VietNamNet Bridge – Da Nang’s authorities have taken a viral approach to tackling environmental problems and other issues in the city: a Facebook page. It has proven to be a popular avenue for citizens to report their concerns.


Making a splash: Visitors take an ocean tour at Ngoc Islet near the Hai Van Mountain. VNS Photo Cong Thanh



Facebook is now a popular and rapid response tool for Da Nang’s People’s Committee to address opinions from residents on different urban and environmental problems.

The urban management Facebook page, Quan ly do thi Da Nang: Tien nghi-Xanh-Sach-Dep (Da Nang Urban Management: Comfortable-Green-Clean-Beautiful), which involves the participation of 20,000 online members and 11 managers from Da Nang’s departments and agencies, has helped the city’s relevant departments address issues on environment pollution, social disorder, traffic, tourism and illegal actions. The Facebook page was founded in 2013.

It has served as an effective link between the community and the city’s leadership, and helped speed up solutions to problems.

“We receive around 20 complaints and messages from local people and tourists regarding different problems in the community,” said the deputy head of the city’s urban management office, Nguyen Van Duy.

“We assign 11 key members from departments in the city to deal with urban infrastructure, communications, security and traffic.”

All input is either sent directly to managers or forwarded to them, and a team is assigned to quickly address traffic jams or security problems in the community.

He said poor management or a slow reaction from any department would reflect on the capacity of managers or servants, and any issues would result in deductions from their monthly pay.

“It’s an endeavour between working teams, departments and grassroots administrations,” he said. “A few years ago, we witnessed slow reactions from departments in dealing with complaints from local residents due to bulky administration and the time it took to send orders.”

Duy said local people often reported issues related to road damage, pollution, forest fire risks, hazardous workshops, tourism harassment and robberies that occur in their living quarters or surrounding areas.

The Facebook managing board said it received 454 messages from local people last year, and 154 issues were resolved. In addition, 2,500 violations at public sites were addressed after the administration received alerts from local people via Facebook.

Vice director of the city’s Culture, Sports and Tourism department Tran Chi Cuong said Facebook offered an effective and quick connection between the city’s leaders and local people.

“The city’s leadership can hear opinions from local residents directly, and a quick decision will be made,” Cuong said.

“We fined some restaurants after receiving complaints about overcharging from tourists via the Facebook page last year,” he said. “An English tourist, who complained about the poor service of a guesthouse in Da Nang via our Facebook page, received a refund from the owner.”

He said the page also helped local administration adjust wrongful and out-of-date procedures while building trust in the community and creating an open dialogue between the authorities and people.

According to Hoang Thi Hoi, a resident from Hai Chau District, complaints from her living quarter are now addressed more quickly.

“Before, we had to wait for a response to a complaint from local administration for months, but it’s quicker now,” she said. “Any issues with public cleanliness, power supply, clean water or damage to public works are remedied within a day or a few hours.

“I feel free to post complaints or opinions on the urban management page. Our views urge local administration to take action more quickly rather than the sluggish pace in the past.”

Director of the city’s construction department Vu Quang Hung said Facebook was an easy and effective way to gauge the community’s response and learn about various problems in urban management.

“We can now hear opinions from local people on any public construction project or plan, so we can revise any mistakes and unreasonable conditions,” Hung said. “Collecting remarks from local people on our plans will help us avoid wasting time and money for poor designs or plans.”

Nguyen Dieu, director of the Nature Resources and Environment Department, said the page had become an online public opinion poll regarding city decisions.

“We are online around-the-clock to get complaints and opinions from residents on the quality of water, poor sewage treatment and polluted factories,” he said. “Of course, we have to solve the problem fast, rather than be criticised by the city’s leaders.”

Online facelift

Da Nang City also plans to start a Facebook page to manage tourism information and quickly respond to travellers’ questions or complaints regarding poor service and emergencies.

In a meeting with local departments, Vice Chairman of the city’s People’s Committee Dang Viet Dung asked the city’s Culture, Sports and Tourism department and the Management Board of Son Tra Peninsula and beach to use the page to promote tourism and improve services for tourists.

Last year, the city opened a visitor centre at 108 Bach Dang Street to provide free information to tourists visiting the city.

The centre also connects agencies including Tourism and Traffic Inspectors, the Police, Market Watch and Emergency Centre 115 to provide medical assistance and protection in dealing with emergencies and other problems.

Tourists who need assistance can call the phone number 0511-3550111.

The city also launched an Over-The-Top (OTT) service called Zalo, which will provide public administrative information and procedures following a one-year trial.

According to the city’s information and communications department, the city carried out 1,196 online administrative procedures, and 95 per cent of public employees can now work online.

In 2014, the city launched e-Government systems to provide a Metropolitan Area Network (MAN), wireless internet, data centre and a centre for human training and research on IT applications.

Duy, who manages the Da Nang Urban Management: Comfortable-Green-Clean-Beautiful Facebook, said it would be a security information channel between local people and the administration.

“Any warnings or complaints from local residents can be speedily sent to assigned departments such as the police or firemen,” Duy said.

“The city offers free wireless services, and local residents can easily connect online with assigned departments.

“Da Nang is an attractive destination in central Viet Nam, and we acknowledge the importance of information technology in changing people’s lives and helping the city develop.”

He added Facebook and other social networks helped the country undergo an online facelift in a “green and smart” way.




Riding along the coast: A road zigzags through Son Tra Mountain.






Don’t look down: A cable car at the Ba Na Hills Mountain Resort lifts tourists 1,500m above sea level at the tourism site outside of Da Nang. The city opened a visitor centre at 108 Bach Dang Street to provide free information to tourists visiting the city. Photo courtesy of Ba Na Hills Mountain Resort





Iconic bridge: Spanning across the Han River in Da Nang, the Rong (Dragon) Bridge has become a favourite tourist site in the city. The Da Nang Urban Management Facebook page helps the city promote tourism and improve its services. VNS Photo Le Lam







Calm waters: A pristine beach is seen from the top of Hai Van Pass in Da Nang. A Facebook page has helped the city undergo an online facelift. VNS Photo Cong Thanh







Developing tourism: The central city of Da Nang offers a one-stop shop service at the city’s Administrative Centre. The city has changed its approach in attracting tourists and investment. VNS Photo Cong Thanh






Quick response: Deputy head of the city’s urban management office Nguyen Van Duy shows Facebook users’ photos of issues in the city, which were posted to the city’s urban management page. Photo courtesy of Urban Management Facebook





Government goes online: The Da Nang Urban Management Facebook page helps Da Nang’s departments address complaints of environmental pollution, social disorder, traffic, tourism and illegal actions. It has served as an effective link between the community and the city’s leadership. Photo courtesy of Urban Management Facebook page




by Cong Thanh

related news

Da Nang launches campaign to protect endangered langurs

Da Nang seawater not contaminated, tourists can swim

Da Nang opens first big recycling plant