In recent decades, Vietnam’s social protection system has grown, but remains imbalanced, with most benefits continuing to reach the better-off, rather than the majority of the population. Social Assistance in Vietnam: Review and Proposals for Reform provides an overview of Vietnam’s national social protection system. It was prepared by Development Pathways to support the Government of Vietnam as it developed its new “Masterplan for Social Assistance Reform”. It was financed by UNDP and was undertaken in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
The paper sets out the strengths and weaknesses of the current national social protection system and shows that, if Vietnam were to adopt a more inclusive lifecycle social protection system – at a cost, initially of no more than 1% of GDP – the reforms would have significant impacts on poverty and economic growth. This is an essential read for those interested in social protection in South-East Asia.