Approaching OGP in Vietnam – “Top Down” should be combined with “Bottom Up”

OGP advocacy needs a broad approach to reach various stakeholders. However, taking into account OGP’s special features, some experts recommend to primarily use a top-down approach combined with a bottom-up approach.

The top-down approach can be explained the direct or indirect influence on organs, organizations belonging to the superstructure of the Vietnamese political system (in other words “Central organs”). The top-down is considered as the prime approach because OGP is associated with policies on governance at macro level, decided by the competent central organs. Meanwhile, the bottom-up approach means influencing people and governments at local levels.

In a broad meaning, the bottom-up approach also means influencing stakeholders outside the political system, including NGOs, intellectuals, and the press. Although they cannot directly decide participation in OGP, influencing these stakeholders is significant, as it reinforces the momentum for such a participation.

This approach has proven to be suitable for some countries . However, it may be different from approaches used recently in Vietnam by some civil society organizations, for instance, the recent campaign for the rights of LGBT led by the Institute for Studies of Society, Economics and Environment (ISEE) used the bottom – up approach successfully.

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