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Rights-based citizen control of resources for New rural development

Recognizing the need for renovation of development processes in rural areas, the 7thSession of the Party Central Executive Committee of Congress X on Agriculture, Farmers and Rural Areas, in 2008 issued the Tam Nong Resolution. Tam Nong is a general policy and framework for Rural Development. Resolution’s targets include reduction in rural poverty levels, raising rural health and educational standards, better access to basic services, infrastructure for rural people and productive usage of resources. One of the main targets set by the Tam Nong Resolution is to have fifty percent of the total rural communes achieving the status of new rural commune by 2020. To successfully implement the Tam Nong resolution, a National Targeted Program for New Rural Development (NTP-NRD) was approved in June 2010.

The NTP-NRD is the largest National Targeted Program yet in Vietnam and will be implemented in every single rural commune at least until 2020. NTP-NRD is a framework and comprehensive program on socio-economic development at commune level to make breakthrough in agriculture and rural development as well as improvement of living standards for rural people, which include eleven major components from planning, rural infrastructures to production restructure, income enhancement, rural education and health, rural cultural aspects, capacity building and good governance at grassroots level, etc. The NTP is built on the main principle of bringing into play the active role of the rural people and their communities under guidelines and support from the Government. All activities under this NTP will be initiated, discussed and decided by rural people and their communities. The main aim of the program is to support all rural communes in Vietnam to reach the 19 established criteria for new rural areas. The main tool is a comprehensive and decentralized planning system with a long-term commune development plan and annual commune budgets.

The purpose of this assignment was to developed detailed National guidelines for decentralized planning of agricultural production and involvement of villages in decision-making. A nationwide training program on policy implementation was to be developed, tested and finalized. The assignment drew on lessons learned from the previous Chia se program which tested and developed policies of decentralization for rural development.

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