Consultant on GVN Approval Process – Lessons Learned & Recommendations

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Subject: Scoping /SoW
Act: 41.07 – GVN Approval Process – Lessons Learned & Recommendations


USAID Vietnam Activities have been seeking Government of Vietnam (GVN) approvals with various degrees of success, in some cases resulting in implementation delays. Depending on technical areas of implementation and perhaps other factors, the process has remained overall unpredictable with limited cleared shared lessons learned on best and most effective practices. A new decree is also expected to be released soon modifying official requirements and procedures to obtain government approval.


In light of this context, USAID Vietnam wishes to conduct a study resulting in the following:

  • An analysis of the new ODA decree – once issued or made accessible – identifying the following key changes and their context within a succession of past government decrees;
  • Clear and detailed outline of the procedural implications for USAID-funded Activities seeking future government approval processes (including during the transition period);
  • Practical recommendations drawn from recent lessons learned, expected to still apply under the new decree. Lessons learned should be drawn from pertinent examples of approval processes having proven most effective (or ineffective) in gaining timely project approval.

Optional (if easily identified within the above scope/LoE) – TBC

  • Recommendations associated with securing VAT reimbursement following GVN approval.

Anticipated timeline

Assignment to start upon the issue of the new GVN ODA Decree in 2020.


Data for this study will be collected and analyzed through the following sources:

Document Review

  • New Government decree and relevant past government decree related to ODA project approvals
  • Project Approval documents and other supporting documents
  • Document review of any other relevant background document

Key Informant Interviews (KIIs):

  • Individual Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with selected USAID A/CoRs
  • Individual KIIs with selected IPs
  • KIIs with a few select government representatives
  • KIIs with donor representatives, e.g., EU, CIDA… (if time allows)

Note: Key informants should be selected in coordination with USAID based on the following factors: type of awards, complexity of technical areas – multiple partners, level of GVN engagement, Design process (with/without co-creation/consultant with local stakeholders), etc.

Activities, deliverables & timelines – See detailed deliverable table with lag times between each

The study to start once the new decree is issued. The submission dates of the following deliverables will thereby depend on the actual release date of the new decree with the following expected delays between each:

  • Kickoff meeting with USAID
  • Check-in meeting with USAID/PDO
  • Validation event (*)
  • Out-Brief meeting with USAID
  • Draft 1 for USAID comments
  • Final Report

Consultant(s) Required Qualifications

  • Demonstrated familiarity with the regulations of the GVN in general;
  • Demonstrated familiarity with GVN project approval of donor-funded Technical Assistance (non-refundable) projects in particular;
  • Experience coordinating initiatives across multiple GVN ministries and achieving sustainable results through the coordination between various ministries;
  • Fluency in Vietnamese and in-depth knowledge of the operating environment in Vietnam;
  • Experience working with USAID-funded projects highly desirable;
  • Understanding of USAID procurement and reporting rules and regulations desired;
  • Excellent analytical skills is required;
  • High level of fluence in English and excellent English writing are required.


  • Timelines / Actual start date – Since the start date of this assignment will be predicated by the release date of the new government decree, Learns may not be able to guarantee the immediate availability of the consultant when the decree is actually released, depending on the availability of the most qualified consultant(s) at the time.
  • Consultant(s) – This assignment will likely be carried out by one consultant, but an added team member may be considered if not all required complementary skills and experience listed above can be found in one individual.
  • Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) – The actual number of KIIs and selection of informants should be confirmed in consultation with USAID at the start of the assignment based on a variety of factors including the following factors: type of awards, complexity of technical areas – multiple partners, level of GVN engagement, Design process (with/without co-creation/consultant with local stakeholders), etc.

(*) Validation event – Learns strongly recommends that a validation event be held (with the technical support of the Learns team) to ensure the analysis of/recommendations related to the new legislation is validated by actors who have experience in how to navigate GVN systems and achieved intended results. At the time of the kickoff meeting, the format of the event will be confirmed, including whether it should be conducted remotely (or partially remotely) due to ongoing COVID-19 related concerns.


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