The Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Justice chair the Governance Sector Working Group. The United Nations Development Programme and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation are Co-Chairs. 


  • The administrative framework was updated in line with Government policies including amendments to the Law on Government, Law on Local Administration and draft regulations on City and Municipality to clarify the roles and responsibilities between different levels of Government and administration.
  • Under the Sam Sang initiative, local administrations are being assigned more responsibilities and authority to be more proactive and self-reliant for local development and poverty reduction. After a 2-year pilot, the government has extended the policy to cover all 148 districts.
  • To ensure all citizens rights, the Government is ensuring every citizen is included in a national vital registration system, with birth, marriage, divorce and death included.
  • Progress was made in strengthening the National Assembly and people’s participation in the decision-making process.
  • People’s Provincial Assemblies (PPAs) were recently established with the role to oversee local plans, budget approval, local administrative performance, accountability and to generally represent local citizens’ voice.
  • 157 Non Profit Associations (147 associations and 10 foundations) has been officially registered and there has been increasing recognition by the government of the valuable role civil society plays as a service provider.
  • A number of key legislative developments are underway, including: the development of the penal code, the amendment of the law on lawyers, the development of the legal aid and legal fund decrees, the law on treaty, and the revision of the law on judgment enforcement. These legislative developments are setting a positive trend towards more inclusive participation, allowing wider consultations contributing to policy and laws.
  • Efforts were made to tackle the issue of access to justice and increase legal awareness amongst the population, through expanding the nationwide coverage of legal aid services, including through the establishment of 3 Lao Bar Association provincial branches, and new legal aid offices in Savannakhet and Sekong provinces.
  • The Lao Law App and the Lao Law Terms App have been launched and are available in both Apple and Android. These two Applications are a critical tool for raising legal awareness and disseminating legal information amongst legal practitioners, and the broader public more generally, proving an easy and quick avenue for the people of Lao PDR including the poor and vulnerable to seek information about laws that are being discussed and endorsed.
  • Following the completion of the 2nd Universal Periodical Review (UPR), the Government has adopted 116 recommendations from a total of 196 recommendations. The development of an action plan for the implementation of the UPR recommendations is underway. The ICCPR Report was recently submitted to the UN Council of Human Rights.
  • The Governance for Inclusive Development Programme (GIDP), a new flagship programme, has been launched to support the National Governance and Public Administration Reform Programme and the Governance Sector Working Group.

GSWG Annual Meeting, November 2016

(From left to right) Mr. Khammanh Sounvilerd, Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Saysy Santivong, Minister of Justice and Ms. Kaarina Immonen, UNDP Resident Representative.

November 4th, 2016 –In preparation for the 2016 High-Level Round Table implementation Meeting (RTiM), Government ministries, Development Partners and Civil Society Organizations came together to take stock of key achievements and challenges in the governance sector, to discuss national priorities moving forward in the area of public administration reform and enhancing access to justice and rule of law and to agree on key messages from the GSWG to be shared at the RTiM.

Sub-Sector Working Groups

The Governance Sector Working Group includes two Sub-Sector Working Groups:

  • Public Service Improvement
    Chair – Ministry of Home Affairs, Co-Chairs – UNDP, SDC
  • Legal & Institutional Oversight
    Chair – Ministry of Justice, Co-Chairs – UNDP, European Union

SWG Secretariat Contacts