Review and approval of Provincial Disaster Management Indicators for 2021

Speech of Mr. Patrick Haverman, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative

Posted April 6, 2022

  • Mr. Nguyen Hoang Hiep, Vice Minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; 
  • Mr. Vu Xuan Thanh – Deputy General Director, VnDMA/MARD

Good afternoon,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Following Minister MARD Decision from February 2021 on conducting the provincial capacity assessment through the application of the Provincial Disaster Management Indicators (or PDMI in short), UNDP received a formal request from Viet Nam Disaster Management Authority (VNDMA) to provide technical support and conduct and independent assessment to inform the overall PDMI process.

One other key role for UNDP was to help in developing an independent report to be considered by VNDMA leadership for the finalization of the 2021 PDMI Assessment Report.

We understand that this is the first PDMI assessment, and MARD leader stressed the important role of this legal instrument to identify institutional gaps and follow-up capacity building actions. So, a big Thank You to VNDMA Leadership for reaching out to us and for giving us the opportunity to work with you on this important assignment.

Throughout 2021, UNDP has worked closely with VNDMA both at leadership and technical levels on how best to apply the PDMI in all 63 provinces of the country. For this purpose, we mobilized our staff and also contracted a local team of experts to provide an independent review of provincial reports.

To ensure evidence, and following the advice from VnDMA, our consultancy team travelled to 8 selected provinces and conducted further detailed assessments at the provincial, district and commune levels. These field visits helped us to observe and validate provincial reports against the results of actual policy implementation on the ground.

The overall process of developing PDMIs, applying them in all 63 provinces and our direct engagement with 8 provinces has proved to be a very valuable exercise, helping to define current standing with the implementation of disaster risk reduction policies at the local level.

We express our appreciation to the leadership role provided by Mr. Vu Xuan Thanh – Deputy General Director of VNDMA, and the day-to-day coordination support provided by Mr. Le Viet Hung – Deputy Director of Disaster Safety and Control Department of VNDMA. They truly worked tirelessly to make sure the results are produced on time.

You will have a chance to review and assess for yourself the results of the PDMI today. Allow me to share with you some key highlights:

Thanks to incredible engagement from all 63 provinces, we now have the assessment results with the scores, ranging from 68 to 90. Total of 32 provinces are rated as “Good” (which means they got over 80 points out of the maximum 100 points); and the remaining 31 provinces are rated as “Satisfactory” (which is between 50 to 80 points out of 100 points). No province is rated as ‘Unsatisfactory’ (below 50 points).  

Among 04 indicator groups, all provinces are rated “Satisfactory” on disaster preparedness. However, the results of the assessment indicate that some provinces did not perform “Satisfactory” on disaster response and disaster recovery. In general, these two areas need further improvement.

We noted that some provinces used this assessment to conduct a thorough review of existing setup and arrangements for disaster risk reduction. Therefore, some of these provinces may have been critical in their self-assessment, leading to ‘realistic scores’.

However, some other provinces may have looked at this process as an opportunity to develop and submit documentation with the objective of getting higher scores.

This is one reason why it has been difficult to conduct the review and assessment based purely on the paperwork submitted by provincial authorities.

Going forward, we have few recommendations on how the government can make better use of the PDMI process to support and enhance provincial risk reduction work.

Recommendation #1: The objective of the application of PDMI should be on identifying capacity gaps and ensuring appropriate resources to further support local level authorities to enhance their risk reduction efforts. This is critical for provinces to understand.

Recommendation #2: We recommend that each province receive a report, highlighting key findings and recommendations on how to further strengthen their DRM system at the provincial, district and local levels.  

Recommendation #3: We recommend a joint technical workshop to be organized between VNDMA and UNDP to conduct a comprehensive review and go through all practical experiences and the lessons learned from the application of PDMI in 2021. The objective should be on amending PDMIs based on these lessons learned.

Recommendation #4: The set of PDMI indicators should be updated, to allow for the assessment and reflection of the disaster risk reduction situation on the ground. In other words, in addition to the ‘inputs’-based approached, PDMI should also focus on ‘outputs’ – i.e. to be able to reflect the actual impact of risk reduction efforts on people and infrastructure. The lessons learned from UNDP’s field visits in 8 provinces can be used to introduce these changes.

Recommendation #5: And finally, we would like to recommend that in line with Government’s strategy on digital governance, application of technology should be integrated in the PDMI process. UNDP has turned the PDMI into a KoBo Form, which allows provinces to enter the data directly to an online database, centrally managed by VNDMA. This would reduce the submission time for provinces, and would also allow for faster review and assessment of the data. As communicated with our VNDMA partners, UNDP is ready to organize trainings to integrate PDMIs with the KoBo Toolbox.

In terms of next steps, UNDP stands ready to launch this first ever PDMI report during the DRR week of 2022.

Given the fact that PDMI is expected to be applied for 5 years, UNDP is ready to provide further technical support to VNDMA to apply the updated PDMI in 2022.

Xin cam on!