Government coordination and donor harmonisation improves service delivery

Government coordination and donor harmonisation improves service delivery

Successful Vietnamese programme for rural water supply relied on policy dialogue and government leadership

National Target Program 2 (NTP2) for rural water supply and sanitation is a part of the Vietnamese government’s national strategy to help poor and vulnerable households. This paper reviews the achievements of NTP2, presenting some key messages for aid effectiveness.

The document reveals that since the program began, more substantial and sustainable improvements have been made with greater scale and reach. In addition, resources became better managed and donor support became better harmonised. Moreover, the paper finds that:

  • the programme encouraged policy dialogue and thus helped launching a range of institutional improvements, including integrating water services
  • strong government leadership has led to greater coordination, including reporting, budgeting, financial management and procurement
  • NTP2 allowed donors to better align their support to the water and sanitation sector, which reduced fragmentation in the sector
  • the positioning and nature of the support concentrated its efforts on strengthening capacities, such as technical capacity
  • the focus on institutional and management arrangements avoided over promising and under delivering on programme outcomes

Key messages can be shown as follows: 

  • develop and cultivate knowledge of the interaction between culture, politics, institutions and public financial management in influencing development outcomes
  • include lessons learnt from project experiences to develop an effective programme-based approach
  • phase donor support to strengthen and build confidence in government planning and budgeting systems
  • align program support to decentralisation policy, where applicable, to promote local government ownership and commitment