CSO Development Effectiveness and Accountability (Story from Vietnam)

Since 2009, through the process of Open Forum for Development Effectiveness, Civil Society Organizations worldwide have been together to develop the International Framework for Development Effectiveness of CSOs (DE Framework) consisting of 8 Istanbul Principles which are applied at the national level and by CSOs all over the world. At the fourth High-Level Forum (HLF-4) on Aid Effectiveness held in November – December 2011 in Busan, the ongoing consultations among related stakeholders gave global consensus to Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. All the partners for development committed to shifting the thinking and practice from the focus on aid effectiveness to the focus on development effectiveness. It means to focus on the real sustainable benefits for target groups – the people (“sustainable effectiveness and transparency for every citizen”, §6). Busan partnership document also recognizes the commitments to improving development effectiveness, and that CSOs play a leading role with the declaration of Istanbul Principles on Development Effectiveness and the Siem Reap Consensus on International Framework for Development Effectiveness of CSOs (§22)*.

Since participation in 2010, Vietnamese CSOs have been closely following the process of Development Effectiveness and making considerable contributions to the development of Istanbul Principles and the International Framework for Development Effectiveness. Identifying weaknesses in capacity means to be self-reliance and self-development based on the long-term organization strategy as well as weak cooperation with other development partners, Vietnamese CSOs should consider the implementation of Istanbul Principles and International Framework for Development Effectiveness a good option/opportunity for them to follow, implement and develop more effectively and in a sustainable manner. This can be a powerful tool for the development of CSOs.

Research Center for Management and Sustainable Development (MSD) has been a pioneer in the coordination of the promotion process of Development Effectiveness for Vietnamese CSOs since 2010, especially after 2011 with the commitment of Siem Reap Consensus, Istanbul Principles on Development Effectiveness and Vietnam partnership document. MSD continued to participate in strategy development, supporting and promoting Vietnamese CSOs with their commitment practice. MSD has been a national coordinator in Vietnam and a regional one in Southeast Asia for Development Effectiveness (CPDE)**.

After 5 years of commitment, ordered by CPDE, MSD conducted action research to evaluate the process in which Vietnamese CSOs have applied Istanbul Principles to Development Effectiveness and Transparency and Accountability. This is also a research report, which contributed to the General report on practice results of Istanbul Principles on Development Effectiveness and transparency and accountability of CSO partnership forum on Development Effectiveness – CPDE). It was used as proof for policy advocacy for CSOs and published at the second High-Level Forum on Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC).

We hope that this report will provide the readers, especially CSOs, the government and development partners with the whole picture of development and effort of Vietnamese CSOs to follow Busan commitments and promote Vietnamese CSOs with good practice of transparency and accountablity.

Because the report was done in a short time with the first analysis and summary, there will be mistakes. We hopefully receive comments and support from all the readers.

Thank you and best regards,

Ms. Nguyen Phuong Linh (MA)
Director of MSD (Author)

* For more information about the Open Forum, Development Effectiveness Framework and Istanbul partner, visit:

** For more details about CPDE, visit:

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