Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plays an important role in the planning process because it answers an important question about "how to know if a locality or sector is on a right track or proceeding towards a right destination". M&E is not a single activity but it is a process consisting two big activities: monitoring and evaluating the implementation of a plan. This process starts from the beginning to the end of the planning process. M&E is seen weak in the current planning process in Viet Nam. Reasons may include: (i) basis for implementing M&E – a system of legal documents, M&E indicators and targets of sectors and localities remains incomplete; (ii) M&E has been implemented as an usual procedures based mainly on administrative reporting from lower to higher levels that is lack of supervision and validation with objective and scientific evidences; (iii) the deficiency of human resources and working equipment for this work; and (iv) database is not updated in a regular, sufficient and accurate manner.
One of the main reasons for unsuccessful M&E and the biggest limitations of pilot planning projects is the lack of institutional framework from the central level, specifically the Ministry of Planning and Investment towards a results based, participatory and market driven manner even though this has been mentioned in some official documents of the Government and Party. Through adequate and scientific M&E implementation, scare resources will be effectively used and negative and unexpected impacts (both objectively and subjectively) during the planning process will be minimized, then this will facilitate the successful achievement of socio-economic targets of localities/ sectors.
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.
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Volunteering for Sustainable Development Goals – UNV Vietnam Facebook Photo Contest
On the occasion of International Youth Day (IYD) celebration event organized by the UN in Vietnam "Vietnamese Youth: Partners in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals", the UNV Field Unit (FU) in Vietnam is thrilled to launch its Facebook Photo Contest – "Volunteering for Sustainable Development Goals". Vietnamese Youth is a driving force of Volunteerism and has an important role to play in achieving SDGs, including through Volunteer activities. Show the world how you contribute to achieving the SDGs by Volunteering! Either you are a young volunteer or any other kind of volunteer, you are welcome to join the contest!
18/07/2016 - After responding to emergency zoonotic outbreaks, the importance of One Health Approach has been emphasized worldwide in effectively preventing and controlling these diseases. In order to discover more about this approach within the Viet Nam country context, a discussion was held with FAO Viet Nam's Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) core One Health technical staff members (Pawin Padungtod – Senior Technical Coordinator, Nguyen Thuy Hang – One Health Advocacy and Communication Coordinator and Nguyen Phuong Oanh – Operations Officer to talk about their recent One Health assessment mission in Ha Giang and Quang Nam provinces.
The Asia-Pacific region's journey towards a successful achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development should be driven by broad-based productivity gains and further rebalancing towards domestic and regional demand, says the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in its latest flagship publication. The Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2016 underlines that such a strategy will not only underpin revival of robust and resilient economic growth but will also improve the quality of this growth by making it more inclusive and sustainable.
In light of the new framework on disaster risk reduction and changing contexts of the post-2015 development agenda, UN Women and Government of Viet Nam, in collaboration with UNISDR and UNDP, and with support from the Government of Japan is organizing an Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Gender and Disaster Risk Reduction to mark one year of the adaptation of the Sendai Framework. The aim of the regional conference is to provide a forum for Governments, the civil society, the academia and UN agencies and other development partners to discuss how gender equality and women's participation can be integrated into targets, indicators and actions when developing implementation plans at regional, national and local levels.
8 March 2016 - As a boy growing up in post-war Korea, I remember asking about a tradition I observed: women going into labour would leave their shoes at the threshold and then look back in fear. “They are wondering if they will ever step into those shoes again,” my mother explained.
More than a half-century later, the memory continues to haunt me. In poor parts of the world today, women still risk death in the process of giving life. Maternal mortality is one of many preventable perils. All too often, female babies are subjected to genital mutilation. Girls are attacked on their way to school. Women’s bodies are used as battlefields in wars. Widows are shunned and impoverished.