Creative Wins USAID Governance Program in Vietnam 

By Michael J. Zamba 

vietnam-1-214x300 A new USAID-funded program in Vietnam to foster collective action for improved service delivery systems at multiple levels of government has been awarded to Creative Associates International, a social-impact organization implementing locally focused projects in nearly 30 countries. 

The Local Capacity Development program is designed to engage local governments, the private sector and organizations to improve linkages with the national government on local priority issues, which will lead to more transparent and effective policymaking and implementation, as well as better delivery of services to citizens, particularly marginalized or underrepresented groups. 

“Creative’s work emphasizes local ownership and direction, and combines it with the best-in-class approaches to governance,” says Leland Kruvant, President & CEO of Creative Associates International. “We are eager to engage with Vietnamese businesses, organizations and local governments to make this program a success.” 

Sharon Van Pelt, Creative’s Vice President, says the program’s approach seeks to facilitate collaboration between government, private sector and local organizations to solve issues around responsive service delivery, resource mobilization, sustainability and accountability.  

“This is an exciting program for Vietnam to meaningfully engage stakeholders in provincial governance using innovative solutions that are problem-driven and seek a collective impact,” Van Pelt says. 

The consortium of globally recognized organizations – including The Asia Foundation, Arizona State University and Duke University – builds on evidence-based approaches drawn from our global local governance experience, in-depth knowledge of Vietnam and relationships with potential local partners. 

The five-year, $19-million Local Capacity Development program will focus its efforts in four provinces and cities – Vinh Phuc, Thua Thien–Hue, Can Tho and Dong Thap. Based on the results of the Stakeholder Strategic Review during the program’s second year, USAID may add a fifth province. 



Creative and its partners will conduct assessments and analyses – including local systems assessments, citizen surveys, applied political economy analysis and social network mapping – 

to develop a comprehensive understanding of the local context, tailor entry points and engagement strategies and bring key strategic stakeholders together to take action and learn. 

Susan Kemp, Director of Creative’s Governance Practice Area, says that during the start-up stage the program will lay the foundation for the project’s collective action approach that empowers local actors to develop a common agenda, shared measurement, mutually reinforcing activities and continuous communication.  

Initially, the program will serve as a catalyst for collective action and use a proven methodology called “Problem-Driven Iterative Adaptation” to help local organizations and people act collectively. Led by certified professionals using the Problem-Driven Iterative Adaptation methodology, local actors will apply a step-by-step, learning-by-doing process that helps them develop the skills to solve complex problems. 

“We are thrilled to be supporting local actors to coalesce around addressing complex local challenges, drawing on proven tools and approaches like PDIA, collective impact, and thinking and working politically to ensure solutions are locally led and responsive to the local context,” says Kemp. 

Local Capacity Development program has three primary objectives: Strengthening capacity among 17 subnational/national governments, 48 local organizations and 32 private sector entities; improve stakeholder engagement, system-analysis, continuous learning and adaptation on local issues among 48 local organizations and 32 private sector entities; and identify and prioritize public service solutions/initiatives implemented generate multiple solutions to improve priority services.

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