This paper assesses the factors driving inclusiveness in Vietnam's rural transformation by comparing the two rice deltas of the country since reunification in 1975. In order to achieve this, a pro-poor institutional development approach based on Adelman is applied. We focus on asset-oriented, demand-generating and price-increasing interventions. Our findings point out that the experienced growth might be considered inclusive, but the dynamics of poverty reduction, income generation, and productivity-enhancement are substantially different in the two delta economies. This might have implications for the prospects of Vietnam's continuation in a ‘growth with equity’ model, if policies and innovations are not locally adjusted.