Speech at the training workshop on Multi Dimensional Poverty

Nov 13, 2013

Date: 12 Nov 2013, 8:30 am
Speaker: Mr. Bakhodir Burkhanov, UNDP Deputy Country Director
Event: Training Workshop on Multi Dimensional Poverty (MDP)
Venue: Army Hotel, 12-13 Nov 2013

Good morning, colleagues;
Representatives from National Assembly, MOLISA and other line ministries;
Participants from the provinces;
Development partners and UN colleagues:

I am delighted to be here today at this important training workshop. Since the last event gathering policy makers, researchers and development partners in Nha Trang back in June 2013, real progress has been made towards building a common understanding on the multi-dimensional poverty (MDP) concept and a roadmap for application and institutionalization of the concept for poverty monitoring, reporting and policy design in Viet Nam.

This progress is strongly evidenced by the Government’s recent official endorsement of the development of a Master Plan for shifting from the single monetary approach to the multidimensional approach in poverty reduction led by the Ministry of Labour, the Disabled and Social Affairs (MOLISA). A multi-sectoral research working group supported by the secretariat and consisting of the leaders and officials from various line ministries and agencies, is being established for the Master Plan’s development. Also worth noting is the approval by HCMC of the MDP pilot in four of its districts. The pilot’s results are expected to provide valuable inputs for the City’s poverty reduction plans and strategyies, as well as for the development of the national MDP Master Plan.

Given the significant improvement in awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the Government, National Assembly, and the wider community regarding the MDP approach, it’s nevertheless useful to reiterate the approach’s relevance in the Vietnamese context. Becoming a low middle-income country in 2010, Viet Nam has made remarkable progress in achieving the MDGs, particularly in poverty reduction. As the economy and society of Viet Nam are getting more complex, so does the challenge in sustaining poverty reduction progress. The poverty has many faces and is driven by a variety deprivations, which we need to understand better in order to target policies and to eliminate bottlenecks that hold people back in their development and growth opportunities.

These factors range from income insufficiency to deprivations of access to basic social services, employment opportunities, social participation and protection, etc.  The efforts of the National Assembly and the Government of Vietnam to formulate a Master Plan to apply MDP in the coming programme cycle would therefore play an important role to help Vietnam move towards more sustainable poverty reduction results.

We now have a great opportunity to build on this initial and remarkably swift progress and move forward to develop and adopt a concrete roadmap for application of the MDP concept and to institutionalize the MDP measurement for poverty monitoring, evaluation and policy design. The United Nations counts on the strong commitment, enthusiasm, technical expertise and close coordination from the MOLISA, other ministries and agencies, the National Assembly, provinces and research community. Also important is the continued engagement, facilitation and support by the development partners, including those who have been partnering with the Government and the UN in this and other poverty alleviation efforts, such as the Irish Aid, the WB and others.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to acknowledge the great support from the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), especially Dr. Sabina Alkire, OPHI Director, Dr. John Hammock, Co-founder and Research Associate, Dr. Mauricio Apablaza, and Ms. Mihika Chatterjee. Some of this impressive team is here with us today and they bring a wealth of experience in working with countries on the application of the MDP approach in policy making. They will play a key role in the training that will take place over the next 2 days and connect us with an international network for relevant lessons and experiences.

I would like to express my thanks to colleagues from MOLISA, the Social Affairs Committee of the National Assembly, and the core technical team for supporting this work thus far. Your leadership and insights to the members of the national taskforce for the MDP Master Plan are extremely valuable as the research continues and the entire initiative goes from strength to strength.

I wish the training workshop the great success it deserves! Xin cảm ơn!

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