Bringing the MDGs Closer to the People

01 Nov 2002
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Bringing the MDGs Closer to the People provides a preliminary assessment of how  Vietnamese people, the vast majority living in rural areas, are faring with respect to the range of social indicators that comprise the MDGs. Viet Nam’s commitment to the global goals of the MDGs will be realized through local actions. This report aims to take the MDGs into the predominantly rural reality of Viet Nam. It advocates for their progressive achievement through the right choices for human development.

This report builds upon the seminal report on Viet Nam’s MDGs prepared during the first half of 2001 by the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) in Viet Nam in close consultation with the Government.1 This present report also takes into account the subsequent work of the Poverty Task Force, comprising representatives of donor organizations, including the United Nations system, government and international NGOs, and especially its efforts to relate MDGs to the national context.2 

Like the first UNCT Report in 2001, this report also points the direction for future data needs and research in order to facilitate further the efforts of the Government and the broader development community in Viet Nam to realize the MDGs. In this regard, a preliminary set of innovative provincial level indices based upon available data and/or proxies has been developed to facilitate inter-provincial analysis and comparisons. The UNCT plans to build on these indices as additional data become available.

As outlined in this report, significant progress in MDG indicators at the national level mask enormous disparities in social well-being across the country at the provincial level. Moreover, further gains towards the MDGs will become increasingly challenging due mainly toisolation; not just geographic isolation, but also social, ethnic and linguistic isolation, and isolation from useful information and knowledge needed by people to further improve their well-being.  In addition, the apparent progress reflected in improvements in a number of quantitative national MDG indicators mask some significant shortcomings in underlying quality. This issue of quality will need to be redressed to achieve the MDGs in full.

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