Speech at the Statistical Partnership Meeting

21 Jan 2014

Speaker: Mr. Bakhodir Burkhanov, UNDP Deputy Country Director
Date:       January 21, 2013, 14:00-17:00hrs.
Event:     Statistical Partnership Meeting   
Venue:    Conference room 303, Building F, MPI

Mr. Nguyễn Bích Lâm, Director-General of GSO
Colleagues from GSO departments and line ministries
Development partners, UN colleagues and friends
Ladies and gentlemen:

Firstly, let me express my sincere thanks to the GSO for organizing today’s partnership meeting to review the key results of 2013 and discuss further collaboration in 2014 towards the implementation of the Viet Nam Statistical Development Strategy. I have the pleasure of speaking on behalf of some of the GSO’s development partners today. This statement reflects the views and contributions of UNFPA, UNICEF, World Bank and UNDP.

We would like to congratulate the GSO for important achievements in implementing the Viet Nam Statistical Development Strategy. During 2013 with GSO’s leadership and in collaboration with development partners, statistical agencies at different levels and line ministries have made remarkable progress. Some key highlights of this collaborative work included sharing international experiences and policy options on the National Statistical Councils and organizational arrangements of the Statistical Office, as part of the revision of the Statistics Law. The approval of the State Statistics Dissemination Policy by the Prime Minister in June 2013 brought about process improvements in data collection, analysis, reporting, dissemination and access. Furthermore, GSO has spearheaded efforts towards improving quality of data for monitoring the SEDP performance and integrating MDGs into socio-economic development monitoring system. Some of the achievements in this regard included designing and administering national surveys, introducing metadata warehouse, and conducting the national Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey on Women and Children (MICS Round 5).

Progress has also been made in gender statistics, environment statistics as well as the development of a master sample frame for large household surveys. These efforts were supported by human resources and skills development activities, including improving the national capacity in producing high quality data such as 2014 Inter-Census Population Survey and MICS5. These results have made important contributions to the successful implementation of the VSDS.

The development partners are very pleased to note that the GSO’s report on VSDS implementation highlights our collective contributions to your results, recognizing the role of improved coordination among different players and our joint efforts towards achieving the VSDS objectives.

Moving forward, reporting on VSDS implementation would greatly benefit from evidence on the M&E system of the strategy, including assessments from users’ perspectives. As the implementation of the strategy deepens, it should be able to capture the use of improved data for socio-economic development in Viet Nam, which is the ultimate objective of the VSDS.

The development partners are keen to strengthen this beneficial partnership in 2014 and would like to build on our successful engagements to offer some perspectives on 2014 cooperation priorities.

The improvement of legal and institutional framework of Viet Nam’s statistical system is a key priority for 2014. This year, we expect the draft Law on Statistics to be reviewed and endorsed by the National Assembly, including the important provisions on GSO’s institutional arrangements and the National Statistical Council. Further research, advocacy, open policy dialogues and stakeholder consultations will be vital to ensure that Viet Nam has a statistics law and institutional arrangements that are in line with internationally recognized statistical principles and standards, and that are relevant to Viet Nam’s context.
 
Furthermore, in a Middle Income Country context, appropriate policies backed by rigorous evidence and high-quality data become even more important for Viet Nam. Implementation of the statistics dissemination policy and generating cutting-edge data for monitoring Multidimensional Poverty, Gender statistics, MICS5, among other initiatives, would generate much-needed evidence on the performance of current policies and how they can be improved to address the evolving needs of the country. Important priorities for cooperation in 2014 would include conducting the first Inter-Census Population and Housing Survey to provide data and evidence for the implementation of the Socio-Economic Development Plan 2015-2020 as well as for the continued assessment of the MDG progress.

Determining these cooperation priorities is important not only to keep our collaborative actions focused on results, but also to support an effective coordination of efforts of all national and international development partners.

We look forward to continuing the joint annual work planning, which has been the principal element of our successful partnership in 2013. We look forward to working with GSO and other partners to formulate the joint Government-Development Partner work plan of actions to further define and elaborate priorities for 2014.

We would also like to propose re-activating the advisory group for VSDS implementation at technical level. Concretely, technical meetings of the advisory group could take place more often for joint planning and coordination of activities at a more in-depth level, with greater focus on specific topics and areas such as multidimensional poverty monitoring and gender statistics. The meetings of the advisory group could take place in-between the Annual Partnership Meetings, and will, in our opinion, deepen our cooperation towards realizing the VSDS objectives in a meaningful way.    

I would like to take this opportunity to re-affirm the continued support of development partners, including the UN, to Viet Nam’s efforts in reforming its statistical system to effectively inform and guide socio-economic development in Viet Nam at all levels.

On the occasion of the coming Tet “Giap Ngo”, I wish all participants, their families and close ones, good health, happiness and continued success in the New Year!

Xin cam on va chuc suc khoe!