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Speech by Ms. Louise Chamberlain, UNDP Resident Representative a.i at the launch of Project “Support to Implementation of Viet Nam Statistical Development Strategy 2011-2020, vision to 2030”

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Speaker: Ms. Louise Chamberlain, UNDP Resident Representative a.i
Date:       19 November 2012
Event:     Launch of Project “Support to Implementation of Viet Nam Statistical Development Strategy 2011-2020, vision to 2030”
Venue:   Conference Room, Ministry of Planning and Investment, 6B Hoang Dieu, Ba Dinh, Hanoi

Mr. Nguyễn Thế Phương, Vice Minister, Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI)

Mr. Đỗ Thức, Director General, General Statistics Office, MPI

Ms. Trần Thi Hằng, Deputy Director, General Statistics Office, MPI

Colleagues from ministries, provinces, national organizations, UN and donor community

Friends from Media,

Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen;

I am delighted to be here today on behalf of the UNDP Viet Nam for the launch of the Project “Support to Implementation of Viet Nam Statistical Development Strategy 2011-2020, vision to 2030”.
First of all, I would like to thank officials from GSO and other ministries for your hard work and contributions to the formulation of this project. I would also like to thank colleagues from UN and development partner agencies for their valuable contribution and cooperation during the formation of this Project. It is the strong and continuous collaboration between GSO, line ministries, UN and development partners to support the Vietnam Statistics System’s development that made this effort possible.

The project will support Viet Nam in implementing eight out of the nine action plans in the country’s Statistical Development Strategy, with the emphasis on improving the legal framework, mechanisms for coordination of stakeholders, data dissemination, statistical methodology and techniques in prioritized fields, and M&E of the VSDS implementation. The project contributes to the UN’s “One Plan for the period 2012-2016” by contributing to “strengthen capacities of data producers, providers and users for green, people-centred, evidence-based socio-economic development planning and decision-making” and we are working closely with other UN agencies towards this end.

The details of the project will be presented by GSO. I would like to address the key expected contributions of this project to Viet Nam’s development.

Successful implementation of the VSDS with the support of this project will help Viet Nam’s statistics system to provide more timely, better quality and easily accessible data needed for evidence-based socio-economic development planning, policy making and monitoring. More accurate and timely data will help the Government of Viet Nam to identify causes of macro-economic instability and its impacts on vulnerable groups such as ethnic minorities, poor migrant workers in the informal sector, women and children. More disaggregated data by sex, age, ethnicity, geographical location will better inform policy makers on the issues of increasing inequality, the difficulties that poor women and men, especially in ethnic minority groups and in the poorest isolated areas, are facing, and could help the design of appropriate support.   

Ladies and Gentlemen,

To realize the expected results of the project, and to ensure the success of VSDS implementation, I would like to draw the attention to the following five factors:

Firstly, given the great need for external support to the VSDS implementation and a number of projects funded by different development partners, the need for coordination is central. We are happy to note GSO’s efforts in coordinating development partners’ supports to VSDS implementation. This is a good start in ensuring that development partners’ support to VSDS is in line with the System’s needs and aligned to the VSDS and its action plans. Further effort and very concrete mechanisms will be needed during the implementation phase to ensure the full complementarity and synergy among the multiple projects supported by development partners. GSO may want to continue the existing fruitful partnership mechanism to date and expand it by the preparation of a joint annual work plan for all projects.
Secondly, the continued strong commitment of the Government and GSO recognition the important role that statistics play in advancing the development of Viet Nam as a Middle-Income Country which will require sustained increases in financial allocations needed to revamp the statistics system. Improvements to the VSDS need to be funded within the regular government budget.

Thirdly, there must be openness among data producers to a dialogue with data users to identify users’ needs and ways to serve them better. Data users can help improve the effectiveness of surveys.

Fourthly, data producers need to make continued effort to improve the timeliness, quality of data and access to data for policy making and monitoring. This includes the improved collaboration and coordination among different data producers and applying more advanced tools and methodologies in collecting, storing and disseminating statistical data.   
Fifth, and very critical, is the attention to improving the demand and use of statistical data for evidence based socio-economic development planning, policy making and monitoring. The value of the data and benefit from the investment lies in its use.

I wish the Government, MPI/GSO success in implementing the Project and the Viet Nam Statistical Development Strategy, so as to enrich the treasure of Viet Nam’s statistics for the maximum use and contribution to further Viet Nam’s development.

In conclusion, let me thank the Vice Minister for the strong support from MPI to the area of statistics and the very kind words of appreciation for support provided by UNDP. I can only assure you that the UN System will do its part to assist you also in the implementation of this plan.

Xin Cảm Ơn. Chúc Các Vị Đại Biểu Sức Khỏe và Thành Đạt.