Closing ceremony of the ‘Improving the Statistical System in Vietnam’ initiative

On 19 April 2023, a closing ceremony was held in Hanoi at the facilities of the Vietnam General Statistics Office (GSO) entitled: ‘Building governance through official statistics: a successful project’.

The meeting, co-chaired by the Director General of the GSO, Dr. Nguyen Thi Huong, and Ambassador Antonio Alessandro, allowed for the presentation and discussion of the main achievements of the initiative with a large audience composed of representatives from the country’s main line ministries, international partners and media, as well as representatives from AICS Hanoi, Istat and the GSO. In particular, it was emphasised how Vietnam’s statistical system has been strengthened by improving its ability to guide the country’s development process.

The main contributions concerned the transfer of technical and coordination knowledge to GSO and other government officials on the use of statistical data, the formulation of the national energy balance and the first pilot report on ‘Urban Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change Indicators for Vietnam’. In addition, the project financed the conscious use of advanced technologies to ensure the security, reliability and timeliness of statistical data, as well as the creation of a new GSO website. All this was made possible by the transfer of knowledge from Istat, which guarantees the GSO the autonomous continuation of the various improvement actions undertaken thanks to the Italian funding.

The second phase of the event was characterised by a lively debate entitled ‘Smart Coordination, Effective Statistics’ with the participation of experts from UNSD and ESCAP, the media, academia and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. It discussed the importance of coordination between institutions and policy makers that use data and authorities and line ministries that hold administrative data, the use of statistical data and non-traditional data; it debated the ever-present challenge of having quality and reliable data that is simultaneously up-to-date and timely to support decision-making and formulate policies to address rapidly changing contexts and issues, such as environmental and energy.

The event was celebrated on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Italy and Vietnam, with a large attendance of around one hundred guests in attendance and over forty online.

In her closing greetings, the GSO Director expressed her hope for a continuation of the cooperation and activities with AICS and Istat. In this regard, it should be noted that the strengthening of Vietnamese statistical capacity and therefore the availability of updated and reliable statistical data is functional to the country’s development process also thanks to the formulation and monitoring of the initiatives of the AICS Hanoi portfolio, in particular, in the areas of climate change, water management, and urban renewal. Along with the strong appreciation for the work done by Italy by other donors active in the sector, the World Bank and Danish Cooperation have expressed strong interest in working synergistically with Italy in the statistical sector, proposing possible joint initiatives.