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Govt, civil society organisation partnership is important: conference

Update: August, 22/2017 - 17:00
An overview of the conference. — VNS Photo Khánh Dương
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI  Developing sustainable partnership between the State and civil society organisations (CSOs) is an inevitable requirement. Việt Nam has tremendous potential to develop the partnership but has not fully exploited it, experts said at a conference on Tuesday.

At the annual conference of Vietnamese CSOs in Hà Nội, representatives of CSOs discussed the advantages and difficulties, and proposed solutions towards co-operation for sustainable development.

The weakness of Vietnamese science-technology organisations is unstable budget, which results in high attrition and transfers, said Bùi Kim Tuyến from Việt Nam Union of Science and Technology Associations, adding that organisations also don’t have long-term partners.

CSOs that specialise in science and technology have difficulty accessing the State budget, and lack policies to help non-governmental organisations access capital, equipment for research and use science and technology, she said.

Nguyễn Thu Giang, vice-president of the Institute for Community Health Development (LIGHT), said Vietnamese NGOs mostly depend on international sponsorship, but these sources are becoming scarce. She proposed strengthening the capacity of CSOs by developing a CSO network and holding an annual dialogue with the Government to resolve difficulties.

CSOs are a necessity, and nations looking to achieve sustainable development cannot ignore building and developing partnerships with CSOs, said Dr Trịnh Tiến Dũng, former head of the United Nations’ Development Programme’s Governance Unit.

However, capital sources and motivation for Việt Nam growth have dried out dramatically, he said, adding that “hard” international development sources such as Official Development Assistance and Foreign Direct Investments are on the decline. We need to pay more attention to “soft” internal sources such as social capital, he said.

If social capital is exploited well, it can become a huge, sustainable source and motivation for national development. Its exploitation depends firstly and mostly on the partnership between the State and CSOs, Dũng said.

Dũng proposed that the State build a “civil society organisations’ eco-system” to promote CSO activity, which is one of the three pillars for social development, besides State and private business. — VNS



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