The strength of the long partnership between UNDP and Viet Nam is built on mutual trust and respect and is reflected in the focus, depth and quality of the programme and partnership.
The role of UNDP has been unique, from the early days of Viet Nam’s unification when UNDP was one of the few partners in development cooperation, to the present day when UNDP works with many other organizations as Viet Nam moves to integrate fully into the world economy. In the 1970s and 1980s, UNDP served as a window to the outside world, bringing important technical and economic support and ideas to the country’s planning for development.
In more recent years, as Viet Nam’s international relationships have grown and deepened, UNDP’s role has changed and its portfolio of projects has evolved to reflect the demands of new times. Today, Viet Nam is drawing on UNDP’s global reach, expertise, experience and advocacy, to address its pressing development priorities in an increasingly competitive world.
In 2011, total programme expenditure for the UNDP Viet Nam office was about US$20.5 million, compared to US$25.5 million in 2010, US$20 million in 2008 and under US$19 million in 2009.
UNDP’s current projects in Viet Nam stem directly from the organization’s comparative advantages as a global network and the lead coordinating agency of the United Nations system. Its record of close and longstanding partnership with the Government also gives it a distinctive position. With a worldwide policy network, UNDP helps Viet Nam gain access to state-of-the-art thinking about development challenges as well as to lessons learned in societies around the globe and varied opportunities for public and private support.
Today, the Government and UNDP Viet Nam have focused cooperation toward the twin objectives of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), set out by the United Nations in 2000, and meeting Viet Nam’s own benchmarks on the path to sustainable and higher human development. UNDP support takes the form of technical assistance for policy advisory services and strategic capacity development at national and local levels.
UNDP’s portfolio of programmes in Viet Nam highlights the mutual commitment of both the Government and UNDP to bring decision-making closer to the people and to ensure greater participation of those being served. UNDP also aims to combine Viet Nam’s effort to integrate in the world economy with a human development approach that works for all the country’s citizens, especially the most vulnerable groups. Our work is carried out in partnership, wherever possible, to deepen its effectiveness.
Though responsive to and driven by local conditions, the portfolio is organized around the global practice areas of UNDP: Democratic Governance, Poverty Reduction, Crisis Prevention and Recovery, Energy and Environment, and HIV/AIDS. In each of these practice areas, UNDP Viet Nam prioritizes gender equality and opportunity.
- Democratic Governance: To meet its ambitious goals for economic growth and human development, Viet Nam will need governance built on the principles of equity, accountability, democracy and transparency. High standards in public service delivery and greater participation in decision-making will be central. Against this background, UNDP works to support the doi moi (renovation) process in the areas of institutional reform and governance. UNDP projects support the strengthening of Viet Nam’s elected bodies at the national and local levels; establishment of a legal framework; administrative reforms; decentralization; management of public finances; and preparation for Viet Nam’s entry into global trading systems and institutions.
- Poverty Reduction: After a period of strong economic growth, Viet Nam faces the challenges of maintaining its already significant progress against poverty. This requires tackling inequality and focusing on the poor who remain isolated from economic growth, while meeting the challenges posed by integration into the global economy. UNDP is assisting the Government as it builds the analytical and human resources needed both to track and analyze poverty and to develop actions to combat it. UNDP joins with other organizations to support local anti-poverty projects, helping empower local communities and provide lessons from both within the country and outside which can be replicated more broadly across the country.
- Crisis Prevention and Recovery: Viet Nam is particularly susceptible to natural disasters that dramatically impede efforts for sustainable development. Using innovative approaches and the latest technology, UNDP promotes participation and empowerment of local communities to prevent, prepare for and manage disasters. UNDP has worked with national and local government as well as non-governmental organizations to develop disaster preparedness strategies and training programmes, as well as building national capacity to coordinate disaster relief. Lessons learned from these activities form part of a fruitful policy dialogue among the Government, UNDP and other donors to develop common approaches to mitigate disasters in Viet Nam.
- Energy and Environment: Wise stewardship of energy and of natural resources is an essential element of sustainable development, particularly in a nation where 70 percent of the population continues to earn its living from the land. UNDP Viet Nam acts as a catalyst, organizer and provider of expertise as the Government seeks to develop its own capacity for environmental management, and to promote the concept among its people. UNDP works with national and local authorities to develop plans to fight pollution; it assists Viet Nam in building a national park system and protecting biodiversity; it helps promote clean energy and supports the development of national frameworks for clean energy. UNDP also supports a range of projects aimed at meeting Viet Nam’s global commitments on climate change, biodiversity and organic pollutants.
- HIV/AIDS: AIDS has spread rapidly through Viet Nam since the first case was detected in 1990. Without a strong, immediate response, HIV/AIDS could quickly reverse the considerable progress Viet Nam has made in fostering economic growth and reducing poverty. UNDP is working both to build a visible and sustained national commitment and leadership to fighting HIV/AIDS and to help national, local and civic organizations develop the knowledge and tools needed to combat the epidemic effectively.
- Gender Equality: Because discrimination against women is a major cause of poverty, UNDP strives to place gender concerns at the heart of all its work. UNDP is working with the Government to broaden and deepen consideration of existing gender disparities and concerns across all areas of policy-making in Viet Nam. UNDP is also involved in efforts to promote a greater role for women in leadership and women’s entrepreneurship.
The pages that follow offer a more detailed overview of the practice areas, and each of the individual programmes that, together, are helping Viet Nam address a range of development challenges it faces, meet its own national and local development targets and the Millennium Development Goals, and make steady progress toward a better future for all the Vietnamese people.