Consultant to Study on Possible Impacts of Privatization Process on Access of the Poor to Public Services

1.  Introduction
Vietnam became the 150th member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in November 2006. This event marks a milestone for stiff competition, privatization, and more involvement of foreign agencies in the country’s market. WTO membership requires Vietnam to undertake amendments to its policies on public services to comply with WTO requirements. Commercialization and privatization of such essential public services as education and health would possibly be expanded and intensified. The society will be corporated to promote a profit-driven way of life.
The public health and public education systems in Vietnam have encountered problems in service quality, accountability, and availability of resources. Both systems are under pressure to adopt a general organizational reform of privatization. During the last few years, the government of Vietnam has been trying to improve the quality of public services by adopting “xa hoi hoa” strategy – a form of de-publicization and socialization of public services. “Xa hoi hoa” refers to a reduction of subsidy and withdrawal of government’s intervention through privatizing hospitals, schools as well as other basic services for the poor.
Under this context, there will be opportunities and potentially adverse impacts on access to public services for the poor. There are successes and failures of public policies on social protection /social safety nets; and many have been recorded or documented from public administration analysis perspectives. Several previous studies indicated that the privatization of public services has not translated into a higher level of quality but decreased access of the poor to these services. In addition, social welfare would be affected. Natural resources and knowledge would be monopolized and controlled more and more by private capital. If these probable effects are not explicitly considered and addressed, poor and excluded people in Vietnam may not benefit and may even be negatively affected.
Under the project “Working out a People’s Framework in Monitoring the Public Administrative Reform in Vietnam”, funded by the Embassy of Denmark, ActionAid Vietnam (AAV) plans to carry out a study on impacts of the privatization of public services to analyze the quality of services and its access by the poor. This is a research on comparative analysis on private and public services in relation to access of the poor followed by recommendations. A sharing workshop will be held at provincial and national levels. Based on findings of the research a set of policy messages would be developed to promote an advocacy campaign on issues of privatization of services.
This term of reference aims to establish initial objectives, scope of work, process, budget, and timing for the completion of the study.

2. The Study’s Objective and Scope of Work
- The overall objective of the study is to assess possible Impacts of Privatization Process on Access of the Poor to Public Services with focus on education and health sectors in Vietnam.
- Specifically, the study assesses the benefits and concerns of privatization of public services. It aims to identify how the values and missions of public services would be achieved under the shifting process to socialization and privatization.
- The study includes two major parts: (1) review relevant policies and regulatory framework of public sectors and privatization in Vietnam in relation to education and health; (2) reexamine the current situation of public services and access of the poor in comparison between public and private sectors, and analyze possible impacts of privatization of public services on access of the poor.
- The first part is to work on relevant legal and regulatory framework and policies on public services. This should include policy analysis and in-depth interviews with key personnel from Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Home Affairs.
- The second part is to assess the current situation of public and private hospitals and schools in the project areas: Ha Tinh, Dak Lak and Lai Chau. This is a follow-up process of the assessment of public services using report cards conducted in the foregoing provinces. During the study in the field and before finalizing the report, researchers will lead several workshops to share findings of the research with relevant stakeholders. This process can be seen as interventions to raise awareness of privatization impacts and advocacy at local level. - At the same time, a sub-study in Hanoi with the same objectives will be conducted by Centre for Cooperation Human Resources Development (C&D) to make a further comparative analysis between rural and urban settings.

3.  Management of the Process
Qualified external consultants will be recruited to conduct the research and facilitate discussions at seminars and workshops being held during the process. Consultants will take full responsibility for writing up the report.
The study is part of a funded project; therefore, it will have to comply with the donor’s agreement and aim to achieve the overall objective of the project. AAV thematic and governance manager, governance officer, project coordinator and project team are responsible for developing the guidelines, working with consultants to agree upon the objectives and process, and facilitate the research process. They will consult with the donor if there is any amendment made to the approved project.
Upon finalizing the TOR, a research team will be formed to work out a detailed research plan so that arrangement would be made accordingly. It is recommended that members of civil society partners should actively participate as team members during the research.

4. Timing
It is expected that the process begin in November 2009 over a period of two months.
The selected consultants are expected to submit the final report by the first week of December.

5. Contact person
Interested consultants are requested to submit their proposals by 30th October 2009, to:
Ta Van Tuan
Project Coordinator – Public Administration Reform Initiative
ActionAid Vietnam
14 – 16 Ham Long st., Hanoi
Tel: 04 – 39439866 (ext.130)
Email: [email protected]
Nguyen Thuy Ha
Project Officer – Public Administration Reform Initiative
ActionAid Vietnam
14 – 16 Ham Long st., Hanoi
Tel: 04 – 39439866 (ext.132)
Email: [email protected]

Job Details
Organisation Name: 
Ha Noi
Application Deadline: 
Fri, 2009-10-30