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Title: Challenges to institutionalizing strategic environmental assessment: The case of Vietnam

Building on new institutional theory, this paper develops an analytical framework for analyzing constraints to the institutionalization of strategic environmental assessment (SEA) at four different institutional levels. The framework is tested in an empirical analysis of the environmental assessment system in Vietnam, which is a frontrunner among developing countries regarding the introduction and use of SEA. Building on interviews with Vietnamese and international experts, as well as an extensive literature review, we identify institutional constraints which challenge the effective use of SEA in Vietnam. We conclude that commonly identified constraints, such as inadequate training, technical guidelines, baseline data and financial resources, are strongly linked to constraints at higher institutional levels, such as incentives to not share information between ministries and severe restrictions on access to information and public participation. Without a thorough understanding of these institutional constraints, there is a risk that attempts to improve the use of SEA are misdirected. Thus, a careful institutional analysis should guide efforts to introduce and improve the use of SEA in Vietnam and other developing countries. The analytical framework for analyzing constraints to institutionalization of SEA presented in this paper represents a systematic effort in this direction. - Highlights: • A framework formore » analyzing constraints to institutionalizing SEA is developed • Empirical analysis of the strategic environmental assessment system in Vietnam • Constraints in the action arena linked to deeper institutional constraints • Institutional analysis needed prior to introducing SEA in developing countries.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, S-405 30 Gothenburg (Sweden)
  2. University of Gothenburg, Box 640, S-405 30 Gothenburg (Sweden)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22447488
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Impact Assessment Review; Journal Volume: 48; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; FINANCIAL INCENTIVES; HAZARDS; PLANNING; RECOMMENDATIONS; RESOURCES; SEAS; STATE GOVERNMENT; TRAINING; VIET NAM