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Workshop "Urban Indicators and Urban Management in Vietnam"

The Association of Cities in Viet Nam (ACVN) and the United Nation Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) have organized a workshop on “Urban Indicators and Urban Management in Vietnam” on November 7th, 2010 with joint target of setting up a data system for monitoring and evaluating performance of cities/towns in Vietnam, particularly medium and small cities and town, aiming to creating a developed, equal and non poverty society. The workshop was also in conjunction with the Anniversary of the Vietnam Urban day (the 8th of November 2010) in Ninh Binh city with over 700 participants from 96 cities and towns which are members of ACVN, central government management bodies (General Statistics Office of Vietnam, the Vietnam Ministry of Construction), international organizations, professional and social associations, and experts on relevant fields.

This thematic workshop is one of activities of the project “Urban Observatory System in Vietnam” implemented by ACVN with the technical support of UN-HABITAT. Nowadays, there are over 750 cities and towns in Viet Nam, which accounts for 30 % of total country’s population, however, there is no urban observatory system to monitor the performance of the Millennium Development Goal and the Vietnam Development Goal and its impacts on improving gender equality and poverty reduction. Therefore, the project “Urban Observatory System in Vietnam” is very necessary.

This project has specific target of developing a set of Urban Indicators based on reviewing and collecting indicators for urban development observatory in Vietnam, for instance, indicators for monitoring the performance of MDG/VDG in urban areas; indicators from National indicator system; indicators related to urban classification and management by the Ministry of Construction and other international indicators.

The project has also facilitated the establishment of a pilot urban observatory system in 96 cities and provincial towns in Vietnam which are members of ACVN to collect latest data on these urban areas under draft indicator system with minimum expenses; collected data play an important role in evaluating both development of the national urban system and each urban area, at the same time, contribute to developing national urban development policies and improvement of local planning as well.

Successful initiatives on Vietnam Urban Observatory System will be basis for making a proposal on institutionalizing central and local urban observatory system with close co-ordination of General Statistics Office and the Vietnam Urban Development Agency (VUDA), Ministry of Construction.

UN-HABITAT will keep providing technical support to improve central and local staff’s capacity to implement and maintain this initiative. The workshop introduced Draft Vietnam Urban Indicators divided into themes, and each theme had specific thematic indicators selected from the reviewed indicator systems. It is a collection of indicators about: labour; housing; urban poverty; education; healthcare; culture; safety; land use; ground altitude and stormwater drainage; transportation; power supply, communication, water supply, wastewater drainage, solid waste treatment, cemetery management; economic development; urban governance; intellectual property. This set of indicators is selected with references from existing indicator systems in Vietnam and the world, and it is appropriate to Vietnam context and sectoral and provincial statistical system of Vietnam and reflects exactly Vietnam urban features.

“The Vietnam Urban Indicator (VUI) is very meaningful for urban management activities, and it is a valuable data base of Vietnam urban system. Budget for the development of this set of indicators is limited but the indicator set will bring about remarkable benefits, and developing an urban observatory system is also municipal responsibility”, said Mrs. Vu Thi Vinh, Deputy General Secretary of ACVN.

“In the context that urbanization in Vietnam has started a new development period, Vietnam Statistics Sector is developing a new development strategy for the period between 2010 – 2020. The Draft Vietnam Urban Indicator System and Urban Observatory System Initiative in Vietnam are expected to contribute to setting up a data base for making analytical reports serving the policy making process. Vietnam cities and towns themselves also have chances to take part in preparing a State of Vietnam Cities Report and are inherited experiences of UN-HABITAT at regional and global scale”, said Mrs. Le Thi Mai Huong, UN-HABITAT Project Manager.

In addition to ideas contributed by relevant experts and bodies, experiences and lessons from data collection in three pilot cities including Viet tri, Phu Ly, Hai Duong were also shared and discussed in the workshop for the completion of the standard indicator system which will be applied for other 93 cities and towns.

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