Access to social assistance among ethnic minorities in Vietnam

In recognition of the growing inequality of opportunity for ethnic minorities, the Government of Vietnam has expanded the social assistance system to explicitly cover ethnic minorities. However, ethnic minorities, particularly women, often face barriers to access to these programs. This paper identifies potential barriers to access at every stage of social assistance delivery; it also examines patterns in the use of social assistance transfers. The aim is to apply this knowledge in designing context-specific pilot(s) to address the specific constraints identified. The analysis is based on anthropological desk reviews of selected ethnic minority groups, quantitative analysis of recent household surveys and qualitative research in 4 provinces (Hà Giang, Quảng Nam, Trà Vinh and Lâm Đồng). We focus primarily on the 13 main ethnic minority groups in these 4 provinces.