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Aug 05, 2022 / 09:48

Vietnam to assess innovation in public sector

Innovation in the public sector will drive and promote the development of the private sector, thereby improving the competitiveness of the economy.

Vietnam has announced a Public Sector Innovation Index (PII) framework in order to promote innovation in the public sector to boost the economy's competitiveness. 

 An overview of the workshop. Photo: Phi Khanh

The PII, initiated by the Vietnam National Innovation Center (NIC) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program, targets local agencies, ministries, and sectors that can self-assess and improve innovation capacity.

The index is aimed to provide an overview in conceptualizing and measuring innovation in the public sector, measuring the innovation capacity of public organizations, helping policymakers understand different levels of innovation and dynamics in different parts of public sector organizations, and serving as a basis for agencies and organizations to have solutions to promote innovation in the public sector.

Highlighting the role of PII, Pham Thi Thu Trang, an expert from the NIC, said at the workshop held in Hanoi on August 3 that many countries around the world have their own PII framework for good practice in the public sector.

At the event, some delegates said that innovation is necessary for both the private and public sectors, of which innovation in the public sector will steer and promote the development of the private sector, thereby improving the competitiveness of the economy. 

The main drivers for innovation in the public sector are the non-profit spillover of innovation, collaboration, political decision-making, employee initiative, and citizen needs. Meanwhile, private sector innovation aims to gain a competitive advantage and generate profits. Therefore, it is extremely necessary to build a framework for PII to promote innovation activities, especially in the context of a rapidly developing digital economy, according to local delegates.

Sharing his views on the PII, Pham Ngoc Thach from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) said if Vietnam approved this index, it would promote positive changes in the public sector.

Thach added that according to a recent survey of VCCI, many public units have initiatives and changes in the provision of public services and handling administrative procedures. "It is necessary to find out which initiatives are effective in localities and ministries and, if measured, will be very helpful," he added.

Thach added that the scope of innovation assessment at public sector entities must be within its competence, functions, and tasks because the nature of the public service sector is entirely different from the private sector.

"The index needs to use a combination of both self-assessment methods and external public opinion surveys, to increase objectivity for surveyed results," Thach said.

Ly Dinh Quan, Director of the Han River Startup Incubation Center said: “Innovation in the public sector plays an important role, creating a breakthrough to promote the private sector and accelerate economic growth of Vietnam.”

In addition, the human resources for innovation in Vietnam are still evaluated as insufficient, so the development of human resources for innovation should also be a topic of interest in promoting links with universities and specialists.