Under the project “Citizens Monitoring Land Governance in Vietnam”, The Consultative Institute for Socio-Economic Development of Rural and Mountainous Areas – CISDOMA was responsible for compiling and publishing “The Handbook on Citizens Monitoring Land Use and Governance”. The handbook provides guidelines on methodologies and processes with which citizens could monitor, collect information on, and conduct evaluation of the performance of state authorities as prescribed by law. As a result, citizens could provide recommendation and feedback for state agencies to timely adjust to current legal regulations.
Vietnam has been undergoing sectoral restructuring with significant changes in production scale and modes. Along with this process, urbanization and industrialization thrive, requiring changes in land use purposes and land rights redistribution across the nation. This trend has led to considerable fluctuations in land use planning and land use rights conversion over the past two decades.
In fact, over the past few years, there have been many problems caused by land-use conflicts. Most of these problems arising from citizen’s dissatisfaction with land compensation which stems from limited access to information and lack of proper consultation and communication.
The Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam stipulates that citizens have the right to participate in state and social management. In the field of land management and use, the 2013 Land Law also states that “Citizens have the right to supervise and report on wrongdoings and violations in the land management and use by themselves or through representative organizations”.
The supervision of land management and use by citizens is significant because it communicates citizens’ opinions to state authorities, thereby reducing negative effects and risk of land-use conflicts when land projects are implemented. However, under an incomplete legal system, the supervision of land by citizens remains limited, in part because citizens, and even government employees in land-related agencies, have not fully understood how citizens enforce their land supervision rights.
As part of the project “Citizens Monitoring Land Governance in Vietnam”, The Consultative Institute for Socio-Economic Development of Rural and Mountainous Areas (CISDOMA) was responsible for compiling and publishing “The Handbook on Citizens Monitoring Land Use and Governance”. The handbook is used for offering guidelines on methodologies and processes with which citizens could monitor, collect information on and evaluate the performance of public authorities as prescribed by law.
The A5-size, 350-page handbook consists of nine chapters as follows:
- Chapter one: Rights – Responsibilities – Contents and Methods in supervision
- Chapter two: Essential supervision know-how and skills
- Chapter three: Supervision of formulation, adjustment, publication, and implementation of land use plan
- Chapter four: Supervision of land allocation, land lease, permission to change land use purposes
- Chapter five: Supervision of land recovery, compensation, support, and resettlement
- Chapter six: Supervision of land registration and land-attached assets, and issuance of Land Use Rights Certificate, ownership of houses and other land-attached assets
- Chapter seven: Supervision of collection of, exemption from, or reduction of land use levy; supervision of land rental and land-related taxes; and supervision of land valuation
- Chapter eight: Supervision land-related administrative procedures involving the rights and obligations of land users.
- Chapter nine: Supervision of fulfilling some obligations of land users.
The handbook was compiled by land experts. Beneficiaries of the handbook consist of concerned citizens and socio-political organizations who want to help their members to exercise their land supervision rights. In addition, the handbook can be used as a source of reference for state authorities involving in land management, particularly at local level.
The project “Citizens monitoring land governance in Vietnam” is supported by Mekong Region Land Governance (MRLG) program with funding from Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and is coordinated by Land Equity International and GRET. The project is co-conducted by Oxfam, Land Alliance (LANDA), and Forest Land Coalition (FORLAND).