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Vietnam's Human Development Index rising

Released at: 14:07, 27/04/2017

Vietnam's Human Development Index rising

Photo: UNDP

Index up 1% and country stands two places higher internationally compared with last year.

by Doanh Doanh

The Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA) and the UNDP co-organized the Global Human Development Report and Conference on “Accelerating Ethnic Minority Development - Leave No One Behind” in Hanoi on April 26.

“The Conference’s theme is very much in line with the global Human Development Report 2016, ‘Human Development for Everyone’, focusing on two questions: ‘Who has been left behind, and why?’, and was launched just last month in Stockholm, Sweden,” said Ms. Louise Chamberlain, UNDP Country Director in Vietnam.

The report identifies substantial barriers to development and recognizes that in every society, certain groups are far more likely to suffer disadvantages than others. The report also looks to what societies should do to advance human development for everyone. The report sets forward key messages and policy recommendations at the national level and looks at ways in which the global development landscape - particularly multilateral organizations - could be more effective in the fight to leave no one behind and achieve the 2030 Agenda and sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Vietnam’s Human Development Index (HDI) rose 1 per cent to 0.683, placing it 115th out of 188 countries, up two places against last year. This improvement is driven by GDP and a high health index while growth in the education index is slower. The IHDI (inequality measure) is also comparatively good, with the gap being 17.8 on HDI; one of the best performances in the region.

The report finds that although average human development improved significantly across all regions from 1990 to 2015, one in three people worldwide continue to live in low levels of human development, as measured by the Human Development Index.

Mr. Richard Colin Marshall, UNDP Advisor, noted that ethnic minorities and rural-urban migrants are among those left behind. Ethnic minority disparities are a longstanding issue, and while there have been some improvements, major gaps still exist. While national income poverty is 7 per cent, that of ethnic minorities is 23 per cent. This is caused by location, structural constraints, biases, social disempowerment, opportunities, and access to services.

Migrants are often not income poor but multi-dimensional poor and the gaps between migrants and residents are large. This is also caused by institutional arrangements and policy responses.

To answer the question of how to accelerate ethnic minority development in Vietnam, Ms. Chamberlain highlighted the availability and accessibility of data to enable different stakeholders, policy researchers, policy makers, and the public to analyze and better understand the causes of the left-behind.

“It is vital to improve our understanding of the core causes of being ‘left behind’, such as discriminatory attitudes, behaviors and practices that prevent ethnic minority people, especially women, from becoming more active in their communities, in markets and in local/national political and economic processes,” Ms. Chamberlain said. “New data, especially qualitative information / ethnic minority people’s perceptions, can also help the government build more effective policies and programs to achieve the SDGs”.

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