International NGOs and the Vietnam Development Forum
The Vietnam Development Forum (VDF) -- formerly known as the Consultative Group (CG) meeting and more recently Vietnam Development Partnership Forum -- is a platform for discussion between Government and donor agencies on development policies and donor pledges. The first Vietnamese CG meeting was held in Paris in 1993 and since 1999 it has been held in Vietnam, co-chaired by the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the World Bank in Vietnam. Two meetings were held each year: an informal meeting in June, usually held outside Hanoi in order to combine it with a field visit, and a formal meeting during December held in Hanoi.
At the CG meeting in December 2012 participants agreed on the evolution of the CG into the Vietnam Development Partnership Forum (VDPF), with the aim of supporting dialogue on areas of mutual interest in order to promote broad-based socio-economic development and improved well-being for all Vietnamese.
The previous CG format, designed 20 years ago, served primarily as a platform for mobilising Official Development Assistance (ODA) resources. This function of the CG was no longer relevant since most development partners established their own bilateral ODA discussions. What was needed was a platform for dialogue between the Government and partners in Vietnam’s development. The new forum has become an annual event aimed at high-level policy dialogue as well as a process to support ongoing dialogue to build consensus and generate commitments among stakeholders toward the Government’s development and reform priorities.
Four representatives of international NGOs (INGOs) are invited to the meeting; they are invited as observers and share one seat at the meeting table. They usually divide the meeting sessions between them, and, as with other participants, have the opportunity to make one comment during each session.
A joint statement by INGOs is published for each VDPF meeting in December, prepared by the four INGO representatives and the VUFO-NGO Resource Centre after consultation with the member INGOs of the centre. The satement is distributed in English and Vietnamese to all VDPF participants. The most recent statement are available upon request.
In addition an annual report on the activities of the working groups hosted by the Resource Centre, International NGO Partnerships for Development, also in English and Vietnamese, is made available at the Vietnam Development Forum meeting.
The four INGO representatives to the Vietnam Development Forum meeting are elected, for a term of two years, by member organisations of the VUFO-NGO Resource Centre. As of October 2017 the representatives are:
- Hang Thi Bich Nguyen, Country Representative, Marie Stopes International Vietnam
- Thao Hoang Phuong, Country Director, ActionAid International in Vietnam
- Michael R. DiGregorio, Country Representative, The Asia Foundation Vietnam
- Eva-Maria Jongen, Director, Bread for the World in Vietnam and Laos
The Managing Co-Director of the VUFO-NGO Resource Centre, Marko Lovrekovic, serves as Head of INGO Delegation at the Vietnam Development Forum meetings.
World Bank media release regarding mid-year Consultative Group meeting 2009