During 2 days from 8th June to 9th June, 2017, the second Civil society seminar took place in the Hanoi Club Hotel with the numerous participation of individuals and organizations interested in Vietnam’s development philosophy. This seminar “Development philosophy: Lessons of the past and orientation to the future of Vietnam” was organised to discuss development philosophy for Vietnam and the importance of civil society organizations in the progress of building our development strategies.
The seminar was organized by 6 civil society networks: The People’s Participation Working Group (PPWG), Ethnic Minorities Working Group (EMWG), Human Rights Space (HRS), The Working Group for Public Administration Reform (GPAR), the Gender and Community Development Network (GENCOMNET) and Partnership for Action in Health Equity (PAHE).
After 30 years of Economic Reform, Vietnam had enough experience to draw lessons and adjust the development philosophy. This planning progress is essential because whether a country succeeds or not depends on its development philosophy to build its political institution and development policies, and Vietnam is no exception. Vietnam’s success and failure, our country’s opportunities and challenges are the results of Vietnam’s choices in the past.
On 8thJune, 2017, the seminar analyzed and discussed Vietnam’s development philosophy in the past and summarized lessons we learned. The main session discussed Vietnam’s development philosophy that was used in the Doi Moi (Renewal) Policy. The expert panels session had the participation of Mr. Tran Tien Duc (co-ordinator of PAHE); Dr. Nguyen Duc Thanh (director of Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research) and Assoc Prof. Pham Quynh Huong (Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences). In this session, experts and participants of the seminar made comments about political institution in Vietnam and the importance of civil society space in the development progress.
In the afternoon of that day, there were two parallel sessions which were Development philosophy in culture, society and political institution facilitated by Dr. Andrew Wells-Dang and Development philosophy in environmental and ecological protection facilitated by Master. Le Quang Binh representatively. The first session discussed the importance of the values of freedom, equality and dignity in building society from culture to political institution. The second session provided perspectives on environmental equality and justice, issues in environmental management and the participation of citizens in solving environmental issues.
On 9thJune, the seminar made some suggestions about development philosophy for Vietnam in the future. In the second day of the seminar, experts and participants also discussed some major issues such as the importance of the government, market and civil society in promoting political institution revolution. The expert panels session had the participation of Dr. Dang Hoang Giang (Vice Director of CECODES center); Dr. Andrew Wells-Dang (Senior Governance Advisor at Oxfam in Vietnam); Master. Le Quang Binh (President of The People’s Participation Working Group – PPWG); Economist Pham Chi Lan and Dr. Nguyen Duc Thanh (Director of Vietnam Institute for Economic and Policy Research – VEPR). These experts gave critical comments about development situation in Vietnam and made suggestions about development philosophy for Vietnam in the future.