As part of the Viet Nam Ministry of Finance efforts to implement the Public Finance for Children project 2017 – 2020, a comprehensive workshop on Public Finance for Children (PF4C) was held during the second week of December 2019.

The purpose of the workshop was to enhance the knowledge and understanding of the key counterparts (both legislative and executive agencies) about PF4C and tools for budget assessment, tracking and monitoring.

Ms Mizuho Okimoto-Kaewtathip (Chief of Social Policy & Governance, UNICEF Viet Nam), delivering an introduction to the workshop.

The overall objective of the PF4C project has been to improve transparency, efficiency and equity in the budget spending for children by strengthening capacity for the MOF in prioritizing child rights in the state budget allocation and spending in socio-economic development plans and sectoral plans.

Dr. Vu Dinh Anh, (Economic Expert, Institute of Economics-Finance, MOF), leading discussion on bottlenecks in public finance for children processes in Vietnam.

32 participants attended on the morning of the first day, and for the rest of the training, around 20 participants fully attended, including representatives of

• National Center for rural water supply and sanitation (NCERWASS), Ministry of agriculture and rural development (MARD)
• Department of Planning and Finance, Ministry of Health (MOH)
• General Statistics Office, Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI)
• Department of Public Expenditure, Ministry of Finance (MOF)
• National Institute for Finance (NIF), MOF
• Department of Legislation, MOF
• Department of State Budget, MOF
• Department of International Cooperation, MOF
• Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA)
• Committee on Finance and Budget, National Assembly
• Institute of Economics-Finance, MOF
• Social Policy and Governance Programme, UNICEF.

Dr. Chris de Neubourg (Director, SPRI Global) and Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh An (Social Policy and Governance Specialist, UNICEF Viet Nam) leading a group exercise and serious game on fiscal space creation.

The lectures and exercises at workshop were given and facilitated by Prof. Chris de Neubourg and Julia Karpati, respectively the Director and a Senior Researcher at the Social Policy Research Institute (SPRI Global). Two local consultants also played critical roles in leading several sessions during the workshop: Mr. Nguyen Minh Tan, Deputy Director, Department of Finance and Budget, Committee on Finance and Budget, National Assembly and Dr. Vu Dinh Anh, Economic Expert, Institute of Economics-Finance, MOF.

Mr. Nguyen Minh Tan, (Deputy Director, Department of Finance and Budget, Committee on Finance and Budget, National Assembly) leading a lecture and discussion on the budgetary process in Vietnam.

The training workshop agenda included lectures, interactive group exercises, and serious games, which cover the areas of:
• The PF4C Framework: Adequacy, efficiency, effectiveness, equity, transparency and accountability
• Results-Based Management, Evidence-Based Policy making and Investing in Children
• Budgeting and Public Finance Management for realising Results for Children
• Human Capital and Economic Growth
• The budgetary process in Vietnam
• Bottlenecks in public finance management for children
• Adequacy, sufficiency & fiscal space, and related tools
• Tools and instruments for enhancing transparency and accountability in PF4C
• Multi-year Planning and PF4C: lessons learned from other countries in the region, multilateral donations, data collection and policy design

Workshop participants taking part in a group exercise on expanding fiscal space and the role of key officers in public finance management and budgetary processes.

This training workshop fit into SPRI Global’s work in the field of public policy and public finance, social budgeting and social protection financing. SPRI Global is committed to assisting national governments in designing and budgeting policies and programs that invest in human capital development on the path towards achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Dr. Chris de Neubourg (Director, SPRI Global) presenting to workshop participants.