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What is PAPI?

PAPI stands for the Viet Nam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI). PAPI is a policy monitoring tool that reflects citizen experiences with the performance of central to local governments in governance, public administration and public service delivery.

Box 1 below provides an introduction to PAPI.

What Aims: PAPI aims to generate information that can improve the performance of local authorities in meeting their citizens’ needs by: (i) creating constructive competition and promoting learning among local authorities; and (ii) enabling citizens to benchmark their local government’s performance and advocate for improvement.


Approach: Citizens are at the heart of Viet Nam’s development. As ‘end-users’ of public administration and public services they are fully capable of assessing the performance of the State and local authorities, and supporting the State in establishing a State that is “of the people, by the people and for the people”.

Where In 2009: piloted in three provinces (Phu Tho, Da Nang and Dong Thap)
In 2010: expanded to 30 provinces (randomly selected by propensity score matching)
From 2011 – present: All 63 provinces, covering 207 districts, 414 communes, 828 villages divided in two types: certainty units and probability proportion to size random selection
How Public surveys (face-to-face) of citizens’ experiences about governance and public administration performance in their localities (random selection)


International state-of-the-art methodological standards: probability proportional to size and random selection

Who Vietnamese citizens (randomly selected citizens) representative for the population from the age of 18 years old
How many Approximately 14,000 randomly selected citizens every year (please see some images of PAPI fieldwork)
Key dimensions assessed Six dimensions that are constructed from 22 sub-dimensions, 92 indicators, 516 substantive questions about Viet Nam’s policy matters


  1. Participation at the Local Levels
  2. Transparency in Decision-making
  3. Vertical Accountability
  4. Control of Corruption in the Public Sector
  5. Public Administrative Procedures
  6. Public Service Delivery
Implementing agencies
  • Centre for Community Support and Development Studies (CECODES)
  • Several Viet Nam Fatherland Front agencies at the central and 63 provincial VFF Committees
  • Commission on People’s Petitions (CPP) (in 2012)
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • Real-Time Analytics (since 2015)

Who are behind PAPI?

PAPI is jointly conducted by the Center for Community Support and Development Studies (CECODES) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with the close partnership and support of the Centre for Theory Work of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front from 2009-2010, the Front Review from 2010-2012, the Commission for People’s Petitions under the National Assembly Steering Committee in 2012, and the Centre for Research and Training of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front—VFF-CRT from 2013. The Real-Time Analytics has joined the PAPI Consortium since 2015 to provide technical platforms for PAPI data collection.

The project is supported by a high-profile National Advisory Board.

Who are members of the National Advisory Board?

Mr Jairo Acuna-Alfaro, Policy Advisor, Responsive and Accountable Institutions Team, Governance and Peacebuilding, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, United Nations Development Programme in New York

Mr Justin Baguley, Counsellor in Economic and Development Cooperation, the Embassy of Australia in Viet Nam

Mr Bùi Đặng Dũng, Vice Chairman, Committee on Finance and Budget, National Assembly, Member of the Kien Giang Provincial National Assembly Delegation

Mr Bùi Phương Đình, Director, Viet Nam Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

Mdm Cao Thị Hồng Vân, Former Director of the Centre for Women and Development, Central Committee of the Viet Nam Women’s Union

Mr Đinh Xuân Thảo, Former President, Institute of Legislative Studies, National Assembly Steering Committee

Mr Đỗ Duy Thường, Vice Chairman of the Advisory Board on Democracy and Law, Viet Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee

Mdm Akiko Fujii, Deputy Country Director, United Nations Development Programme in Viet Nam

Mr Hồ Ngọc Hải, Vice-chairperson of the Advisory Council for Science, Education and Environment of the Advisory Board, Viet Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee

Ms Hoàng Vân Anh, Director of the Legal Department, Land Administration Agency of Viet Nam, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

Mr Hoàng Xuân Hoà, Director of General Economic Affairs, Central Commission of Economic Affairs, Viet Nam Communist Party

Mr Lê Văn Lân, Former Vice Chairman, North-western Region Steering Committee

Mr Nguyễn Đình Cung, President of the Central Commission for Economic Management

Mr Nguyễn Sĩ Dũng, Former Vice Chairperson of the Office of the National Assembly

Mdm Nguyễn Thuý Anh, Division Head, Communist Party Magazine, Central Party Committee, Viet Nam Communist Party

Mr Nguyễn Văn Quyền, President of the Viet Nam Lawyers Association

Ms Nuala O’Brien, Deputy Head of Mission, the Embassy of Ireland to Viet Nam

Mdm Phạm Chi Lan, Senior Economist and former Vice President, Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Mr Phạm Duy Nghĩa, Lecturer, Fulbright Economics Teaching Programme, University of Economics, Ho Chi Minh City

Mr Phạm Văn Tân, Vice President and General Secretary, Viet Nam Union of Science and Technology

Mr Thang Văn Phúc, (Advisory Board lead), former Vice Minister of Home Affairs, President of the Viet Nam Institute of Development Studies

Ms. Trần Thị Quốc Khánh, Standing Member of the National Assembly’s Committee for Science, Technology and Environment

Note: The list is in alphabetical order by family name.

What is measured by PAPI?

PAPI examines provincial performance in governance and public administration from six dimensions, including: (i) Participation at Local Levels; (ii) Transparency; (iii) Vertical Accountability; (iv) Control of Corruption in the Public Sector; (v) Public Administrative Procedures, and (vi) Public Service Delivery.

Table 1 provides a snapshot of the main areas of performance under assessment for each dimension as well a sample of questions asked. While the dimensions are presented separately for ease of assessment, they are both mutually inclusive and complementary. In 2016, a few indicators have been revised and/or added to meet the new demand for governance measurement. Changes are detailed in the 2016 PAPI Report.


Table 1. Composition of PAPI: 6 Dimensions, 22 Sub-dimensions and About 100 Indicators

Dimensions Sub-Dimensions Component Indicators
Participation at Local Levels
(updated in 2016)
Civic Knowledge
  • Knowledge of Positions that Are Elected (%)
  • Correct Term Limit for Village Heads and National Assembly Delegates (%)
Opportunities for Participation


  • Voted in Last Commune People’s Council Election (%)
  • Voted in Last National Assembly Election (%)
  • Village Chief Elected (%)
  • Participated in Election (%)
Quality of Elections
  • More than 1 Candidate (%)
  • Invited to Participate (%)
  • Paper Ballot was Used (%)
  • Votes Counted Publicly (%)
  • Candidate was Suggested (%)
  • Respondent Voted for Winner (%)
Voluntary Contributions
  • Voluntary Contribution to Project   (%)
  • Community Monitoring Board Monitors Contribution (%)
  • Voluntary Contribution Recorded (%)
  • Participated in Decision Making to Start Project (%)
  • Provided input to Design (%)
Transparency in Local Decision-making List of Poor Households


  • Poverty List Published in Last 12 Months
  • Type 1 Errors on Poverty List (% Agree)
  • Type 2 Errors on Poverty List (% Agree)
Commune’s Budgets


  • Communal Budget is Made Available (%)
  • Respondent Read Communal Budget (%)
  • Believe in Accuracy of Budget (%)
Land Use Plans and Land Price Frames
  • Aware of Communal Land Plans (%)
  • Comment on Communal Land Plans (%)
  • Land Plan Acknowledges Your Concerns (%)
  • Impact of Land Plan on Your Families (1=No impact, 2=Negative; 3=Beneficial)
  • Did Not Lose Land as a Result of Land Plan (%)
  • Compensation Close to Market Value (%)
  • Informed of Land Usage (%)
  • Land used for Original Purpose (%)
  • Know Where to Go to Get Land (%)
Vertical Accountability
(updated in 2016)
Interactions with Local Authorities


  • Contacted Village Head (%)
  • Contacted Commune PCOM (%)
  • Contact w/Village Head Successful (%)
  • Contact w/Commune Successful (%)
  • Made a Proposal to Authorities (%)
  • Proposal Successful (%)
Responses to Citizens’ Actions


  • Made a Proposal to Authorities (%)
  • Proposal Successful (%)
  • Lodge a Complaint (%)
  • Complaint Successful (%)
  • Denounce Agency (%)
  • Denunciation Successful (%)
  • Signed Petition with Others (%)
  • Petition Successful (%)
People’s Inspections Boards
  • Village has a PIB (%)
  • PIB Effective (%)
Control of Corruption  in the Public Sector Limits on Public Sector Corruption


  • No Diverting of Public Funds (%)
  • No Bribes for Land Title (%)
  • No Kickbacks on Construction (%)
  • Land Bribe Frequency (%)
  • Cost of Land Bribe (VND)
Limits on Corruption in Public Service Delivery


  • No Bribes at Hospital (%)
  • No Bribes for Teachers’ Favouritism (%)
  • Hospital Bribe Frequency (%)
  • Cost of Hospital Bribe VND
  • Education Bribe Cost VND
Equity in Public Employment


  • No Bribes for State Employment (%)
  • Total No Relationship
Willingness to Fight Corruption
  • Corruption had No Effect on Respondent (%)
  • Know Anti-Corruption Law (%)
  • Province Serious about Combating Corruption (%)
  • Denunciation Price ‘000s VND (Imputed)
  • Victim Denounced Bribe Request (%)
Public Administrative Procedures
(updated in 2016)
Certification Procedures
  • Applied for Certificate (%)
  • Total Quality of Certification Procedures (4 criteria)
Procedures for Construction Permits
  • Applied for Construction Permit (%)
  • Did Not Use Many Windows for Construction Permit
  • Received Construction Permit (%)
  • Total Quality of Construction Procedures (4 criteria)
Procedures for Land Use Rights Certificates
  • Took Part in Land Procedures (%)
  • Did Not Use Many Windows for Land (%)
  • Received Land Title (%)
  • Total Quality of Land Procedures (4 criteria)
Procedures Processed at Commune Level
  • Took Part in Personal Administrative Procedures
  • Total Quality of Personal Procedures (4 criteria)
  • Did Not Use Many Windows for Personal Procedures (%)
Public Service Delivery Public Health Care
  • Share with Health Insurance
  • Quality of Health Insurance (4 pt scale)
  • Quality of Free Medical Care for Children (1=very poor; 5=very good)
  • Poor Households are Subsidized (%)
  • Checks for Children are Free (%)
  • Total Hospital Quality (10 criteria)
Public Primary Schools


  • Kilometer Walk to School (Median)
  • Minutes to School (Median)
  • Rating of Primary School (1=very poor; 5=very good)
  • Total School Quality (9 criteria)


  • Houses with Electricity (%)
  • Quality of Road (1=All Dirt; 4=All Asphalt)
  • Frequency of Garbage Pick-up (0=None; 4=Everyday)
  • Share Drinking Tap Water (%) (5=Shared tap water; 6=Tap water to home)
  • Share Drinking Rain Water (%) (1=Rain water; 2=River/stream/lake water)
Law and Order
  • How Safe is Your Locality (0=Very unsafe; 3=Very safe)
  • Change in Safety Over 3 Years
  • Rate of Victims of Crimes (%)


How were the 30 provinces selected in PAPI 2010?

Covering roughly half the province’s number of the country, the 2010 study offered a rare opportunity to observe the effect of transparency brought by the index and its efficiency as a tool for policy making, by comparing the results of the participating provinces (the treatment group) to the provinces which don’t (the control group). The method Propensity Score Matching was deployed to establish these two groups, identifying for each province in the treatment group a twin province in the control group, which is similar to it in factors with potential influence on governance and public administration, such as wealth, population size, urbanization, structure of the economy, etc. (For more detailed information see Chapter 3 of the Report on the Documents and Data page)

How are respondents selected in PAPI?

PAPI classifies provinces of Vietnam into three groups: large (Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City) with population over 5 millions, medium (Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, An Giang and Tien Giang) with population between 2 and 5 millions, and small (57 remaining provinces) with population under 2 millions.

To ensure comparability across all provinces, the capital district of each province is forced into the selection. Additionally, two other districts (5 in medium and large provinces) were selected based on the PPS method (proportion to measures of size). In turn, in each of these selected districts, the commune being district’s administrative seat was purposely included in the sample, along with another commune selected using PPS.

At the village level, the village being commune’s seat was purposely selected, together with another village identified using PPS. This sampling design ensured a full range of possible geographical and socio-economic situations, from dense urban residential areas in the proximity of provincial institutions to remote villages. Thank to the use of PPS, units with significantly different sizes had the same probability of being included into the sample.

In each of the identified villages, 20 citizens of age between 18 and 70, with another 10 for replacement (30 and 15 respectively for large provinces) were randomly selected with the target to reach a quota of 16 respondents (24 for large provinces). Again, random selection ensured that each person in the given age bracket had the same probability of being selected into the survey.

(For more detailed information see PAPI reports)

Is the sample representative?

Comparison of the distribution of key demographic variables between PAPI sample (after applying the post-stratification weights) and available data from the 2009 Census shows with reasonable confidence that the survey is representative of the underlying population and that design effects are small enough to all meaningful comparisons across groups and provinces.

(For more detailed information see Appendices of each PAPI Reports)

What are the commonalities and differences between PAPI and PCI?

The following table provides a comparative perspective that highlights the similarities in terms of methodology and differences in terms of underlined population between PAPI and the Provincial Competitiveness Index.

Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index Provincial Competitiveness Index
Objective PAPI and PCI both assess provincial governments based on their performance in terms of governance and public administration to facilitate healthy competition among provinces
Respondents ·         About 14,000 citizens every year ·         About 10,000 businesses every year
Form of survey ·         Field-trip surveys, face-to-face interviews ·         Mail-out surveys and phone surveys
Scope of survey ·         63 provinces annually since 2011 ·         63 provinces annually since 2006
Implementing Agencies ·         Centre for Community Support Development Studies (CECODES)

·         Viet Nam Fatherland Front (VFF)

·         United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

·         Real-Time Analytics (RTA)

·         Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)

·         United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Construction of the Composite Index ·         Similar general methodology of sub-national indexing, facilitating comparisons between the relative priorities of governance for Vietnamese citizens and businesses

·         Similar index construction and scaling

·         Three steps in index construction: Collection, Construction and Calibration

·         Survey data only ·         Combines survey with hard-data
·         6 Dimensions

·         22 Sub-Dimensions

·         More than 90 Indicators

·         10 sub-indices

·         128 indicators

Dimensions 1.      Participation at Local Levels

2.      Transparency in Local Decision-making

3.      Vertical Accountability

4.      Control of Corruption in the Public Sector

5.      Public Administrative Procedures

6.      Public Service Delivery

1. Entry Costs

2. Land Access and Tenure Security

3. Transparency

4. Time Costs of Regulatory Compliance

5. Informal Charges

6. Policy Bias

7. Proactive Leadership

8. Business Support Service

9. Labour training

10. Law & Order

* Infrastructure (not included in the PCI index)

How can I access PAPI results?

Browse Library for standards reports, presentations and papers related to PAPI.

Create customised reports for individual provinces and by measures by using INDEX or clicking Index Generator.

How can I get access to the core dataset?

The key aggregate data at the dimension and sub-dimension levels can be downloaded in MS Excel and CSV formats, under Documents and Data.

The full dataset is available in STATA format upon request. We are interested in the promotion and development of external research and approach using PAPI data. In exchange, we would like to have the choice to re-post analytical papers on our website under the section Documents and Data.

For further information, please contact us.