Institute for Social Development Studies

You are here:: Key Projects Promotion of rights and social inclusion for underprivileged populations in Vietnam: State capacity building and public awareness raising

Promotion of rights and social inclusion for underprivileged populations in Vietnam: State capacity building and public awareness raising


Duration: 2011-2013

Donor: Oxfam NOVIB


For more than twenty years since the initiation of Doi Moi, the government of Vietnam has boldly undertaken ambitious structural reforms to transform the national economy towards a market economy. Although considerable progress has been made, development of the country continues to be constrained by macroeconomic imbalances and structural problems. Among major challenges are difficulties that the government faces in redistributing the results of economic growth equitably to different social groups. Even more, over the last decade, the lack of sufficient social protection in the transitional Vietnam has been increasingly observed, resulting in rising unemployment, growing inequality with persistent pockets of poverty, and significant marginalization of certain populations with little, or no access, to basic social services.


Propaganda poster. Photo taken at ISDS

workshop in Cai Khe ward, Can Tho city

While the impact of these above changes is inclusive, some social groups are much more negatively affected than the others, notably people living with HIV (PLHIV), people with disabilities (PWDs), injecting drug users (IDUs), and commercial sex workers (CSWs). Not only those groups are found among the poorest; they are also the most isolated and marginalized due mainly to severe stigma and discrimination against them from the society. The government even labels PLHIV, IDUs and CSWs as ‘social evils’ who threaten social order and morals. The situation of PWDs is not much better. Being viewed as ‘abnormal’, their access to crucial life chances in education, employment, and social participation are largely denied.

This proposal is designed by the Institute for Social Development Studies (ISDS) to seek funding from Oxfam Novib to expand one of her existing programs, namely Promotion of rights, dignity and well-being of underprivileged populations. The subjects of this program are PLHIV, PWDs, IDUs, CSWs, sexual minorities (e.g. partners of drug users, sex workers, MSM, transgender), poor migrants and other disadvantaged social groups. The program consists of four sub-programs:


  1. Action-research on risks, vulnerabilities and needs of disadvantaged populations;
  2. Policy advocacy for the their rights;
  3. Institutional capacity building for state institutions and the civil society to work with and promoting rights of these groups;
  4. Public sensitization and education on issues relating to well-being and rights of these populations.


In combination, these four sub-programs address the gaps in policies, policy implementation and intervention, institutional capacity and public awareness described above.

Under this proposed project, funding from Oxfam Novib will be allocated for the last two sub-programs of institutional capacity building and public education. The first two sub-programs are being financed by a General Support Grant given by the Ford Foundation.



The overall objective of the project is to promote rights, dignity and well-being of underprivileged populations and facilitate their inclusion into the society mainstreams.

The immediate objectives of the project are to:

Objective One: Building human resource for key training institutions of the state to capacitate cadre of the government and mass organization (at both central and local levels who are responsible for the implementation of policies and programs aimed at disadvantaged populations) to integrate rights issues and adopt rights-based approach into their works.



Propaganda poster. Photo taken at ISDS

workshop in Cai Khe ward, Can Tho city

This objective can be done through ToT (training of trainers) courses and other capacity-building programs developed collaboratively with key state training institutions to integrate rights issues into their training programs delivered nationally.


Objective Two: Sensitizing and educating the general public on issues matter to underprivileged populations, particularly stigma and discrimination, rights, and social inclusion.

To achieve this objective, the project will partner with the Vietnam National Television (VTV) to develop special programs of public education to be broadcasted nationwide.

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