International symposium discusses increased public participation in policy process

Thursday, 2018-11-08 14:02:41
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Vietnamese and Korean experts at the seminar share experiences of both countries in public-centered policy communication and initiatives to increase people's participation in the policy process.
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NDO – Increasing public engagement in the policy process is an important solution, not only to improve the effectiveness of policy communication, but also to strengthen the capacity of the people to receive, assess and respond to policies.

The suggestion was made during an international conference on public policy communication and public reception literacy, jointly held at the Office of the National Assembly (NA)’s headquarters in Hanoi, November 8, by the Academy of Journalism and Communication (AJC), the Dai Bieu Nhan Dan (The People's Representative) Newspaper and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

With the participation of leading Vietnamese and Korean experts in the fields of policy planning, communication and teaching, the workshop focused on discussing experiences of both countries in public-centered policy communication and initiatives, with aims to increase people's participation in the policy process, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of policy communication.

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Truong Ngoc Nam, Rector of the AJC, said that the central role of the public in the policy process demonstrates that the public is not only the direct beneficiary of the policies, but also an active participant in the policy making process, giving feedback on policy options and making impact assessment over policies.

To realise this goal, models and solutions are needed to receive and analyse public feedback, such as e-government models or other technology-applied communication models, Dr. Nam suggested.

Delegates at the workshop also discussed the conditions of receiving policy from the public, in which they stated that information transparency is a basic condition for people to exercise their "right to know"; only when the public have access to accurate and complete information, can they exercise "the right to discuss." One of the best examples of ensuring these rights, according to the experts, is the excellent communication at NA’s sessions, which has helped facilitate people in keeping track of key discussions at the sittings.

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Do Chi Nghia, Editor-in-Chief of the Dai Bieu Nhan Dan Newspaper, said that engaging the public in the policy process is an important solution to improve not only the effectiveness of policy communication, but also the capacity in receiving, evaluating and responding to public policies for people. This is an urgent requirement for ensuring their rights to access to information and for the accountability of policy-making agencies.

The workshop also highlighted the importance of improving public capacity in receiving information regarding the current technology and social communication explosion. In such context, it is an urgent need to secure information access equity among regions with different developing levels. On that basic, experts proposed that special attention should be paid to improving the conditions and capacity of local people in rural and mountainous areas for receiving information.

The seminar is part of a series of activities under a KOICA-sponsored project on supporting the AJC in strengthening public capacity in the Government’s policy enforcement.