Publication Details

Nguyen, T., Bach, T., Le, T. & Le, C. (2015). Local Governance, Corruption and Public Service Quality: Evidence from a national survey in Viet Nam. Ha Noi, Viet Nam: Asia-Pacific Institute for Management (the National Economics University) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Viet Nam.


Experiences of developed countries have shown that transparency, accountability, and participation significantly reduce corruption, which in turn helps increase access to and improve the quality of public services. When it comes to developing countries, the links between governance, corruption, and public service quality are under debate. In particular, corruption is widespread in developing countries, and combating corruption in these countries are particularly challenging. In Vietnam, despites the government effort, corruption remains prevalent in the last decade, as international and national indexes have indicated. There is a concern that conventional anti-corruption strategies that focus on promoting transparency, accountability, and participation has failed to achieve satisfactory results at the nationally aggregated level. The main argument is that such strategies require sufficient resources and capable government officials which are lacking in the country. There is also a belief that under complex administrative system and ineffective formal institutions, some corruption may help “greasing the wheels”, thereby promoting efficiency. This research focused on corruption at the local level and its effect on public healthcare and public primary education.