A study on knowledge, information and economic policymaking in Vietnam

January 2012 to July 2012

The aim of this study is to improve AusAID’s and DFID’s understanding of the context within which the Beyond World Trade Organisation (BWTO) programme in Vietnam is operating and help them work in ways that will improve the effectiveness of their support to this and future programmes.

The BWTO, established in 2007, aims to strengthen the Vietnamese government’s capacity to manage its international economic relations as well as its transition to a market economy. The programme, now in its second phase, focuses on two key areas: strengthening the institutions of the market economy and addressing social and economic challenges of integration for the rural sector. It looks to do this by supporting key frontline ministries, the Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and some provincial authorities with policy development processes through activities such as the production of knowledge (research, analysis and consultation), legislative drafting and capacity development.  

This study uses the rigorous, practical framework provided by the Knowledge, Policy and Power book and accompanying background notes on how and why to look at how policies are shaped and what role knowledge plays within the programme context.

Drawing on the framework, the study aims to answer four overarching questions:

  • How does the political context condition the policymaking process, the behaviour of different actors involved in it and the search for knowledge?

  • Who is involved in policymaking and knowledge generation and use? How do these actors interact and what role does knowledge play in this process?

  • What types of knowledge do different actors rely on and why? From where do they source this knowledge?

  • Bearing in mind an understanding of these dynamics, what innovative ways of working could be used to mediate the knowledge-policy interface?