Well-designed and targeted local Benefit Distribution Systems (BDS) are central to the success of REDD+. This report, based on experiences from Vietnam, provides an iterative process for the design of local level pro-poor approaches to BDS. At the centre of the approach are methods for ensuring the inclusiveness of local actors in decision-making around the benefit types and timing, and the need for local inclusion in governance frameworks. It advocates several key messages which aim to help shape a BDS that is consistent with the key principles used to define the pro-poor approach, including: pro-poor local BDS is not simply about paying cash to poor stakeholders; an assessment of existing land tenure arrangements will be a fundamental precondition to identifying beneficiaries; and monitoring performance and payments is critical. The report hopes to inform the future development of effective BDS in Vietnam.