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Does PAPI Monitoring Improve Local Governance? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Vietnam

Giang, Long Thanh and Nguyen, Cuong and Tran, Anh (2013): Does PAPI Monitoring Improve Local Governance? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Vietnam.

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Abstract

This study, using the Viet Nam Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI) surveys, examines the effect of monitoring local authorities on the quality of governance and public services in Vietnam. PAPI randomly selected 200 locations in 93 districts of 30 provinces to conduct survey in 2010 and rolled out nationally in 2011 and 2012. Using 2011 and 2012 survey data, we compare these provinces and their districts with those that were not surveyed in 2010. Theories suggest that local authorities may improve their behavior if they have been surveyed and know that they are being monitored. In this paper, we find that governance quality reported by citizens in the surveyed provinces and districts of the 2010 PAPI survey is significantly higher than in other locations. This monitoring improves a wide range of governance aspects, including local participation in village decisions, transparency of local decision-making, accountability, administrative procedures, and public service delivery.

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