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What is PAPI?

PAPI is the short acronym for the Viet Nam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI). It is a policy research that provides a dashboard metric with objective information from citizens’ experiences about the standards of governance, public administration and public service delivery at the provincial level.

Box 1 below provides an introduction to PAPI.


The Viet Nam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI) is a policy tool that monitors and measures the performance of governance and public administration (including public service delivery) of all 63 provinces in Viet Nam based on citizens’ experiences and perceptions


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 onwards: All 63 provinces, covering 207 districts, 414 communes, 828 villages divided in two types: certainty units and probability proportion to size random selection


Public surveys (face-to-face) of citizens’ experiences about governance and public administration performance in their localities (random selection)


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

  1. Participation at Local Levels
  2. Transparency
  3. Vertical Accountability
  4. Control of Corruption
  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)

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

Who are members of the National Advisory Board?

Mr. Bakhodir Burkhanov, Deputy Country Director (Programme), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 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, Vietnam Institute for Leadership and Public Policy, Ho Chi Minh National Politics Academy
Mdme. Cao Thị Hồng Vân, Head of Department of Economics, Central Committee of Women’s Union
Mr. Đào Trung Chính, Deputy Director General, Land Administration Agency of Vietnam, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE)
Mr. Đinh Duy Hòa, General Director of Public Administration Reform (PAR) Department, Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA)
Mr. Hà Công Long, Vice Chairman, Commission on People’s Petitions, The Standing Committee for the National Assembly
Mr. Hồ Ngọc Hải, Member of the Chairing Board, Viet Nam Fatherland Front Central Committee
Mr. Hoàng Hải, Editor-in-Chief, Viet Nam Fatherland Front Review Magazine, VFF Central Committee
Mr. Hoàng Xuân Hoà, Deputy Director, Committee for Economics, Office of the Central Party Committee, Communist Party of Viet Nam (CPV)
Mdm. Lê Thị Nga, Vice Chairwoman, Judicial Committee, National Assembly
Mr. Lê Văn Lân, Former Deputy Chairman, Office of the Steering Committee on Anti-Corruption (OSCAC)
Mdme. Nguyễn Thuý Anh, Division Head, Communist Party Magazine, Central Party Committee, Communist Party of Viet Nam (CPV)
Mr. Phạm Anh Tuấn, Deputy Chairman, Central Commission on Internal Affairs, Communist Party of Viet Nam (CPV)
Mdme. Phạm Chi Lan, Senior Economist and former Vice President, Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)
Mr. Phạm Duy Nghĩa, Lecturer, Fulbright Economics Teaching Programme, University of Economics, Ho Chi Minh City
Mr. Samuel Waelty, Country Director, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
Mr. Thang Văn Phúc, (Advisory Board lead) former Vice Minister, Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA); President, Viet Nam Institute of Development Studies (VIDS)
Mr. Trần Đức Lượng, Deputy Inspector General, Government Inspectorate
Mr. Trần Việt Hùng, Vice President, Viet Nam Union of Science and Technology Associations (VUSTA)
Note: The list is arranged in alphabetical order by family names.

What is measured by PAPI?

PAPI examines performance from six dimensions, including: (i) participation at local levels; (ii) transparency; (iii) vertical accountability; (iv) control of corruption; (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 asssessment, they are both mutually inclusive and complementary. (For more detailed information see the Document Library)

Table 1. Composition of PAPI: 6 Dimensions, 22 Sub-dimensions and 92 Indicators



Component Indicators

Participation at Local Level

Civic Knowledge

  • Knows Grassroots Democracy Ordinance (%)
  • Knows People Know, People Decide (%)
  • Correct Term Limit of 2.5 Years (%)

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 (%)

    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 (citizens monitoring)

          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 (%)

            People’s Inspections Boards


              • Village has a PIB (%)
              • PIB Selected by Vote (%)
              • PIB Effective (%)

              Community Investment Supervision Boards

                • Commune has a CISB (%)
                • CISB Effective (%)
                Control of corruption


                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

                        Certification Procedures

                          • Applied for Certificate (%)
                          • Total Quality of Certification Procedures (8 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 (8 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

                              Procedures Processed at Commune Level

                              • Took Part in Personal Administrative Procedures
                              • Total Quality of Personal Procedures (8 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 (%)
                                      Note: See Document Library for the PAPI Questionnaire.

                                      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 were the 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. Lastly, on 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 the report)

                                      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 Chapter 3 of the report)

                                      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.

                                      PAPI PCI
                                      Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index Provincial Competitiveness Index

                                      PAPI and PCI both assess provincial governments based on their performance in terms of governance and public administration to facilitate healthy competition among provinces

                                      • 13,500-14,000 citizens
                                      • 8,000-9,000 businesses

                                      Form of survey

                                      • Field-trip surveys, face-to-face interviews
                                      • Mail-out survey

                                      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)
                                      • Viet Nam National Competiveness Initiative (VNCi)
                                      • 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
                                      • 92 Indicators
                                      • 9 Sub-indices
                                      • 79 indicators
                                      1. Participation at Local Level
                                      2. Transparency
                                      3. Vertical Accountability
                                      4. Control of Corruption
                                      5. Public Administrative Procedures
                                      6. Public Service d\Delivery
                                      1. Transparency and Access to Information
                                      2. Pro-activity of Provincial Leadership
                                      3. Legal Institutions
                                      4. Informal Charges
                                      5. Time Costs of Regulatory Compliance
                                      6. Access to Land
                                      7. Business Support Service
                                      8. Entry Costs
                                      9. Labour training
                                      10. * Infrastructure (not included in index)

                                      How can I access PAPI results?

                                      Browse the Report Library for standards reports, presentations and papers related to PAPI. Create user-specific reports for individual provinces and measures using the feature "Create Report" on the website.

                                      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.

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