Since the 1990s, the Government of Viet Nam has been allocating land use rights over almost 9 million ha of state forest land to households, communities, and economic entities. In this way, the Government seeks to involve local people in protecting forests, developing plantations and improving living standards. To date, a comprehensive assessment of the effects of Forest Land Allocation (FLA) policies in Viet Nam has been lacking. This info brief reviews the impacts of FLA on (1) livelihoods, (2) forest cover and quality, and (3) the development of a land market. The review concludes that FLA has produced mixed effects for local livelihoods. FLA provides an opportunity for local people to increase their income through investment returns on the land allocated to them. However, these opportunities are unequally distributed, favouring people with strong financial and political capital and labour resources. In some places, the implementation of FLA has triggered the marginalisation of weaker groups and produced local land conflicts. FLA has contributed to the rapid expansion of forest plantations through smallholder investment in land obtained under FLA. This development comes at the cost of natural forest cover in some areas, while in other areas it has contributed to the regreening of degraded lands. The contribution of FLA to better forest quality is unclear. FLA provides for land transactions, and thus the establishment of a land market in the upland areas. On the one hand, land transactions provide opportunities for land concentration, to the advantage of economies of scale. On the other hand, land transactions may put marginalised groups at risk as they may lose access to the land and forest resources.