|"Mai emphasised that fighting corruption was the responsibility and obligation of not only Viet Nam's Government and its donors, but also the whole community."— File Photo
THAI NGUYEN (VNS)— The key to success in the fight against corruption was the engagement of the whole community, from Government offices down to grassroots level, a conference held in the northern province of Thai Nguyen has heard.
The statement was made by Bo Thi Hong Mai, the World Bank's partnership relationship officer in Viet Nam, at a meeting on Wednesday to launch the 2014 Viet Nam Anti-Corruption Initiatives Programme (VACI) 2014.
Mai emphasised that fighting corruption was the responsibility and obligation of not only Viet Nam's Government and its donors, but also the whole community.
VACI 2014, co-organised by the World Bank, the Government Inspectorate and other development partners, sought practical initiatives that helped address real problems the community was facing.
The funding for each initiative – about VND300 million (US$14,300) – was modest, but determination and commitment from project managers, the public and local authorities were decisive factors, Mai said.
Luong Thi Hoa, a member of Thai Nguyen Province's Anti-Corruption Steering Committee, agreed with Mai, saying a project to improve community supervisory capacity and develop a new rural model in the province's Dong Lien Commune in 2011-12 had been a success. It was among 34 winners at the VACI 2011 awards.
The project provided both local residents and authorities with a deeper understanding of anti-corruption laws and democracy at grassroots levels.
The new rural model is expected to change the way of life in rural areas, including improved infrastructure, culture, social welfare and incomes.
The project helped promote the role of a community supervisory board – a group of citizens elected to oversee and ensure the progress and quality of public work such as roads.
"It improves transparency and accountability of public work in the locality, helping to reduce waste, losses and corruption in public investment," she said, adding that local residents had become more trusting in the authorities.
The model has been expanded to 35 communes in Thai Nguyen Province in the hope that this success can be mirrored with public support.
This year's programme is the fourth launched by VACI. In 2013, the top 24 initiatives out of the 130 submitted were selected and successfully implemented in the previous programme. — VNS