INGO Forum Meeting 2014 - May

INGO Forum Meeting
23 May 2014, 14:00–16:30

Documents mentioned at the meeting:

Meeting minutes


Save the Children Conference Room
Trung Tu Diplomatic Compound, 6 Dang Van Ngu, Dong Da


Mr Marko Lovrekovic, VUFO-NGO Resource Centre Managing Co-Director
Mr Phan Anh Son, Director General, People's Aid Coordinating Committee


  1. Update on activities and news from the VUFO-NGO Resource Centre (Marko Lovrekovic, Managing Co-Director)
  2. Update on activities and news from People's Aid Coordinating Committee (PACCOM) (Mr Phan Anh Son, Director General)
  3. Presentation on a new format of Vietnam Development Partnership Forum (Ms Hoang Phuong Thao, Country Director, ActionAid Vietnam)
  4. Presentation on VNGO Platform for Vietnam Development Partnership Forum (Ms Le Kim Dung, Associate Country Director, Oxfam Vietnam)

1. Update on Activities and News from the VUFO-NGO Resource Centre (Mr Marko Lovrekovic, Managing Co-Director)

Last year was the busiest year for the VUFO-NGO Resource Centre (NGORC) in six years that I have been Managing Co-Director. In addition to our regular work, we were heavily involved in several other new activities:

  • Consultative Group -the highest-level policy dialogue with INGOs’ presence since 1994- changed its structure and the name to Vietnam Development Partnership Forum;
  • INGO reps to VDPF engaged VNGOs to get an official seat at VDPF;
  • NGORC had to move its office after having operated for over a decade in La Thanh Hotel;
  • Our team was the key partner to VUFO-PACCOM in organising once-in-a-decade conference.

Membership 2013-2014

Currently (22 May 2014) the VUFO-NGO Resource Centre has 105 member INGOs.

During the last 16 and a half months 12 memberships ended, 10 of which because of the closure of INGOs’ missions in Vietnam, and 2 because of significant downsizing:

  • Atlantic Philanthropies
  • Oxfam Quebec
  • Oxfam Belgium
  • Rutgers WPF
  • A Child's Right
  • BirdLife
  • Population Council
  • CHF
  • CAD
  • Humpty Dumpty Institute
  • English Language Institute

Since January 2013 ten organisations joined our memberships, seven for the first time:

  • Agricultural Development Denmark Asia (ADDA)
  • Agence de Medecine Preventive (AMP)
  • Football for All in Vietnam
  • Passerelles Numeriques (Digital Gateways)
  • The Danish Society of Polio and Accident Victims
  • Veterans for Peace Chapter 160
  • VinaCapital Foundation

Three organisations re-joined us, after periods of break:

  • Allianz-Mission
  • DKT International
  • WWF Vietnam

In 2013 we collected $90,000 in membership fees and $14,000 from other sources (EMWG, Newsbrief), which made our total income $104,000 [all figures rounded]. Our expenses were $104,400, higher than usual due to office move and expansion of our server capacity in Hong Kong. In 2014 we collected $56,100 in fees from 67 members, with pending payments from 38 members.

Staff Changes 2013-2014

  • Elizabeth Bailes, our new Communications Adviser / AVI volunteer, joined us in September 2013. Arthur Hanlon, her predecessor, left for Australia in October 2013. We also bid farewell to Rakesh Ambati (Arky), our IT Advisor who volunteered 3 years for NGORC, but we were lucky to find a new IT expert Nguyen Ha Duong from Hanoi who joined us in mid-March.
  • Our main partners at PACCOM experienced some changes in 2013, including new staff and restructuring. We had an opportunity to get to work more closely with many of them and get to know them better. I would only single out the most important person on their team Mr Phan Anh Son, Director General, who joined PACCOM last summers and started a very positively intense relationship with the whole NGORC team from the day one.
  • New country directors: Thuy Huong MSH, Ton MCNV, Gunnar SC, Claudia CARE, Howard WC, Gary FHI, Snigdha CRS, Nicolas BATIK, Catherine HI, Kieu Anh KENAN, Major and Karen MCC, Eivind NCA, Bao PATHFINDER, Michael PTU, Michael TAF, Thu Anh WOOLCOCK.
  • Elections to several INGO coordinating bodies: Jonathon (Gus) NPA at SC; Hang MSI and Filip ADRA at VDPF, Gary FHI at CCM-GFATM, and Thao AAV at SC.

NGORC Working Groups and Information Sharing

A concise report of the Working Groups activities can be found here: INGO Partnerships for Development 2013.

Some new initiatives:

  • Southern Climate Change Working Group led by CARE, SNV, ARC, Oxfam, WinRock, WWF
  • Preliminary talks for revival of Microfinance Working Group, led by MCNV
  • Sub-group on Gender under INGO-HCMC Discussion Group
  • New mailing list created for central Vietnam with 83 subscribers and growing

Regular distribution of electronic newsletters continues twice a month, moderation of 29 mailing lists with over 15,000 subscribers, weekly dissemination of news-briefs (press-clippings service) and regular updates of our website. We did not conduct a salary survey since 2012, but we provided data – with INGOs’ consent – to GIZ who are preparing a comprehensive survey that will cover non-profits, Vietnamese businesses and development agencies and share the final results with us.

Meetings and Conferences

  • PACCOM Annual Meetings in February 2013 and December 2013

  • HCMC-INGO Discussion Group Annual Meeting in April 2013

  • PACCOM Information Dissemination Meetings in Hanoi and HCMC in 2013

  • Emergency meeting of DMWG with PACCOM (Lao Cai flooding) in September 2013

  • 3rd International Conference on INGOs Partnership with Vietnam 28-29 November 2013

  • INGO directors’ delegation, PACCOM and Deputy PM / Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh

  • Vietnam Development Partnership Form 5 December 2013

  • Aid Effectiveness Forums, Anti-Corruption Dialogue, Health Partnership Group

  • Meetings with MPI, MOFA, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, CEMA

  • Meetings with the World Bank, EU, UNDP, USAID and other Development Agencies

Q&A Session
Q Is there a financial report available to members?
A The financial report is delivered to Steering Committee members rather than published; as such it might not be in an easy-to-understand format, however members are welcome to have access to it if they desire.
Comment – some members didn't understand that the News Brief fee was on top of the NGORC membership fee.
Comment – subscribed NGOs found the service very useful, especially in compiling quarterly reports that require a local current affairs component.
The News Brief service is provided by an external agency. It's not a cheap service – at the moment it has about 21 subscribers, so it pays for itself. If the NGORC lost any of those subscribers, it is likely the service would have to be cancelled.

INGO members wishing to receive the News Brief service should contact the NGO Resource Centre for more information.

Note: A statement of support on the East Sea (East China Sea) situation will be published on Monday. Statement of support on East Sea Situation

2. Presentation from Mr Phan Anh Son, Director General, People's Aid Coordinating Committee

Download the PACCOM presentation here - Powerpoint 368kb

Mr Son noted that Mr Hung is Co-Director of the VUFO VUFO-NGO Resource Centre, and as such it was usually his duty to address INGO Forums, but Mr Hung was currently away in the field.
Mr Son has had many meetings with the NGORC and Marko during 2014, but would like to make a commitment to meet every month and start to attend more working group meetings (this is why a large group of PACCOM staff and deputies attended the INGO forum).

On December 31st PACCOM held an annual meeting to present their plan for 2014.

  • There are 900+ INGOs in Vietnam (the number is around 971)
  • There are 560 INGOs with regular activities in Vietnam
  • INGOs are active in 63 (ie all) Vietnam provinces
  • 22 new INGOs in Vietnam from January 2014

On the conversion of permits to certificates:

  • 346 completed (36 for representative offices, 78 for project offices, 232 registrations for operations)
  • 172 not yet complete; of this
    - 88 did not respond to emails
    - 46 provided incomplete paperwork
    - 38 are being processed.
  • The conversions are late, it was hoped to have them finished by 2013, now PACCOM hopes to have processing finished by the first week in June

Framework Agreements have not yet been finished.

In the first half of 2014, VUFO and PACCOM:

  • supported many INGO visits to Vietnam – 536 guests involved with 199 missions.
  • Consulted on tax exception, stamps, visas, PIT.
  • Completed the toolkit to help INGOS with admin procedures

Mr Son said the toolkit was sent to INGO several months ago but asked anyone who needs the toolkit to request it from PACCOM (available in both Vietnamese and English).

The PACCOM toolkit is also available on the NGORC webpage here.

PACCOM has engaged in promotion of INGO Activities:

  • many trips to projects in local provinces
  • PACCOM works with COMINGO,  other government agencies and donors to share the priorities of INGOs, to show the macro picture of Vietnam to these stakeholders and explain that Vietnam still needs the support o foreign aid.
  • PACCOM has maintained information sharing, through meetings and NGORC – PACCOM will continue to support the NGORC as an effective conduit for information.
  • PACCOM also held thematic workshops on the Xayaburi hydropower dams, public health and social issues

Personnel changes at PACCOM:

  • Mr. Ho Xuan Son replaced Mr. Ha Kim Ngoc as Chairman of COMINGO (effective from 17th  March, 2014)
  • Ms. Tran Thi Thu Thuy: Chief of Representive Office of VUFO in Ho Chi Minh city
  • Mr. Nguyen Trung Dung: Deputy Director General of PACCOM (in charge of The European Desk)
  • Ms. Do Thi Kim Dung: Director of Asia Pacific Desk, PACCOM
  • Ms. Tran Thi Khanh Van: Deputy Director in charge of The European Desk.

Cooperation with Vietnamese Partners:

  • Ran workshops on Promoting Foreign Aid – Thach Hoa, Bac Giang, Hai Phong, Phu Tho.
  • Ran capacity building workshops for local agencies on NGO work and facilliatating foreign aid IN ?ak Lak, Lam Dong, Lai Chau, Hai Phong, Vinh Phuc and Bac Giang.
  • So far the volume of Aid was maintained ($302million)
  • Number of missions in Viet Nam was approximately equivalent as the first half of 2013.
  • Most prominent sectors: health, education, community development, social issues and response to climate change.

Plans for the second half of 2014

  • PACCOM planning a meeting to discuss what we should promote / how to mobilize funding.
  • Planning overseas trips to Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Japan, Taiwan and Korea. Will invite representatives from INGOs to join on these trips. Last time they visited many NGOs on the trips...this year, they will host one big group NGO meeting in each country, spend the rest of the time with donors and fundraising.

Also in 2014

  • Plan to finish processing all certificates
  • Monitoring and evaluation trips to provinces
  • 5 major overseas trips
  • capacity building training for administration staff, training in procedures (to be organised by end July/Aug)
  • training for program coordinators/project officers
  • training for communicators
  • Planning for meeting with VUSTA on cooperation between VNGOs and INGOs.

Thematic Workshops planned for second half of 2014, working with INGOs who have done research in each focus area:

  • Youth and their future
  • Think-tank in the US and some ASEAN countries: The case of VUFO
  • NGOs - Social Enterprises and Government
  • Foreign NGOs: Volunteer work in Viet Nam
  • Religion in philanthropic operation: The case of Viet Nam.
  • Foreign NGOs' activities in human rights promotion and protection in Viet Nam
  • Fund raising: The case of Foreign NGOs in Viet Nam
  • Role of Vietnamese NGOs' in promoting philanthropic culture in Viet Nam
  • Role of Vietnamese - American NGOs in socio - economic development in Viet Nam
  • Leardership skill development

Mr Son said PACCOM had a strong interest in the idea of philanthropic culture and promoting awareness raising, and was commited to keeping the flow of information sharing as much as possible.

3. Presentation on Vietnam Partnership Development Forum
Ms Hoang Phuong Thao Country Director, ActionAid Vietnam
INGO representative to Vietnam Development Partnership Forum

Thao noted it was a great pleasure to be elected to represent INGOs at VDPF.

A summary of the recent history of the Vietnam Partnership Development Forum (VDPF):

  • “VDPF” is an evolution of CG or Consultative Group meeting. It is the highest level policy dialogue, involving CSOs, business, government and the private sector. It became the VDPF after Vietnam's classification as a Middle Income Country.
  • VDPF 2013 was given the theme of “Establishing new partnerships towards competitive, inclusive and sustainable growth.”
  • The format is a comprehensive, one day meeting attended by the Prime Minister and all partners involved in technical or financial aid to Vietnam.
  • At this high level – ambassadors, academia, INGOS, international donors – INGOs deliver a three minute statement.
  • In 2013 there were two main topics: Private Sector Engagement in Public Dervices Delivery and Poverty reduction for Ethnic Minorities. There were also two thematic topics, Environment Protection and Vocational Training.

In the past, for the Consultative Group Meetings, the World Bank released agendas. Statements for the  meeting were finalised in advance. In 2012 it was recognised that the past CG approach, with no real discussion or followup, was not productive. MPI minister suggested a new format, VDPF secretariat meeting and supervising working groups.


4. Presentation on Vietnam Partnership Development Forum
Ms Le Kim Dung, Associate Country Director, Oxfam Vietnam
INGO representative to Vietnam Development Partnership Forum

VDPF in the future:

The intention now is not for VDPF to be one meeting, but a continuing proces, to evolve and follow up from the event to concrete policy. There is a commitment from government that there is a mechanism and that out of VDPF will come actionable policy issues, with a mechanism for reporting, so the meeting is an important chance to hear and report on issues.

Because of its complexity, Ethnic Minorities is divided into three sub-groups:

  • Policy and Process
  • Livelihood and Land (Law)
  • Basic Services (Education, Health, Sanitation).

There are very few INGOs and VNGOs are involved in the third sub-group. Ms Dung called for interest from INGOs or VNGOs to contrinute to the process.

Additional comments - Marko
There is a long process behind the three minutes that INGOs get at the table - Marko, Dung and Thao, as representatives for the INGO community, try to attend all meetings beforehand. INGO opinions are incorporated into important policy documents. We will discuss the best way to represent everyone's opinion and comments. We have a duty to represent INGOs at the table, the inclusion of our opinion is highly respected by donors.

On the partipation of VNGOs at VDPF (Ms Le Kim Dung):

This year, VNGOs had an official seat at the table for the first time. They read a 3 minute statement on development in Vietnam. This was strongly welcomed by the Prime Minister.

In the past, VNGOs were only observers at VDPF. Then in 2013 the PM approved an official position for VNGO representatives only a few days before the VDPF meeting. This is difficult because there is no umbrella organisation, so MPI requested the input of INGOs. The INGO community (through VUFO-NGO Resource Centre and VDPF representatives) suggested 7 local engaged and proactive VNGOs relevant to the VDPF themes.

A meeting was arranged to informa and discuss these selections with PACCOM, Fatherland Front and VUSTA.

These seven VNGOs involved gave a huge effort, and received great applause. Their statement is available in English here.

Additional Comments - Marko:
The problem for the NGORC is our mandate is INGOs. For VDPF 2014 we need to and let VNGOs prepare themselves, although they asked for our help and coordination. How might this be achieved? Maybe a VNGO Forum? In the meantime, the VDPF meetings for 2014 continue without proper VNGO representation.

Mr Son suggested that MPI hold an information session, as people don't know about VDPF. He said there are 600 organisations listed with VUSTA, so the process should start with VUSTA and MPI.

Q&A Session
Q Are Mass Organisations invited to VDPF?
A. Yes, as observers.

Q. Who were the 7 VNGOs?
Live and Learn, iSee, SRD, CODE, CDSM, WARECOD and GreenID.

(Meeting finished at 16.45)