Health and Social Security Reform in an Era of Governance


This program was DFAT funded program designed specifically for the Vietnamese Government Department of Social Security (VSS). It challenged participants to identify the ingredients of effective political communication and develop a personal methodology for shoring up electoral representation and forging a more integrated and legitimate democratic system. 

The program was designed to deliver:

1) Information and knowledge exchange between Australian and VSS officials.
2) Professional development of senior VSS personnel.
3) Strengthened and on-going partnerships with Australian government and academia.
4) Increased success of major healthcare reform initiatives.
5) Improved governance and healthcare system.
6) Larger tax base from which to draw government service resources.
7) Health protection and welfare gains to Vietnamese people and wider South-East Asia region.
8) Enhanced economic growth.
9) Greater regional stability through expanded delivery of social security and health services.
10) Reduced inequality of government service access of those living in remote areas and from ethnically diverse backgrounds.
11) Contribute to poverty reduction in Vietnam.

Course participants are encouraged to bring their problems to the program and will benefit from the best international and national advice available.

The course team included senior practitioners with rich experience at the sharp end of political management such as Emeritus Professor Meredith Edwards and Professorial Fellow Bill Burmester. Academic expertise includes Professor Mark Evans, an international expert on citizen-centric governance, and Professor Laurie Brown, an expert on health geography and health economics. Professor Tu Pham and Associate Professor Xiaodong Gong explored issues of Australian tax and social systems and the socio-economic impacts of welfare, and Professorial Fellow Paul Porteous considered problems in adaptive leadership.



The aim of this program was to provide a platform for lesson-drawing and information-exchange between Australia and Vietnam on the ingredients of successful healthcare and social security policy reform. To achieve this aim, the program engaged with policy experts and practitioners from both the government and university sector. To maximize participants’ exposure to the different dimensions of Australia’s governance of social and health policy, the program delivered a series of workshops, seminars and site visits to government institutions over the duration of the fellowship. In so doing the program provided participants with:

1. an understanding of the past, present and future challenges to effective healthcare and social policy;
2. insights into the methods that Australian public organisations at the Commonwealth and State levels use to develop effective healthcare and social policy;
3. knowledge of leading academic and practice-based evidence on what works in  order to navigate these challenges; and,
4. an introduction to a range of strategic tools for enhancing policy development.

The program was designed to provide a comprehensive insight into the challenges and responses to developing modern healthcare and social policy in Australia in an era of governance. Drawing from the experiences of the Australian government over the past twenty years, the program emphasized the importance of inter-agency collaboration; managing institutional reform; lesson-drawing from overseas; coordinating strategic policy across agencies; and policy implementation. The program brought together and comprised of a number of seminars and workshops, designed to inform and exchange information about implementation and experiences of significant healthcare reform.


Letters of Appreciation