Engaging social organisations and mobilisation of local people to contribute to the Bill on Access to Information

Grantee Organisation: Lawyers' Association of Cam Le District, Da Nang City

Project Location: Da Nang City

Project Duration: December 2014 - September 2015


The problem: Access to information is the peoples’ right as recognised in the Vietnamese Constitution, but this has been problematic in practice. One of the reasons is the lack of awareness of social organisations as well as people of their rights to access information and the lack of a system that allows it to happen. As the Bill on Access to Information was planned in the National Assembly’s agenda, there was an opportunity to contribute with recommendations.

The solution: The Lawyers' Association aimed first at changing perceptions about access to information, communication skills and advocacy for members of social organisations so that they can perform their role better at commune level. These trainees became the core group to implement project activities with communities including trainings and communication initiatives to improve knowledge on the rights to access information. These activities helped them solve the difficulties and obstacles in accessing and providing information for citizens and improve accountability of government agencies. They also developed three coordination mechanisms to monitor the implementation of access to information and information provision between social organisations and related stakeholders in Cam Le District.

Change

  • Both social organisations and local residents increased awareness on legal issues related to the right on access to information and practical skills for them to exercise the right.
  • Social organisations are able to mobilise local people to engage in the legislative procedure and policy dialogue to formulate the Bill on access to information and contribute recommendations to the bill.
  • Three coordination mechanisms/regulations between social organisations and stakeholders of Cam Le district were endorsed and have since been implemented to increase access to information and collaboration amongst relevant agencies. The three regulations include: 

 

(i) Regulations on the exchange of information between Cam Le District’s Department of Justice and its Lawyers' Association

(ii) Regulations on information exchange of the Standing Committee of the Fatherland Front Committee and Cam Le District’s Department of Justice

(iii) Regulations on the exchange of information between the Cam Le District’s Department of Justice and the district’s Business Association


"... Previously, our association also contributed to various bills. However, this project offered access so people and social organisations can participate more. We could select the people’s needs and opinions and make more comments and recommendations to the bill"

Mai Thi Anh Hong, Deputy Chairperson Lawyers' Association of Cam Le District


Communication activities such as law knowledge contests organized with social organisations helped to raise local residents’ awareness