Open-sourced data considerably benefit Vietnam

Open-sourced data is increasingly considered a flexible resource which greatly benefits businesses, consumers, as well as the national economy in general. Therefore, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) is now running the project to build a common database for public use.

The application ‘Planning Information on HCMC’ is a typical example of building a common database of the city. Photo by Gia Quang

The application ‘Planning Information on HCMC’ is a typical example of building a common database of the city. Photo by Gia Quang

Property of the whole society

Reports from many international organizations show that Vietnam needs to gather necessary content to develop its digital economy. In particular, it should quickly create an effective digital database, form a corresponding legal basis, adjust the education system to have suitable human resources for this development, and build as well as manage the open-sourced data so that businesses and citizens can easily access this information.

According to Vice Chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen, 80 percent of the population in HCMC possess smart devices, and the city has the greatest capacity related to information technology, both of which have become advantages for the city to develop its digital economy.

Since HCMC is transforming into a smart urban area, the demand to access and make use of open-sourced data of administrative units, businesses, and citizens is so high that it is critical for the government to immediately build one, in the hope that the growth of the e-government, economy, and startup ecosystems can simultaneously developed thanks to the complete unity.

Many experts also stated that open-sourced data is the shared property of the whole society, contributing to the growth of a digital economy.

At the moment, the city is building its ecosystem of open-sourced data to integrate databases of different departments, industries, and district units.

Priority to major critical fields

Open-sourced data include different national databases like the national statistics, the government budget, the information on weather, maps and the local databases such as information on social security, transport and logistics, business permits, educational institutes.

At present, despite the appearance of many open-sourced data from social networks and businesses or organizations, the most widely used is still the formal ones from the government and state-related units.

According to Mr. Nguyen Thanh Phuc, Head of the Authority of Information Technology Application under the Ministry of Information and Communications, the e-government is now developed on the track of a digital government with three basis of considering citizens as the center, the government its foundation, and databases the core.

As a result, administrative officers are able to use those databases to design planning policies, making quick and precise decisions, while citizens can access administrative services online and companies can develop applications that take advantage of governmental data.

As Vietnam only begins the process of building such a necessary open source, there is a serious lack of data and data applications, so it is essential to prioritize certain major fields with a clear goal and route.

Mr. Phuc said that the construction of an e-government in Vietnam to some extent has achieved positive results. However, some national databases like population, national land, finance is not very effectively collected, leading to a difficulty in sharing information on these fields. What is more, the access of online administrative services is still incoherent and unfriendly. In reality, the number of processed online documents is quite low. Some administrative services are not even allowed online. Another drawback is that integrated platforms to share data are sluggishly carried out.

By BA TAN – Translated by Vien Hong

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