ILO-Irish Aid Inclusive Growth, Social Protection and Jobs Programme (Viet Nam Component)

Main partners
Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) (in particular Social Security Department (SSD) and Department of Social Assistance (DSA);
Viet Nam Social Security (VSS);
Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour;
Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Ultimate beneficiaries
All women and men resident in Viet Nam, with a focus on informally employed workers (and its associated groups such as employers at microenterprises), self-employed workers, non-wage workers, women, persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups.

Programme context

In May 2018, the Master Plan on Social Insurance Reforms (MPSIR) has been endorsed by the Central Party Committee. The MPSIR aims at a multi-tier social protection system, with universal coverage, and synchronization of social insurance and social assistance. One of the key contents of the reforms is the establishment of the goal of universal coverage through the use of a multi-tiered system, combining tax-funded with contributory benefits. Similarly, Decision 488/QD-TTg issuing the Master Plan of Social Assistance Reform (MPSAR) recognized social assistance a crucial and integral pillar of social security for Viet Nam. MPSAR's action plan also emphasizes the importance of strengthening governance and coordination of the existing social assistance and social insurance systems.

Apparently, the Government of Viet Nam is taking important steps to lay the bases for expanding social protection coverage to eventually cover all citizens across the lifecycle. There is a recognition that universal coverage requires strengthening protections for those who lack the ability to pay contributions through the establishment and reinforcement of a multi-tiered social security system.

Currently, Viet Nam's social protection benefits for families and children are fragmented, unequal and incomplete. The social assistance system offers only narrowly defined benefits for certain categories of families and children in need. At the same time, the social insurance system provides an unequal and incomplete selection of family-oriented benefits -- one that includes cash maternity/paternity benefits under the compulsory system but not under the voluntary system, and which lacks child or family benefits in either system. Not only do these systems fail to accommodate key lifecycle risks associated with family life, but they leave out millions of vulnerable families and children, particularly those in the 'missing middle'.

Programme overall objective

Purpose of the programme in Viet Nam will be to support the government, in particular MOLISA, to improve the linkage between the contributory and tax–funded systems, through assessments and dialogues to develop the SI and SA schemes, legal review toward an integrated multi-tiered system, capacity building of national constituents and communication strategies to increase the social protection coverage.

The programme aims at the objective of more people in Vietnam have access to adequate social protection benefits, delivered by a more efficient and effective system.

Programme immediate objectives

  • The Master Plan for Social Assistance Reform (2017-2025), Master Plan for Social Insurance Reform and their Action Plans (2018-2030) are implemented as parts of an integrated social protection system, in line with fiscal context
  • An adequate legal framework is in place reflecting MPSAR & MPSIR objectives, with special attention given to social assistance for older persons, pregnant women, children, emergency relief and social assistance services
  • The Social Insurance Law is reviewed and revised toward an improved legal framework of contributory social protection towards a better coverage, more adequate benefits and sustainability of the system;
  • Implementation of social protection programmes is more effective and efficient through improved administration, coordination and monitoring and evaluation

Main activities

  • Studies on expenditures and fiscal space for social protection to explore options for the development of social assistance programmes (multi-tiered child benefits, social pension); ensuring the inclusion of workers in the informal economy.
  • Evidence on adequacy and indexation of the benefits of social protection are produced and disseminated to support efforts to increase budget allocations for Social Protection.
  • Assessments, recommendations and dialogues for improving articulation between contributory and tax-funded systems, to ensure universal coverage at adequate level.
  • Communication strategy to ensure a better public understanding of social protection schemes are developed and submitted to the Government.
  • Programme design and road maps for implementation of new and improved social protection programmes are proposed and discussed in a national dialogue such as social protection strategy, short-terms benefit pilot programme, multi-tiered pension system, disaster-informed and shock-responsive social assistance.
  • Legal reviews are developed with inputs from the ILO and other UN agencies, paving the way for a rights based approach.
  • Capacities of national constituents are developed on key aspects of the implementation of social protection programmes.
  • Studies on the gender gaps in social protection outcomes, particularly pensions, arising from labour market inequalities and suboptimal regulations in social protection. Makes key recommendations for increasing adequacy and narrowing down gender gaps in coverage and benefits;
  • Analysis of impediments and recommendations for extending social protection coverage for missing middle, with focus on workers with informal jobs, workers in new forms of work

Contact information
André Gama
Programme Manager
ILO Country Office for Viet Nam
304 Kim Ma, Ngoc Khanh, Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Viet Nam
Tel: 0383102755