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For most people in Vietnam, living conditions have steadily improved since the doi moi reforms began in 1986. But inequalities continue to widen, especially between people living in rural and urban areas, and between majority and minority ethnic groups. And local people, especially if they come from a minority group, still have little say in how their communities are run. Although in theory some national policies promote bottom-up planning and decision making, in practice there is a long way to go until this happens on the ground. This case study – one of a series of Programme Insights on Local Governance and Community Action – looks at a project that was part of Oxfam’s Right to Be Heard programme. Based in Bac Ai district, it aimed to strengthen the participation of poor men and women from the Raglai ethnic minority in local government programmes and also to build skills among local government officials.

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