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Vietnam Launches Smartphone App To Aid Persons With Disabilities

Image credit: Nhan Dan

A new smartphone app called NKT aims to make the lives of disabled people in Vietnam easier by giving them better access to support. The app gives people with disabilities, particularly survivors from accidents with explosive ordnance, the chance to provide and access data about their disabilities. They can obtain a disability certificate to receive government assistance and communicate other needs to authorities. The application is currently being upgraded with additional support functions to assist people during registration.

The digital platform for registry and information management for persons with disabilities (PwD) was launched on 15 June in Hanoi as part of the Korea-Vietnam Mine Action Project (KV-MAP). The project partners are the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Vietnam National Mine Action Centre (VNMAC). It is also supported by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs (MOLISA). An estimated six million people in Vietnam, accounting for 7% of the population, live with a disability. The digital platform aims to make their lives easier and support the provision of needs-based assistance.

According to a news report, the information registered in the database will be kept confidential. An official said that the application is user-friendly and easy to navigate. For social protection officers, the digital platform transforms the management of support for citizens with disabilities. It enables MOLISA and its provincial departments to develop the national database with timely and accurate information on persons with disabilities in support of evidence-based policymaking and targeted assistance.

The digital platform has been successfully tested in Quang Binh, Binh Dinh, Khanh Hoa, Thanh Hoa, Quang Ninh, Quang Nam. and Vinh Long provinces. As well as Hue and Da Nang cities; 90,000 persons with disabilities have already agreed to be registered. These include the 75,000 people who decided to register when the initial district-level pilot was scaled up to a provincial-level assessment covering both Quang Binh and Binh Dinh, thanks to the Korea-Vietnam Mine Action Project.

The report claimed that this experience helped make the online platform ready for use throughout Vietnam, and this has become easier with the launch of the app for smartphones using either iOS or Android operating systems. “We will promote these applications widely, while at the same time continue developing the skills of social workers enabling them to meet the needs of those they serve,” said Nguyen Van Hoi, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.

The platform is entirely web-based, and the data is centrally stored and managed. 70% of the Vietnamese population own a smartphone and that is why the app was developed for electronic devices. It aims to enhance access to government services for the public.

At the launch of the digital platform, UNDP Resident Representative Caitlin Wiesen emphasised the importance of promoting innovative solutions to solve issues for persons with disabilities, who are among the most vulnerable populations in society and have been disproportionally affected by COVID-19. An official said the app is an initiative contributing to the greater goal of making society more inclusive.

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