(Still) improving the odds of success when the topic is sensitive

Several years ago I wrote a blog called “Improving the odds of success when the topic is sensitive”.  It was a reflection on the experience of carrying out a study on land corruption in Vietnam, summarizing some of our team member’s thoughts on how to engage on sensitive topics.  It is interesting to look back on it some years later as the engagement has deepened, with a broader study on corruption conducted jointly with the Government Inspectorate of Vietnam, and a more recent study on Land Transparency.

I think the same basic principles summarized in the original blog still hold today.  All of the studies were empirical in nature and, as the blog emphasized, “mixing empirical facts and careful examination of the current regulations helps make for a piece that is hard to dismiss.” In the case of the Vietnam Land Transparency study (full report here), our teams physically visited some 500 places to ascertain actual levels of transparency of land related documents.  The data made the real state of transparency irrefutable, as is clear from this piece by a noted expert in land management.  More on the land transparency study in a future post…

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