It’s estimated that some 6 million persons (7% or the population) in Vietnam are living with a disability. They are among the most vulnerable in society and are disproportionally affected by COVID-19. A UNDP survey showed 24% of respondents do not have their disability certificates which limit their access to the services and assistance they need.
|UNDP Resident Representative Caitlin Wiesen at the launch ceremony of the app "NKT". (Photo: UNDP)
NKT will help make their lives easier and support needs-based assistance, according to UNDP Resident Representative Caitlin Wiesen.
“It enables people with disabilities, including survivors from accidents with explosive ordnance, to conveniently provide and access data about their disability; print a disability certificate and thereby receive government assistance; and communicate other needs the individual might have to relevant authorities to get full-range support when needed,” she said.
With a user-friendly interface, NKT saves time and costs and creates a professional working environment for social protection organizations. With 70% of Vietnamese people owning a smart phone, the new app was developed specifically for such devices, thus enhancing the access to services for the population. NKT is currently being upgraded with additional support functions to further assist people with disabilities during registration.
|Nguyen Thi Lan Anh (on wheel chair), founder and Director of the Action to the Community Development Center (ACDC). (Photo: UNDP)
Nguyen Thi Lan Anh is founder and Director of the Action to the Community Development Center (ACDC), a Vietnamese NGO that works with people with disabilities. She was born disabled and has been confined to a wheel chair for all her life.
“This app is really helpful to me, a person with a mobility disability. I just need a computer or a smart phone with internet connection to confirm the degree of disability for myself and also for my friends. I don’t need to go to public places which are not accessible for me all the time. This app is like ‘a dream comes true’, the first of its kind that I have ever experienced in Vietnam,” said Anh.
|Javelin athlete Cao Ngoc Hung wins a bronze medal at the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil, a milestone for Vietnam's sport.
“With this app, I can update and access data anytime, anywhere I want. When logging in, I can register my information about my disability level with the local authorities. For people with disabilities in remote areas, using this app saves them from travelling and enables them to update their needs, thus receiving appropriate support from the government and different projects,” said Cao Ngoc Hung, a javelin athlete at the Vietnam Paralympic Association.
Currently, the app is being upgraded with AI functions to make registration even easier.
The digital platform has been successfully tested in nine provinces and cities including Quang Binh, Quang Ninh, Quang Nam, and Vinh Long with 90,000 people with disabilities having already agreed to register.
The updated digital platform builds on a platform originally developed for the government of Vietnam by the International Center supported by the US State Department. The Center and the UNDP coordinated the further work on the system, and the Korea-Vietnam Mine Action Project further upgraded it with a case management module and mobile applications.
|The app "NKT" (Screen shot by tuoitre.vn)
“We are proud to contribute to something that benefits so many people on the scope of this immediate project. However, this is very closely in line with a UN approach to ensure support is inclusive and benefits as many people with disabilities as possible," said UNDP Resident Representative Caitlin Wiesen.
"Through the work with Vietnam, MOLISA, and KOICA in one of the largest mine-action project in Vietnam, we are able to develop and contribute this digital solution that can benefit the entire population of people with disabilities.”
The new app is a good example of the efforts made by the project to ensure inclusive support for survivors from accidents with explosive ordnance to possibly all extents of disabled people in Vietnam.