After almost 30 years of renovation from a centralized planning economy to a market-oriented one, Vietnam has witnessed significant achievements in economic development, poverty reduction and international integration. Various areas of governance have been reformed and institutionalized to effectively facilitate this process.
Nevertheless, the planning process (including planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation) as an important state management tool still faces a number of constraints posed by the market economy and accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). The most notable and also the key limitation of the current planning process is the lack of an institutional framework from the central to local level on the reform of a results- based, participatory, and market driven planning process, even though this has been mentioned in important documents of the Party and the Government. Therefore, needs for planning reform and institutionalization of such a reform have become necessary and important.
Within their operation framework, many internationally-funded projects in Viet Nam have supported the government at all levels in piloting the planning reform. Some projects have developed and piloted different manuals to foster their planning reform mainly at communal level. The support of international organizations, on one hand, has helped localities and institutions pilot and apply modern and scientific planning tools and approaches. On the other hand, these initiatives fell short of consistence and coordination from the central to local levels in the whole planning system. In reality, the national, local and sectorial SEDPs are generally developed following conventional approach under the direction of Ministry of Planning and Investment’s annual planning guidelines.
Challenges and Opportunities for Intervention - A report based on qualitative research conducted in Vietnam
The research team would like to thank the Reproductive Health Department at the Ministry of Health for their overall guidance and support for this study. In particular, Dr. Phuong Hoa provided leadership and oversight of the study right from its conception, and allocated precious time and energy of herself and her colleagues in the department to ensure that it was successfully completed. The authors are also grateful to Dr. Hoang Tuan of the RHD for his support and oversight of all the logistical issues, including liaising with provincial offi ces, overseeing translation, and organizing meetings.
UNICEF Vietnam provided funding for this study under the national PMTCT project supported by them. Special thanks are due to Luisa Brumana, HIV/AIDS Specialist for her intellectual guidance of this piece of work, to Mai Thu Hien, UNICEF Programme Offi cer, for oversight, support and management of the study, and to Nguyen Ngoc Trieu for administrative support.
The researchers would also like to thank the Provincial RHD in An Giang, Ho Chi Minh City and Quang Ninh for their time and support in organizing interviews and providing information. In addition, we would like to thank the many health staff who were interviewed at commune, district and provincial levels. Finally, this study owes a debt of gratitude to the all the men, women and family members who volunteered their time to respond to our questions with openness and honesty.
Lastly, all errors and omissions are solely the responsibility of the lead consultant.
The amendment of the 1992 Constitution offers Viet Nam an opportunity to strengthen the rule of law, promote human rights and enhance equality as well as socio-economic and political stability. While the current draft includes a number of significant and positive changes, UNICEF believes the current draft can be made more responsive to the needs of a third of the country's population – its children.
UNICEF's mission is to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and create opportunities to allow children to reach their full potential. UNICEF's work is guided by the provisions and principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). UNICEF has extensive experience, globally and regionally, supporting countries to reflect the rights of children within their constitutions.
A pilot involving four social audit tools was implemented in Viet Nam in 2010. Led by the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), and supported by UNICEF, it aimed at building capacity for the social audit of the Socio-Economic Development Plan (SEDP) to enhance the its social performance, as expressed in its ability to deliver continued improvement in the living standards of Viet Nam’s population in general and of vulnerable groups in particular. This focus was on achieving this through improved Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) of social dimensions of the 2006-2010 SEDP, particularly focusing on poverty reduction, health services for children under six years old, and gender.
The Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), under the authority of MPI, implemented the pilots with technical support of the UK-based Overseas Development Institute (ODI). CIEM also conducted a capacity assessment of government staff in using participatory methods for planning, monitoring and evaluation. Based on this and the lessons learned from the social audit pilots, a capacity development strategy has been developed. ODI has also developed a SEDP Social Audit Toolkit with detailed information on the four tools, based on the experience gained from piloting the tools in the Vietnamese context.
This report should be of interest to national and sub-national government officials in Viet Nam who are in charge of designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating public policies, programs and services. It should also be of interest to UNICEF and other multilateral and donor agencies that assist the government of Viet Nam in meeting its development objectives, and interested in methods/tools that allow for greater participation of citizens in assessing public policies and programs.
This guide was written by Valerie Karr, a Ph.D candidate at Teachers College, Columbia University and an expert in the field of child education and disability.
The guide is a companion to the publication It’s About Ability, a child-friendly booklet version of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The development of both materials was initiated at UNICEF under the leadership of the Child Protection Section, with support from the Adolescent Development and Participation Unit. The guide and booklet were edited and produced by UNICEF’s Division of Communication.
UNICEF would like to thank Rosangela Berman Bieler and Sergio Meresman of the Inter-American Institute on Disability and Inclusive Development for peer-reviewing the guide. We also express appreciation to the many other people who commented on successive drafts: Helen Schulte (UNICEF), Ravi Karkara (UNICEF), Shaila Parveen Luna (UNICEF), Lena Karlsson (UNICEF Innocenti Research Center), Cristina Gallegos (UNICEF) , Jaclyn Tierney (UNICEF) and Carolina Hepp (UNICEF).
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25 November 2015 - The atrocity crimes being committed against women and girls in conflict zones, along with the domestic abuse found in all countries, are grave threats to progress.
I am deeply concerned about the plight of women and girls living in conditions of armed conflict, who suffer various forms of violence, sexual assault, sexual slavery and trafficking. Violent extremists are perverting religious teachings to justify the mass subjugation and abuse of women. These are not random acts of violence, or the incidental fallout of war, but rather systematic efforts to deny women's freedoms and control their bodies. As the world strives to counter and prevent violence extremism, the protection and empowerment of women and girls must be a key consideration.
14 November 2015 - Close to 350 million people in the world have diabetes, and the prevalence is rising rapidly, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. There is much all of us can do to minimize our risk of getting the disease and, even if we do get it, to live long and healthy lives with it.
People who have diabetes lose their ability to properly regulate their blood sugar. Out-of-control blood sugar can lead to nerve damage, heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and lower-limb amputation.
16 October 2015 - This year's observance of World Food Day follows the landmark adoption by world leaders of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including a set of 17 goals to guide our work towards a future of dignity and prosperity for all on a healthy planet.
How we choose to grow, process, distribute and consume the food we eat has a profound effect on people, planet, prosperity and peace. Delivering on the promise of the 2030 Agenda will not be possible without rapid progress towards ending hunger and undernutrition. In the same way, delivering on the commitment to end hunger forever, for all people, will not be possible without major gains across the new Agenda.
13 October 2015 - This year's observance of the International Day for Disaster Reduction is dedicated to the power of traditional, indigenous and local knowledge.
In March 2015 in Sendai, Japan, I met with the President of Vanuatu,
His Excellency Baldwin Lonsdale, at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. On that very day, his island nation was devastated by Cyclone Pam, one of the strongest storms ever to strike the Pacific.
The force of the storm led to expectations that there would be great loss of life. Thankfully, this was not the case. One reason was that cyclone shelters built in the traditional style from local materials, saved many lives.
New York, 11 October 2015 - The newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals rightly include key targets for gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They offer an opportunity for a global commitment to breaking intergenerational transmission of poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination – and realizing our vision of a life of dignity for all.
Our task now is to get to work on meeting the SDG targets and making good on our promises to give girls all the opportunities they deserve as they mature to adulthood by 2030. That means enabling them to avoid child marriage and unwanted pregnancy, protect against HIV transmission, stay safe from female genital mutilation, and acquire the education and skills they need to realize their potential. It also requires ensuring their sexual health and reproductive rights. Girls everywhere should be able to lead lives free from fear and violence. If we achieve this progress for girls, we will see advances across society.