“No-one is left behind” is the ultimate goal of sustainable development; this is a strong reminder for us to ensure that all efforts should be made to address the inequities in the society. It is therefore very important that data and statistics is fully understood and appreciated by all stakeholders. Improved quality of statistics and disaggregated data (by age, sex, rural/urban, province/city and other characteristics) will lead to more effective decision-making and better development policies. In order to provide “authentic and empirical evidence” for monitoring and assessing the implementation of sustainable development goals, on January 22, 2019, the Minister of Planning and Investment issued Circular No.03/2019/TT-BKHDT on stipulating the Set of Sustainable Development Statistical Indicators of Vietnam with 158 statistical indicators. In the process of developing this set of indicators, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (GSO) has received the participation of related stakeholders and technical and financial support from international organizations (GIZ, Hanne Seidel Fund; UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, UNSD, ILO, UNAIDS, …). To help readers have a comprehensive view of this set of indicators, the Editorial Board would like to quote a overview of Vietnam’s Set of Sustainable Development Statistical Indicators of Vietnam.

Vietnam as a member country has been actively participating in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. With a comprehensive and balanced approach integrating sustainable development aspects for development strategies, the National Action Plan to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was adopted at Decision No. 622/QD-TTg dated May 10, 2017 of the Prime Minister with 17 SDGs and 115 targets, and a monitoring and assessment system for the implementation of SDGs was set up – This is a standard regulation on statistical indicators, content of statistical indicators (including concept, calculation method, main disaggregation, release period and data sources, organizations in charge of collecting and aggregating) for the overseeing, monitoring and evaluation of implementing SDGs.

In the most general meaning, the Set of statistical indicators includes statistical indicators that have a close and intimate relationship, reflect the features of size and pace of the development, the structure, dissemination level, proportional relationship of the component or overall socio-economic phenomena in the condition of specific places and time.

Sustainable development is the combination and balancing of three major issues: economic development with social development, protection of natural resources and the environment. These three issues have been addressed in a framework of action-related commitments established based on five elements: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partners with the principle of “leaving no one behind”. With the requirements of sustainable development, the development of Vietnam’s set of sustainable development statistical indicators has been completed with the following basic contents:

a) Principles on the development of the Set of indicators

The Set of statistical indicators for sustainable development (SDIs) of Vietnam reflects Vietnam’s SDGs. In other words, statistical indicators on Vietnam’s sustainable development must reflect 17 goals and 115 specific targets stipulated at the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 622/QD-TTg.

– Ensuring compatibility and international comparability but must be consistent with practical conditions as well as the sustainable development needs of Vietnam.

– Ensure feasibility and consistency with other indicator systems.

b) The selection of statistical indicators is conducted on the basis of:

– Reviewing current legal regulations;

– Reviewing the feasibility of indicators under the set of the global sustainable development indicators in Vietnam. The review results have identified possible indicators in Vietnam; available indicators; impossible indicators in Vietnam; the difference on the concept, calculation method, scope, etc. of each indicator between the global level and Vietnam.

– Suggestions of experts, ministries, line ministries, international organization, non-governmental organizations, organizations and individuals, etc.

c) Vietnam’s Set of SDIs includes: The catalogue and content of the statistical indicators. The catalogue of the indicators includes order number; indicator code; corresponding national statistical indicator code; name of SDGs, indicators; implementation schedule. The content of SDIs of Vietnam includes: concept, calculation method, main disaggregation, release period, data sources and organizations in charge of collecting and aggregating.

On January 22, 2019, the Minister of Planning and Investment promulgated the Circular No. 03/2019/TT-BKHDT regulating Vietnam’s set of sustainable development indicators with 158 indicators, reflecting 17 goals and 115 specific targets of Vietnam stipulated at the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 622/QD-TTg, in which:

(1) 38 indicators in the national statistical indicator system issued along with the Statistics Law 2015.

(2) 103 indicators are developed based on the global sustainable development indicators (the remaining indicators are not specified in the set of SDIs of Vietnam because they are qualitative indicators, only calculated on a global scale and by international organizations, the indicators that are not suitable for the socio-economic situation in Vietnam, the indicators that are only applied in specific areas, etc.)

(3) 18 indicators with the Schedule B – the indicators will be collected and aggregated by 2025.

d) Indicators by 17 SDGs as the follows:

Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere: 9 indicators;

Goal 2: End hunger, ensure food security, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agricultural development: 7 indicators;

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages: 20 indicators;

Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all: 14 indicators;

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality; empower and create enabling opportunities for women and girls: 16 indicators;

Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all: 9 indicators;

Goal 7: Ensure access to sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy for all: 5 indicators;

Goal 8: Ensure sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all: 17 indicators;

Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation: 9 indicators;

Goal 10: Reduce social inequalities: 7 indicators;

Goal 11: Promote sustainable, resilient urban and rural development; ensure safe living and working environments; ensure reasonable distribution of population and work force by region: 10 indicators;

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns: 9 indicators;

Goal 13: Respond in a timely and effective manner to climate change and natural disasters: 2 indicators;

Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably utilize the ocean, the sea, and marine resources for sustainable development: 7 indicators;

Goal 15: Protect and sustainably develop forests; converse biodiversity; develop ecosystem services; combat desertification; prevent the degradation of and rehabilitate land resources: 4 indicators;

Goal 16: Promote a peaceful, just, and equal society for sustainable development; ensure access to justice for all citizens; develop effective, accountable, and participatory institutions at all levels: 10 indicators;

Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development: 3 indicators.

e) Assignment of 24 related ministries, line-ministries to lead the implementation of collecting and aggregating indicators, specifically:

General Statistics Office: 62 indicators

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment: 16 indicators

Ministry of Heath: 12 indicators

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development: 14 indicators

Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs: 5 indicators

Ministry of Education and Affairs: 11 indicators

Ministry of Internal Affairs: 4 indicators

Ministry of Construction: 5 indicators

Ministry of Industry and Trade: 4 indicators

Ministry of Information and Communications; Ministry of Planning and Investment; Ministry of Finance: 3 indicators

Ministry of Public Security; The State Bank of Vietnam; Ministry of Science and Technology; Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; Vietnam Social Security; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: 2 indicators

Ministry of Transportation; The Office of the National Assembly; The Central Organizing Commission of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam: 1 indicator

Ministry of Internal Affairs; The Office of the National Assembly; The Supreme People’s Court; The Supreme People’s Procuracy; The State Audit Office of Vietnam; The Office of the President co-preside over on 1 indicator.

In order to ensure that Circular No. 03/2019/TT-BKHDT is effectively implemented, put into practice, it is necessary to perform the following solutions:

  1. Data and data sources:

– Continuing to collect, aggregate, and compile the indicators with basic data through the integration of them into the current surveys, the current statistical reporting regime and the use of administrative data for the statistical purpose.

– On the basis of the Set of Sustainable Development Statistical Indicators of Vietnam promulgated, the forms of information collection is developed and completed, including:

+ Developing and completing statistical surveys to collect statistical indicators (integrating the collection of Vietnam’s SDIs into current statistical surveys – this content is implemented on the basis of reviewing the annual survey program and national statistical survey program as well as designing new surveys).

+ Developing and completing the statistical reporting regime to collect statistical indicators for sustainable development.

+ Researching and compiling new indicators according to new information sources such as big data, administrative data, etc.

– Strengthening the application of information and communication technology to statistical activities from the stage of collecting and synthesizing to the stage of announcing information.

  1. Resources:

– Continuing to improve the relevant legal environment to resolve policy gaps and facilitate the implementation of SDGs in Vietnam.

–  Raising the whole society’s awareness and action of sustainable development and Vietnam’s SDGs.

– Mobilizing the participation of the entire political system, ministries and line-ministries, localities, agencies, business communities, social organizations, residential communities, and development partners in the implementation of SDG.

– Promoting the cooperation among stakeholders, especially among the Government agencies, businesses, political-social-professional organizations, and international community in the implementation of SDGs. Maintaining and deploying coordination mechanisms among stakeholders to periodically monitor and evaluate the results of implementing the Action Plan and provide solutions, share initiatives and well practice them to achieve the SDGs that Vietnam has committed.

– Strengthening the mobilization of domestic and foreign financial resources, especially resources from the private sector to implement the country’s SDGs.

– Integrating SDGs into the process of making annual socio-economic development plans, strategies, policies, development plans of ministries, line-ministries, localities and agencies. Integrating indexes and SDIs appropriately into periodical national statistical survey programs and other survey programs.

– Enhancing the international cooperation to promote financial and technical support and transfer for SDG implementation.

– Ensuring a sufficient number of people working in statistics and strengthening training cources so that statistical workers have sufficient knowledge and skills to perform the job effectively.