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Digital solutions in Viet Nam for people with disabilities and war casualties

Tarah Nguyen Tarah Nguyen

thuyhang.vietnamtimes@gmail.com

June 15, 2021 | 16:53

Comprehensive, Accurate, and Secured are the key words that can describe a digital platform, which now can also be accessed via smartphones, for registry and information management for persons with disabilities (PwD), launched today June 15 as part of the Korea-Viet Nam Mine Action Project (KV-MAP).

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The project partners are the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Viet Nam National Mine Action Center (VNMAC) with the support from Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA).

An estimated that more than 6 million persons (7% or the population) in Viet Nam are living with a disability. This digital platform will help make their lives easier and support needs-based assistance. It enables persons with disabilities, including survivors from accidents with explosive ordnance, to conveniently provide and access data about their disability; print a disability certificate and thereby receive government assistance; and communicate other needs the individual might have to relevant authorities. Information registered in the database will be kept confidential.

Digital solutions in Viet Nam for people with disabilities and war casualties
UNDP Resident Representative Caitlin Wiesen (middle) and delagates. Photo: UNDP

This application is very user-friendly and easy-to-navigate. This is a great application for persons with disabilities,” said Tran Le Quyen, sign language teacher at SCDeaf (Support and connect Deaf people to society).

With this application, I can update and access data anytime, anywhere I want,” said Cao Ngoc Hung, javelin athlete, Viet Nam Paralympic Association. “When logging into this application, I can register my information on my disability level with the local authority. For people with disability in remote areas, using this application saves them from travelling and enable them to update their needs, thus receiving appropriate support from the government and different projects”.

Digital solutions in Viet Nam for people with disabilities and war casualties

For social protection officers, the digital platform transforms the management and approaches of support for persons with disabilities. It enables MOLISA and its provincial departments to further develop the national database with timely and accurate information on persons with disabilities in support of evidence-based policy making and targeted assistance.

The digital platform has been successfully tested in nine provinces/ cities (Quang Binh, Binh Dinh, Khanh Hoa, Thanh Hoa, Quang Ninh, Hue, Da Nang, Quang Nam, and Vinh Long), with 90,000 persons with disabilities having already agreed to be registered. These include the 75,000 persons who decided to register when the initial district-level pilot was scaled up to a provincial-level assessment covering both Quang Binh and Binh Dinh, thanks to the Korea-Viet Nam Mine Action Project. It is this experience which has helped make the online platform ready for use throughout Viet Nam, and this has become easier with the launch of the mobile applications for smartphones using either iOS or Android operating systems.

We will promote these applications widely, while at the same time continue developing the skills of social workers enabling them to meet the needs of those they serve,” said Mr Nguyen Van Hoi, Vice Minister of MOLISA with an encouragement to use the new digital platform throughout Viet Nam now that has been further upgraded based on the successful pilot phase.

The platform is entirely WEB-based, and the data is centrally stored and managed. With 70% of Vietnamese people owning smartphone, the new applications were developed specifically for such devices, thus enhancing the access to services for the population. The application is currently being upgraded with additional support functions to further assist persons with disabilities during registration.

Digital solutions in Viet Nam for people with disabilities and war casualties

Launching the digital platform, UNDP Resident Representative Caitlin Wiesen emphasized the importance of promoting innovative solutions to solve issues for persons with disabilities, who are among the most vulnerable populations in society and have been disproportionally affected by COVID-19. ‘ The UNDP rapid assessment of socio-economic impacts of COVID 19 on PwD showed that 24% of the respondents did not have a disability certificate, which limited their ability to access the services and assistance they need,” said Caitlin Wiesen. “We are very pleased that in partnership with VNMAC, MOLISA and KOICA on one of the largest mine action projects in Viet Nam, we have developed and contributed a digital solution that benefits not just UXO survivors, but the entire community of persons with disabilities. Accurate, reliable, up to date data enables government to provide persons with disability the full range of support needed .

The updated digital platform builds on a platform originally developed for the government of Viet Nam by the International Center supported by the U.S. State Department. The Center and UNDP coordinated the further work on the system, and the Korea-Viet Nam Mine Action Project further upgraded it with a case management module and mobile applications.

The availability of these application for registration and case management of persons with disabilities is a commendable initiative contributing to the greater goal of Viet Nam to make society more inclusive for persons with disability,” said Mr. Cho Han-Deog, Country Director of KOICA Viet Nam Office. “I am happy to see persons with disabilities, including survivors from accidents with Explosive Ordnance, now will have easier access to social assistance,” he continued.

Digital solutions in Viet Nam for people with disabilities and war casualties

The Korea-Viet Nam Mine Action Project has been made possible with the kind support from the Republic of Korea via the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). Efforts are being made to ensure that support to survivors from accidents with explosive ordnance in this project to the extent possible benefit all persons with disabilities in Viet Nam. This new digital platform is an example of such efforts of inclusiveness.

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