The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, are universal targets designed to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity in each UN member state by 2030. They are intended to continue the progress made by the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs).1
The SDGs are based on six themes including: human dignity, people, planet, partnership, justice and prosperity. The final two are new themes.2 The Sustainable Development Agenda is more comprehensive than for the MDGs and includes 17 goals, defined by 169 specific targets and 232 indicators. These targets move beyond social development and involve new targets for climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice and more. Each goal is interconnected and success in one will often address issues associated with another.3
Transition from the MDGs to SDGs
Vietnam localised the MDGs through the implementation of a Comprehensive Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy (CPRGS) (2003). It aligned the MDGs with the country context to form the Vietnam Development Goals (VDGs). The VDGs were the basis for the development of two five-year Socio Economic Development Plans (SEDPs) from 2006 to 2010 and 2011 to 2015.4
While these plans contributed to impressive progress in reducing poverty,5 there were challenges with ensuring all citizens benefited from economic growth, particularly for women, ethnic minorities, migrants to urban areas, and informal workers who continued to lack social protection. During the Millennium Agenda, climate change also became an increasing threat to Vietnam’s socioeconomic development.6
By September 2015, Vietnam had only met three of the eight MDGs in full (poverty reduction, education and gender equality), along with some other targets related to infant and maternal mortality, and controlling the spread of infectious diseases.7 Much of the work required to meet the MDGs remained unfinished at this time.8
In 2017 the Government of Viet Nam and the United Nations responded to this through developing a joint ‘One Strategic Plan’ (OSP) aimed at integrating the SDGs with Vietnam’s Socio-Economic Development Strategy (2011-2020) and Socio-Economic Development Plan (2016-2020).9 This plan was focused on four key areas, which will be used to inform the way the SDGs are implemented,10 (see inforgraphic below).
Localization of SDGs in Vietnam
With support from UNDP, Vietnam developed a National Action Plan (NAP) toward SDGs to review its existing development strategies, policies, programs with respect to how well that align with the SDGs. This was used to develop Vietnam SDG targets (VSDGs) in consultation with national ministries, provincial agencies, civil society and development partners.11
The VSDGs were approved by the Prime Minister in 2016 and also have 17 goals but only 115 targets. There are both similarities and differences with the Global Goals.12Synthesis Report: Reviewing 17 common goals and 169 specific objectives of the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 to assess the situation and identify appropriate, feasible targets on the condition of Vietnam, as the basis for the nationalization of the global sustainable development goals. (2016), Access June 2018.
Means of Implementation
To enable the achievement of the VSDGs several legal and policy frameworks have been established in Vietnam. These include:
- Agenda 21 on Sustainable Development (2004);13
- The Sustainable Development Strategy 2011-2020;14
- The National Action Plan on Green Growth (2014); 15
- The Socio-Economic Development Plan for 2016-2020; 16 and
- The National Action Plan for Sustainable Development in Vietnam;17
The NAP defines specific goals for a period between 2017 to 2020, as well as 2020 to 2030. Financing for the implementation of the NAP will be accessed through state budget, private sector, as well as foreign sources, including both official development assistance (ODA) and foreign direct investment (FDI). A Fund for Sustainable Development has been set up to mobilize domestic and foreign resources to achieve of SDGs.18
While billions of dollars were required to implement the MDGs, trillions of dollars will be required for the SDGs.19 However, a gradual decline in attracting FDI inflows into key sectors and Vietnam’s increasing public debt are major challenges.20 21
The focus of ODA is defined by the Joint Strategic Plan (2017-2021), based on consensus between the the Government of Vietnam and the United Nations about national development priorities.22
Vietnam’s population of 93 million people is expected to peak between 2020 and 203023 As such, young people have been recognized as particularly important for national efforts to achieve the SDGs.24
Monitoring and Evaluation
The United Nations Statistics Committee has developed a Code of Statistical Indicators for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of SDGs and their 230 indicators. Vietnam has developed comprehensive legal frameworks for producing these statistics, including: the Vietnam Statistical Law 2015; the Vietnam Statistical Development Strategy 2011-2020; and the Vision to 2030, a National Statistical Indicator System that currently covers 39 SDGs indicators.25
Vietnam’s progress with respect to this goal is outlined below:
The feasibility of 230 indicators
129/230 indicators are feasible;
101/230 indicators are infeasible (There is no methodology, methodology available but not clear, indicators with new concepts, indicators request a new disaggregated and need a lot of time to collect research solutions, alternatives).
89/230 indicators have available data
141/230 indicators have no available data.
Indicator integration into national statistical system
30 indicators have been integrated into the 2015 Statistics Law
(Source: MPI’s report on “Enhancing implementation of the 2030 agenda in Vietnam)
Reporting requirements on the progress of implementing the SDGs are clearly outlined in the National Action Plan to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Ministry of Planning and Investment assumes primary responsibility and coordinates the activities of each sector and level of government down to commune levels development plans.
The Vietnamese Government considers that reporting on the implementation of SDGs needs to involve broad participation by all stakeholders. 26 Sharing information about the implementation of SDGs is believed to be key to effective policy-making. The General Statistics Office of Vietnam has identified a key task to develop an SDG database in Vietnam that enables local citizens to engage in monitoring progress, as well as reporting internationally and comparing outcomes regionally.27 Vietnam is part of the 2018 Voluntary National Review of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
- 1. UNDP Vietnam. “What are the Sustainable Development Goals”. Accessed April 2018.
- 2. United Nations 2014. “The Road to Dignity by 2030: Ending Poverty, Transforming All Lives and Protecting the Planet — Synthesis Report of the Secretary-General On the Post-2015 Agenda” Accessed April 2018.
- 3. United Nations 2015. “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda For Sustainable Development”. Accessed March 2018.
- 4. Ministry of Planning and Investment 2015. “Understanding the implementation of Millennium Development Goals in Vietnam; Results achieved and lessons learned”. Accessed April 2018.
- 5. UNDP Vietnam 2013”. “About the UNDP in Vietnam”. Accessed April 2018.
- 6. United Nations Vietnam 2016. “Delivering as One: 2012-2016 Results Report”. Accessed April 2016.
- 7. Socialist Republic of Vietnam 2015. “Country Report: 15 Years Achieving the Vietnam Millennium Development Goals”. Accessed April 2018.
- 8. The Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam 2017. “One Strategic Plan 2017-2021 between The Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam And The United Nations in Viet Nam”. Accessed April 2018.
- 9. United Nations Vietnam 2017. “Government of Viet Nam and the United Nations sign One Strategic Plan for 2017-2021”. Accessed April 2018.
- 10. The Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam 2017. “Infographic Version of the One Strategic Plan”. Accessed April 2018.
- 11. Nguyen, Le Thuy 2017. “Enhancing Implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Vietnam”. Accessed April 2018.
- 12. Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam 2017. “National Action Plan for Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Vietnam”. Accessed April 2018.
- 13. Socialist Republic of Vietnam 2004; “Promulgation of the Strategic Orientation for Sustainable Development in Vietnam (Agenda 21 of Vietnam)”. Accessed July 2018.
- 14. Socialist Republic of Vietnam 2012; “Viet Nam Sustainable Development Strategy for 2011-2020”. Accessed July 2018.
- 15. Socialist Republic of Vietnam 2014;. “The National Action Plan on Green Growth (2014)”. Accessed July 2018.
- 16. Socialist Republic of Vietnam 2014; “The Socio-Economic Development Plan (2016 – 2020)”. Accessed July 2018.
- 17. Socialist Republic of Vietnam 2014. “Promulgating the National Action Plan for Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. Accessed July 2018.
- 18. Ibid.
- 19. Truong Quang Hoc 2016. “Emerging Issues for the Sustainable Development of Vietnam in the Context of Global Change”. Accessed June 2018.
- 20. Socialist Republic of Vietnam 2015. “Understanding the implementation of MDGs in Vietnam: Results Achieved and Lessons Learned”. Accessed Jul 2018.
- 21. Socialist Republic of Vietnam 2015. ‘‘Country Report 15 years of Achieving the Viet Nam Millennium Development Goals’‘. Accessed July 2018.
- 22. VUFO-NGO Resource Centre 2016. “International NGO Partnerships for Sustainable Development 2016″. Accessed July 2018.
- 23. General Office for Population Family Planning 2014. “Population and Development Planning Database”. Accessed Jul 2018.
- 24. United Nations Vietnam 2016. “Vietnamese Youth: Critical partners to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”. Accessed April 2018.”
- 25. Nguyen, Le Thuy 2017. “Enhancing Implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Vietnam”. Accessed April 2018.
- 26. Ibid.
- 27. General Statistics Office of Vietnam 2018. “Report on the key activities of General Statistics Office and priorities for 2017-2021”, Accessed April 2018.