The Vietnam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI 2015): Measuring citizens' experiences

12 Apr 2016
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The Viet Nam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI) is a policy monitoring tool that reflects citizen experiences with the performance of central to local governments in governance, public administration and public service delivery. PAPI has helped motivate public officials, civil servants and public employees at different levels and in different sectors to perform better in public sector management and public service delivery. The index ultimately aims at providing better services for citizens and fostering national development.

This 2015 PAPI Report presents the results of the fifth nationwide survey, with data articulating the experiences of 13,995 citizens who were randomly selected and who are a representative sample of different demographic groups across the country. Since the first survey in 2009, almost 75,000 citizens have engaged directly in face-to-face interviews and shared their experiences and assessments of the State’s governance and public administration performance.

To improve and strengthen the quality of the research methodology and survey implementation, in 2015 PAPI underwent a number of important changes. The first change concerns sampling. In order to ensure the rigour and objectivity of the research, one third of communes were re-sampled using the “probability proportional to size” method. Of these communes, the communes which hold the district capitals were retained and all villages in that commune were therefore also retained. The other communes were re-sampled to replace those selected in 2014.

In order to improve the quality of face-to-face interviews, PAPI moved from a paper-based survey to using tablets to carry out the survey. The 2015 PAPI questionnaire, field survey assistance and quality control functions were built into an application that was installed on more than 80 tablets, which were then used for data collection in the field. The tablet-based approach generated a number of positive benefits, such as real-time monitoring of fieldwork. Instant assistance could be provided to field controllers and enumerators and instant monitoring of the data collection progress by each village every day of the fieldwork was possible. Other benefits included real-time data collection, as data was transmitted instantly to PAPI’s cloud data hub, the possibility for random spot checks of collected data to notify research and fieldwork teams of any abnormality and, finally, traditional manual data entry errors were avoided.

A number of new questions were also included to hear citizen voices on several policy developments and to better understand civic knowledge. For example, questions about respondents’ civic knowledge of sociopolitical affairs, citizen participation in law-making, access to information through the Internet and mobile phone services and access to local government web portals for advice on administrative procedures were included.

The 2015 PAPI Report highlights the overall trends in governance and public administration at the national and provincial level from 2011-2015. Rather than ranking provinces, the report focuses on national and provincial scores in dimensions, sub-dimensions and indicators over time. The report also suggests practical measures to improve the quality of policy implementation as well as policy areas that need immediate reform. We hope these suggestions will be useful for the new Government in place from 2016-2021.

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