Hoang Dinh Trong, a student at Fulbright School of Public Policy and Management (FSPPM), recommended policy adjustments to help the poor and homeless in Ho Chi Minh City in his thesis for his master’s in public policy degree.
Trong, a student of MPP20 class’s Leadership and Management concentration, defended his thesis titled “Implementation of Social Welfare and Supporting Policies for the Poor and Homeless in Ho Chi Minh City” on May 27, 2020.
The thesis was highly regarded by the thesis committee.
Trong explained that he chose the project because he wanted to apply his newly gained public policy knowledge to help the underprivileged. Driven by compassion, he hoped his thesis could make the government’s social welfare policies more suitable for those struggling to make ends meet, reduce the risks, unexpected incidents and difficulties they are facing, as well as reduce possible social impacts caused by failed attempts to assist underprivileged people.
For eight months, he joined charity organizations and approached beggars and homeless people across HCMC’s districts, day and night, to conduct his study. He interviewed a wide range of actors to understand their worries, their problems, and their aspirations, as well as collected facts and figures to support his thesis.
There, he focused on common issues that were made apparent in the issuance and implementation of social welfare and support policies on the central and municipal levels. For example, national agencies do not include homeless people in their welfare policies, which is unfair to them.
Meanwhile in HCMC, the procedures for helping beggars are too complicated and troublesome; paperwork requirements are too difficult for them to finish given their backgrounds, an unnecessary barrier for entry. A number of public officers also demonstrate indifference towards the poor and homeless.
These issues constitute obstacles for those who deserve – and are meant to – gain access to the government’s social welfare and support policies.
Trong put forward in his thesis many recommendations to make these policies more suitable in practice so that no one would be left behind.
While HCMC is known as a dynamic metropolis, it is also home to a large population of homeless people and beggars. They can be orphans, elders or handicapped people who take shelter in the parks, sidewalks or under the bridges, where they are vulnerable to a multitude of risks.