citizens who had property taken by the government said they received compensation close to the market value. Two out of five interviewed said it was necessary to bribe someone to get a land use certificate.

Acuna-Alfaro said the results are important because anti-corruption efforts in Vietnam are usually self-assessed, which means end-users rarely have a chance to voice their thoughts.

“We are flipping the coin and providing a different type of data which might be more objective and more representative of the citizens, the users of those services, which need to be considered when discussing improvements in the legislation and in the actual implementation of the different provincial level strategies,” he said.

One-third of those interviewed said bribery was needed to receive medical care and two out of five said bribes were necessary at schools.

In a country where the average monthly wage is only $150, the amount those interviewed spent on bribes each year is staggering. On average, about $125 is given in bribes to medical staff and $58 to teachers and schools.

The number is high, but not surprising, said Dang Ngoc Dinh, director of the Vietnam Center for Community Support Development Studies. Dinh likens corruption to traffic jams -- a problem that everyone knows is out there, but for which there are no quick fixes.

The point of the survey is not to despair over low marks but to do something about them. For that reason, said Dinh, a low score should not necessarily be considered a bad thing.  Rather, he said, it's an opportunity for authorities compare scores and learn from each other so they can do better.

Alcuna-Alfaro said it is now up to provincial authorities to take action and crack down on corruption.

With over 13,000 voices, the evidence will be difficult to ignore.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Belle
May 07, 2012 7:37 AM
I am afraid that this is just planning. Indeed, it is very difficult to overcome corruption. Many ordinary people who actually want corruption eradicated, but in reality it never came

by: QTam
May 05, 2012 10:22 AM
Totally agree with Cả Thộn. The VC regime has been nourrished by corruption. It is sad to say but the foreign funds from overseas Vietnamese, ODA, and other aid foundations have only helped the VC cadres at all levels and is not being used to help its people. Yet, their greed seems to be boundless as we see they now use all means to take away even small possession from poor people in Tien Lang or Van Giang.

by: Cả Thộn
May 04, 2012 1:55 PM
WOW, Even Vietnamese official seems to be happy with his government corruption low scores. Communists born to be corrupted, with them, no corruption, no life. Corruption is fringe benefit for Vietnamese Communist cadres. They don't even feel ashame for those activities. Corruption is the motive for people to join Communist Party, what do you expect ?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs