Volume 6(2019)

PAGE 22/26

Policy effectiveness

Around 82.4 per cent of the surveyed households indicate that the health insurance policy has been the most effective. Local authority officials also highly appreciate this policy, based on interviews with them for the research. In addition to free health insurance, poor households receive allowances for hospital stays. The amount of allowance depends on each local authority’s budget, which depends on its mobilization of donations from enterprises. The health insurance policy also benefits the near-poor households who are entitled to support for 70 per cent support of the health insurance fee. Certain types of medicine not specified in the insurance list can be available for free to poor households when certified by the local authorities.

Local poverty-reduction officials consider the policies on health, education, housing, credit and social welfare as the more typical policies implemented. The low-interest credit programme receives relatively high appreciation from officials who were interviewed (at 47.5 per cent). The programme, coordinated by the Bank of Social Policy, the Ward People Committee and credit groups, consists of many types of projects, such as job creation and education through various channels like the Vietnam Women’s Association and the Youth Union. Although most borrowers return the loans, a few do not due to a sudden accident or other reasons, including gambling debts. Migrants are not eligible for the credit programme because they do not have any assets for collateral or they lack the permanent residence registration.

According to the survey findings, the policies on vocational training, employment and housing are perceived as having an “average” effectiveness (respectively, 38.6 per cent, 42.7 per cent and 36 per cent). Annually, around 20 courses are offered in each ward, which cover training on agriculture and non-agriculture production, such as IT, husbandry, cooking, cosmetology and veterinary skills. These courses are organized for all people in need of jobs, including people with little income. The vocational training policy is characterized by interviewed officials as not effective because the courses do not meet their needs and expectations. Many people who are old or disadvantaged cannot participate in the courses, and some participants cannot find jobs for which they could use the newly acquired skills.

Most local authorities provide poor households with funds for repairing their house or building a new house. These funds are mobilized from enterprises operating in their locality that donate to the programme. Some very poor households are fully funded for their house repairs. Households consider as near poor can borrow money from the Poverty Fund. Very poor households are entitled to a new scheme called Compassion Houses (Nhà Tình Thương), which provide them housing for free. The programme of loans for social and low-income housing is hard to implement because few people with little income can afford the loans.

Figure 13: Effectiveness of policies