A country case study on rural sanitation in Vietnam was set out to answer the conundrum of poor performance within the rural sanitation subsector and the incapacity to scale up rural sanitation in the presence of seemingly effective innovative approaches.
The Problem-Driven Governance and Political Economy Analysis Good Practice Framework (PGPE) was used as analytical framework in the research project and in the paper, and the research process was divided into the four following steps:
- Problem identification.
- Outlining of the institutional and governance arrangements that provide the context for action in the sector.
- Identification of the incentives of actors involved, and developing an understanding of how they did or did not support scaling up of innovative approaches to rural household sanitation.
- Suggestion of a set of implications for donor programming based on the analysis.
The top-down, supply-side approach to increasing access to sanitation has remained the norm since the 1980s, when, following reunification, Vietnam initiated a rural development programme with assistance from UNICEF. Current subsidies for sanitation include a direct subsidy for households (VND 800,000-1,000,0004 ) and, since 2004, access to subsidised credit from the Vietnamese Bank for Social Policy (VBSP) though which households may borrow up to VND 4,000,000 for sanitation (and a similar amount for household water-supply improvements).