The Asian Trends Monitoring team continues its reporting on the state of urban poverty in Southeast Asia. After the first two issues on Jakarta and Manila, the team now releases a bulletin on a city that is markedly different from the first two: Hanoi, Vietnam.
Unlike the more developed economies of Indonesia and the Philippines, Vietnam is very much an economy in transition. With its recent rise into the cluster of middle income countries (countries with a GDP per capita of US$1,000 or more), Vietnam has an opportunity to adjust its growth strategy to become more inclusive and lift millions of its people out of poverty. One of the best places to start would be its capital city. Hanoi, unlike Jakarta and Manila, is not quite a megacity, but it is definitely heading in that direction. Thus, Hanoi must rethink its strategies and models for service provision in order to remain inclusive and accessible throughout this period of growth.
This issue of the Asian Trends Monitoring Bulletin analyses the living conditions that Hanoi’s poor residents must contend with, and the services that are in place to assist them. More specifically, we look into the potential roles of empowerment strategies such as microfinance and social businesses as viable ways to close service gaps in cities like Hanoi.
This issue also features primary data from our Urban Poverty and Service Provision dataset. The data we present will hopefully paint a clearer picture about the state of public services in the city, as well as which problems most urgently require solutions.
In the final part of this bulletin we provide four alternative future scenarios for Hanoi 2035. Will the city choose a new direction and head towards “vibrant self-reliance” or will it end up in the “inevitable breakdown” scenario? Read about these and two more scenarios in the new future outlook section.