Complaints and grievances in resettlement
Complaints and Grievance related to resettlement can be reflected through two channels:
- Formal channel: People’s Committee from communal level to provincial level
- Independent Grievance Board: established by the Trung Son Hydropower Project Management Board (TSHPPMB).
Channel 1: Grievance procedure through People’s Committee from communal to provincial level:
First step: if any person has a complaint on any aspect of the resettlement and rehabilitation program, he/she can lodge an oral or written grievance with commune authorities. The CPC will resolve the issue within fifteen days from the date it receives the complaint.
Second step: It the complainant is not satisfied with the decision in the first step, he/she can bring the complaint to the DPC within fifteen days from the date of the receipt of the first step decision. The DPC will reach a decision on the complaint within fifteen days.
Third step: If the complainant is still not satisfied with the decision at district level, he/she can appeal to the PPC within 45 days of receiving the decision of the DPC. The PPC will reach a decision on the complaint within the timing regulated by Vietnamese law.
Fourth step: If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision of the PPC, the case may be submitted for consideration by the District Court within 45 days of receiving the decision of the PPC. The District Court will reach a decision on the complaint within the timing regulated by the Vietnam’s law.
- Grievances are received orally (in Vietnamese language or local ethnic language) or in written form.
- TSHPPMB social safeguard team will provide assistance including (a) recording all grievance files and report them in the monthly monitoring process and follow up to ensure timely resolution, and, (b) exempting persons registered as residents in project affected communities from administrative or legal fees associated with pursuit of grievances.
- Grievance resolution will take place within a set maximum number of days in accordance with regulations.
- During the mediation process, the TSHPMB will ensure that grievance redress committees will resolve mediation in a timely manner at the second and third steps above.
- TSHPMB will ensure that those seeking grievance redress are actually given the choice to accept mediation or to seek redress at a higher level.
Channel 2. Independent Grievance Procedure
Trung Son Hydropower Project Management Board (TSHPMB) has established a grievance panel independent of the legally-established grievance mechanism. The social safeguard team in TSHPPMB will provide a monthly monitoring report to the panel to allow it to monitor all complaints and grievances
Step 1: A complainant can contact the Community Relations Officer (CRO), a member of the Trung Son Safeguards Team. The CRO will take up the matter with relevant members of the Trung Son Safeguards Team for resolution.
Step 2: If no solution satisfactory to the complainant can be achieved in step 1, the complainant will be arranged to have a face-to-face meeting with the head of the Trung Son Safeguards Team, who addresses the issue in conjunction with heads of other departments in TSHPMB, contractors and local authorities.
Step 3: If the complainant is not satisfied with the solutions offered by the head of the Trung Son Safeguards Team, the Independent Grievance Panel (IGP) will hear the case.
The IGP is composed of the head of the Trung Son Safeguards Team, and at least one member of the independent Environment and Social Panel of Experts (PoE). It may co-opt additional members, for example, independent social and environment monitoring consultants, a technical expert or an NGO. It is chaired by the Director of TSHPPMB and it may also take independent advice from consultants or other experts at its discretion.
Complaints received by the IGP will be publicly disclosed. The IGP will hear the complaint in a face-to-face meeting, at which the complainant and any advisor or representative may be present. The IGP will publish its findings promptly after it has completed its deliberations and one member of the IGP will be delegated to communicate the findings to the complainant in a suitable form and language.
The IGP will convene quarterly to review all complaints dealt with by either the CRO or the head of the Trung Son Safeguards team, and to discuss any ongoing complaints. The IGP can be convened by any individual member to deal with urgent matters which cannot wait until the next scheduled meeting.
The overall effectiveness of the Independent Grievance Process and IGP will be assessed during the RLDP mid-term evaluation and, in accordance with adaptive management provisions, alternative arrangements may be instituted to improve system performance and responsiveness
Notes: Complaints or grievances are received in the Vietnamese language or a local ethnic language or in written form through a variety of sources, including,
- Direct from either the individual or a group, or
- Through a representative, such as the village head (or his or her appointee to serve as the village grievance focal point);
- A representative of a mass organization or an NGO;
- They may also be sent through the Commune People’s Committee, or
- Directly sent to the safeguard team during monthly mediation monitoring, which extends down to the village level