The ‘misery’ of implementation: Governance, institutions and anti-corruption in Vietnam
in Tarling, N. (ed) Corruption and good governance in Asia, New York: Routledge, pp. 98-120.
Implementation of anti-corruption programs is plagued by a paradox: the very actors posited to be the source of the problem are those most critical to implementation success. This paper presents a framework for understanding the large gaps that exist between policy intentions and outcomes in anti-corruption programs. It applies this to ‘grassroots democratization’ as an anti-corruption initiative in Vietnam, a high-profile policy mandating greater transparency in local budget use and participation in decisionmaking. Local leaders in this case face weak incentives for implementation that stem from both poor policy design and local institutional environments. But as with many anti-corruption programs in adverse environments, potential exists for the initiative to
provide tools with which reform-minded leaders and social groups can challenge local governance practices in unanticipated ways.