The main content of Chapter 3 deals with the data collection of the indicators in
the system of statistical indicators of sustainable development, thereby the application
of the calculation process described in Chapter 2 to calculate the aggregate index of
sustainable development. With different formulas, the author comes up with many
different results for indicators of sustainable development. To be able to select
appropriate methods, the author used methods of statistical graphs and tables for
comparison and analysis.
With the available analyses, the author choses the most appropriate formula for
the data conditions in the period of 2001-2010. Although it was only relative due to the
limit of indicators in quantity and the inconsistent sources of data, the aggregate index
of sustainable development partly reflected the development process in Vietnam
during the 10-year period from 2001 to 2010. That proves the feasibility of the
research thesis.

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1INTRODUCTION
1. The urgency of the topic
Sustainable development is not only the process of economic development, the
increase of output volume but also the sustainability of the development, which ensure
the progress in terms of economic structure, society and the balance of ecological
environment.
Today, sustainable development is one of the most important missions of every
country, including Vietnam. In order to monitor the country’s development, Vietnam
has set up a system of statistic index on sustainable development with specific target.
However, the indicators in such a system may have some opposite fluctuation. Some
of them develop well over time, while a few others turn to be worse, affecting the
development process negatively. This situation causes some difficulties in assessing
and analyzing the trend of sustainable development. There have been organizations
and individuals being interested in making aggregate indexes for assessment of
sustainable development so as to obtain a broad overview of this issue. However, up to
date there has been no system with specific recommendations being applied in
practice. This context has encourages the author to work on the thesis “Statistic
Research on Assessment of Sustainable Development in Vietnam”, suggesting a
clear, specific and feasible method to calculate the aggregate index of sustainable
development. The author then used the available data of Vietnam in the period 2001 –
2010 to test the method. This thesis, therefore, contributes in answering the questions
by managers “How to assess the real situation of sustainable development in
Vietnam?” and “How was the reality of Vietnam’s sustainable development in the
period 2001 – 2010?”
2. Research objectives
The overall purpose of the thesis is to formulate a method of calculating the
aggregate index for sustainable development so as to implement it in assessing the real
sustainability of development in Vienam. Specifically, the thesis:
- systemizes and clarifies the contents related to sustainable development and
the system of sustainable development index
- suggests a method to calculate individual indicators, component indicators and
2
aggregate index for assessment of sustainable development on the basis of the
available system of indicators in Vietnam
- calculates, on the pilot basis, the aggregate index of sustainable development
in Vietnam in the period 2001 – 2010
3. Research targets and methodology
The thesis’ research target is sustainable development.
Research scope:
+ The thesis collect and synthesize data, calculate and analyze aggregate index
of sustainable development in the territory of Vietnam
+ Time target of the research: 10 years from 2001 to 2010, to be suitable to the
10-year strategy for socio-economic development of Vietnam.
The following statistic methods are used for research purposes:
- Desk research. This is one of the method for data collection in sociological
survey. Basing on the secondary data of sustainable development and the way to
calculate the aggregate indexes, the author provides a broad overview of research
target, which later serves as a basis for the later assessment.
- Statistic tables and graphs. They are used to synthesize and demonstrate data
and statistic targets of sustainable development over time.
4. Contribution of the thesis
Through this thesis, the author contributes some new knowledge in terms of
theory and practice of statistic performance, specifically:
First, the thesis formulates a method to calculate an aggregate index of
sustainable development in Vietnam, whereby makes it clear the way to calculate
individual indicators, component indicators and then aggregate index; identifies the
higher bound and lower bound of each indicator. This is a new positive contribution in
term of theory for the future studies in sustainable development in Vietnam.
Second, in term of practice, the thesis gives out analyses and assessments of
sustainability of Vietnam’s development over the period 2001 – 2010. The author uses
real data of Vietnam and the above-mentioned formula of calculating aggregate index
on a pilot scheme, analyses the reality of sustainable development in Vietnam over the
past 10 years.
The research results will help Government organizations demonstrate a method
3to synthesize, assess and compare the sustainability of the country’s development.
Besides, the thesis opens a new direction of perfecting the existing system of statistic
index of sustainable development as well as selects a specific method of assessment in
the coming another 10 years.
5. Structure of the thesis
After the Introduction, which mentions the urgency, objectives, target and
scope of the research, the thesis introduces a research overview. The main literature of
the thesis is divided into 3 parts:
Chapter 1: Overview of sustainable development
Chapter 2: Develop a method to calculate aggregate index for assessing
sustainable development in Vietnam
Chapter 3: Pilot calculation and analysis of aggregate index for assessing
sustainable development in Vietnam in the period 2001 – 2010
CHAPTER 1. OVERVIEW OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
1.1.Concepts of development and sustainable development
1.1.1.Development
Development is a popular term used in official documents and daily life. Over
the different stages of historical development, world economic researchers have made
a number of concepts of development.
The concept of development perfects itself along the development of human
society. At present, this concept basically keeps its contents developed in the past
decade but with more emphasis on the human rights. Economic development covers
economic growth, progress in economic structure and social progress.
1.1.2. Sustainable development
The term “sustainable development” came out first in 1980s in the document
Strategy for world conservation published by the International Union for Conservation
of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) with a very simple notion – "Human
development is impossible to focus only on economic development, but it should
respect the natural needs of the society and the impacts on ecological environment "
[40, p.18-19].
4
This concept was popularized in 1987 thanks to the Brundtland Report (also
called the Report on Our Common Future) by the World Committee for Environment
and Development (WCED) under the United Nations. The report made it clear that
“sustainable development is the development which can meets the current needs
without negative impacts and damages to the ability to meet the needs of future
generations" [41, p.37].
Sustainable development was known in Vietnam in late 1990s. Basing on the
above concepts and the nation’s real practice, Vietnamese economic researchers
developed the concept of sustainable development as a basis for completing
development targets of the country. They are healthy development, where the one’s
development does not harm others’ benefits, individual development does not damage
the community’s benefits, development of one community does not negatively affect
that of another community, the development of today’s generation does not intervene
the interests of the next generation, and the development of human being does not
threat life or worsen living conditions of other creatures on the planet.
1.2. The necessity for implementation of sustainable development
Everybody in the world would like to perfect his life in order to create magic
development ever seen. However, our Earth with its natural conditions cannot meet
those unlimited expectations of human being. Natural resources are limited, so they
will come to end, natural conditions may become more severe. This create serious
conflicts, which require development in harmony between the people and their
surrounding environment. Therefore, implementation of sustainable development is
considered the top priority of each nation. Organizations and countries, depending on
their various objectives, point out the necessity of developing sustainably and various
contents of sustainable development.
In Vietnam, the issue of sustainable development is made in details in various
political documents, specifically in the Resolutions of the 4th Plenary National
Convention of the Communist Party of Vietnam. According to this Resolution, the 10-
year strategy for socio-economic development should “develop fast, efficiently and
sustainably, achieve economic growth along with accomplishment of social progress
and equality and environment protection”, “create socio-economic development in
close link with environment protection and improvement, ensuring the harmony
5between man-made environment and natural environment, conserving ecological
diversity.” [36]. In the next 10 years from 2011 to 2020, sustainable development is a
consistent requirement in the Socio-economic Strategy set by CPV in the 11th Plenary
Meeting: “Sustainable development is a basis for fast development, which create
resources for sustainable development in its turn. Fast development and sustainable
development must go together in planning, plans and policies of socio-economic
development " [37].
1.3.Contents of sustainable development
1.3.1.Contents of sustainable development, according to some international
organizations
The Earth Summit on Environment and Development (Rio de Janero 6/1992)
and the ASEM Youth Dialogue on sustainable development agreed that sustainable
development consists of four dimentions, namely economic, social, environmental and
regulatory. Each country should have its regulatory dimension as a basis for the
planning and policy making, as well as the targets to achieve and the communication
for public. Therefore, these two organizations made regulatory dimension equally
important as the three main dimensions which create the sustainable development in
economy, society and environment.
Following another approach, two Canadian environmentalists named Jacobs
and Sadler define sustainable development in its nature as an aggregate and systematic
development. Seeing the relationship between three factors of economy, society and
environment, Jacobs and Sadler form sustainable development with a triagle of these
factors, of which environment is put on top and the factor of regulation is included in
social factor. This model is later developed into a 3-extreme chart by Mohan
Munasingle, a World Bank specialist.
This approach is popularized all over the world today for it is a combination of
the 3 factors with a total force to create the stability and sustainability for each nation.
1.3.2. Vietnam
In 2004, Vietnam established its own sustainable development program called
AGENDA-21. In this program, Vietnam makes its clear overall objective of
sustainable development as “to achieve abundance of materials, richness of culture and
spirit, equality of citizens and consensus of society, harmony between human and
6
nature; to develop in a close, rational and harmonious link of 3 factors including
economic development, social development and environment protection”. This is the
basis for sustainable development on 3 factors of economy, society and environment.
1.4. A system of indicators of sustainable development
1.4.1. Some general issues of the system of statistic index
A system of index is a collection of indicators, which includes not any
indicators but a systematically selected group of indicators to reflect 2 major contents:
the most important aspects and features of population and the basic relationship
between the aspects of population as well as between the studied population and their
related phenomena within the limit of research scope.
To obtain the relevant system of statistic index which can be used to assess the
real situation of development, the system must meet 4 requirements: research
objectives, features reflected, feasibility and number of indicators.
Based on these requirements, the thesis assess the relevance and feasibility of the
system of statistic index for sustainable development applied in Vietnam on a later day.
1.4.2.Studies of statistic index system for sustainable development in the world
In early 1995, to meet the requirement of UN Committee for Sustainable
Development (UN CSD), the UN Committee for Economic and Social Issues in
cooperation with experts from various international organization and other members
established a system of statistic index includind 134 national indicators of sustainable
development.
In 2001, UN CSD introduced a recommended system of statistic index
including 15 major topics, 38 sub-topics and 58 indicators. This system of index was
adjusted one more time in 2006, serving as a basis for nations to establish their own
system of statistic index for sustainable development.
Other organizations under the UN and various social and non-government
organizations also study and introduce their national index e.g. index of human
development, index of eco footstep, etc.
Different nations also introduce strategies for sustainable development
AGENDA-21 together with a system of statistic index for sustainable development
with a large range of indicators and contents, e.g Indonesia (21 indicators), China (80
indicators), UK (15 indicators), USA (32 indicators)...
71.4.3.Studies of statistic index system for sustainable development in Vietnam
Along with the world trend Vietnamese researchers have studied to set up its
own system of statistic index for sustainable development. The research process gets
the attention of various ministries, industries and organizations. The results include the
introduction of some systems of index. Over time, the system of statistic index for
sustainable development has been perfected and implemented in real life. With
expectation to have a unanimous system of statistic index, on 12 April 2012, The
Prime Minister signed Decision 432/QĐ-TTg to approve the Vietnam’s Strategy for
Sustainable Development period 2011 - 2020. Pursuant to this decision, the system of
statistic index for supervison and assessment of Vietnam’s sustainable development
period 2011 - 2020 consists of 30 indicators with data sources and implementation
plan as described in Table 1.1.
Table 1.1. System of statistic index for supervision and assessment of
Vietnam’s sustainable development
No. Indicators
Organization in charge
of collection
Plan
I Aggregate indicators
1 Green GDP (in VND or USD) MPI (GSO) 2015
2 Human Development Index (HDI) (0-1) MPI (GSO) 2015
3 Index on Environment Sustainability (0-1) MPI (GSO) 2015
II Economic indicators
4
Efficient use of investment capital (ICOR)
(increase of implemented investment capital
by 1 GDP dong)
MPI (GSO)
2011
5 Labor productivity (USD/worker) MPI (GSO) 2011
6
Proportion of contribution by productivity
of aggregate factors in overall growth rate
(%)
MPI (GSO)
2015
7
Decrease in energy consumption in
production of 1 GDP unit (%) MPI (GSO) 2015
8
No. Indicators
Organization in charge
of collection
Plan
8
Proportion of recycle energy in the energy
consumption structure (%)
Ministry of Trade and
Industry
2011
9
Consumption Price Index (CPI) (%
compared with the last December) MPI (GSO) 2011
10 Current Balance (bil. USD) State Bank 2011
11 State deficit (%/GDP) Ministry of Finance 2011
12 Sovereign Debt (%/GDP) Ministry of Finance 2011
13 Foreign Debt (%/GDP)
Chairing: Ministry of
Finance 2011
Cooperating: State Bank
III Social Indicators
14 Rate of Poverty (%) MPI (GSO) 2011
15 Rate of Unemployement (%) MPI (GSO) 2011
16
Rate of trained employees working in the
economy (%)
MPI (GSO)
2011
17
Coefficient of inequality in income
distribution (Gini coefficient) (times)
MPI (GSO)
2011
18 Gender Ratio at birth (boys/100 girls) Ministry of Health 2011
19
Number of students/10.000 people
(students)
Ministry of Education
and Training
2011
20
Number of Internet subscribers
(subscribers/100 people)
Ministry of Information
and Communication
2011
21
Rate of population benefitted from social,
health and unemployment insurance (%) Viet Nam Social
Security
2011
9No. Indicators
Organization in charge
of collection
Plan
22
Number of death by traffic accidents
(people/100.000 people/year) Ministry of Police 2011
23
Rate of villages recognized to meet criteria
of new rural community (%)
Ministry of Argriculture
and Rural Development
2015
IV
Indicatiors of environment and natural
resources
24 Rate of forest coverage (%) Ministry of Argriculture
and Rural Development
2011
25
Rate of land areas protected and maintaining
bio- diversity (%)
Ministry of Environment
and Natural Resources
2011
26 Area of deteorated land (mil. ha) Ministry of Environment
and Natural Resources
2015
27
Decrease of underground and surface water
volume (m3/person/year)
Ministry of Environment
and Natural Resources 2011
28
Rate of days with high level of toxicated air
exceeding the accepted level (%)
Ministry of Environment
and Natural Resources 2011
29
Rate of urban areas, industrial and
processing zones and industrial clusters with
standardized processing of solid wastes and
waste water to meet relevant national
standards and technical requirements (%)
- Chairing: Ministry of
Construction
2011
- Cooperating: Ministry
of Environment and
Natural Resources;
Ministry of Trade and
Industry
30
Rate of solid waste collected and processed
to meet relevant national standards and
technical requirements (%)
- Chủ trì: Ministry of
Construction
2011- Phối hợp: Ministry of
Environment and Natural
Resources
(Source:Decision 432/QĐ-TTg dated 12 April 2012 by the Prime Minister)
10
CONCLUSION OF CHAPTER 1
Chapter 1 presents an overview of sustainable development, including concepts,
necessity and major contents. Sustainable development is a firm combination and
inter-relations between economic development and social issues and environment
factors in harmony, stability and flexibility. These factors present an urgent priority to
every nations, including Vietnam.
Contents of sustainable development concentrate in three areas of economy,
society and environment, which should be equally treated. These contents are bases for
developing a system of statistic index for sustainable development in the world and in
Vietnam as well. From this suggestion Chapter 1 introduces some available systems of
statistic index for sustainable development analyses in depth the current system of
statistic index for sustainable development of Vietnam. This is the latest system
introduced by the Government, with presence of some aggregate indicators to give
assessment of various aspects.
The later part of the Chapter analyzes the similarity and difference of Vietnam’s
system of statistic index for sustainable development and the system recommended by
the UN Council for sustainable development. Besides, the author points out some
limitations in the system to address in the coming time.
In the recommended system of statistic index the assessment will be
implemented on separated indicators, which reflect each and every dimension of
sustainable development. However, if stopping at that point, the thesis cannot come up
with an overall conclusion on the results of sustainable development in the country.
There should be an assessment on the process of sustainable development over time to
compare and withdraw experience for development. Right here is the gap in both
theory and practice calling for further research in this thesis.
11
CHAPTER 2. DEVELOPING A METHOD FOR CALCULATION
OF AGGREGATE INDEX FOR ASSESSMENT
OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN VIETNAM
2.1. Overview of method for development of aggregate index ng quan nghiên cứu về
phương pháp xây dựng chỉ số tổng hợp
There are various methods developed to calculate the aggregate indes,
specifically:
First, to calculate the human development index (HDI), UNDP use the simple
formula of average multiple of the 3 component indicators:HDI = I / I / I /
In the formula to calculate the aggregate index, the component indicators are
calculated using the theory of min-max data standardization. To calculate and analyze
data in the simplest way, the UN Statistics Organization has guided how to calculate
component indicators so that they can receive value between [0,1].
In addition, UNDP’s Report on human development in 1991 introduced another
indicator, namely the indicator of human’s freedom. The study implemented simple
calculation method: give 1 point for each indicator which ensure the right for freedom,
and 0 point for those violating it. After that, the accumulated scores of 40 indicators
will serve as the basis for classifying nations about ensuring human right for freedom.
Besides, a study by Yale University (USA) in cooperation with Columbia
University and the World Economic Forum introduced a formula to calculate
Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2008 and Environmental Sustainability Index
(ESI) 2005 [39]. According to this method, the aggregate index (ESI scores) is
calculated in 2 ways: direct calculation from 21 indicators and indirect calculation
from 5 topics of 5 main groups of issues. The simple arithmetic average (without
weight) is used to calculate the indicators. The weighted arithmetic average, in which
weights are determined by the experts of the study, is used to calculate the topics.
There are several methods to determine the specific weight for each indicator in
the system of statistic index, namely the general method by Dr. Nguyễn Trọng Hậu from
the Institute for Europe Studies, method of statistic analysis using correlation regression
(multivariate regression) and key element analysis, semi-matrix or expert methods.
12
Through this overview it can be seen that various methods are used to calculate
the aggregate index. However, studies focusing on the aggregate index of sustainable
development in Vietnam are rare, with only one study titled “Identify a set of
indicators of sustainable development and develop a database for supervising
sustainable development in Vietnam” within the framework of project VIE/01/021
implemented at the Ministry of Planning and Investment. In that study the weighted
arithmetic average method is used to calculate the aggregate index. However, the
suggestion given in this study just introduce a direction to calculate the index of
national sustainable development but not a specific method for calculation.
2.2.Suggestion on a method to calculate the aggregate indext for sustainable
development in Vietnam
2.2.1.Method to calculate individual indicators
2.2.1.1.Selection of a formular to calculate individual indicators
First, regarding positive indicators: the higher the values of these indicators, the
more sustainable the development. Using the method to calculate the aggregare index
introduced by the UN in HDI calculation, one of the following two formulas:
Formula 2.1: I = Real value − Minimum valueMaximum value − Minimum value
Formula 2.2:I = ln(Real value) − ln(Minimum value)ln(Maximum value) − ln(Minimum value)
Second, regarding negative indicator: the higher the value of indicators, the less
sustainable the indicators and vice versa. The thesis will be adjusted toward positive
indicators. When the indicator value increases to nearly 1, the nation’s development is
more sustainable. In that the formula will be opposite.
Formula 2.3: I = 1 − Real value − Minimum valueMaximum value − Minimum value
Formula 2.4:I = 1 − ln(real value) − ln(minimum value)ln(maximum value) − ln(minimum value)
Third, regarding central-tendency indicators: the closer the indicator’s value to
13
a central value, the more sustainable the development. The following are formulas 2.5
and 2.6: I = |real value − central value||maximum value − central value|
and: I = |ln(real value) − ln(central value)||ln(maximum value) − ln(central value)|
Thus, depending on its characteristics, each indicator will be calculated
according to a relevant specific formula.
2.2.1.2.Identify minimum and maximum values
Within the scope of this thesis the author gives out 2 alternatives for the
following reasons:
First, regarding the group of positive and negative indicators:
- Maximum value: If the indicators’ maximum limit possible can be identified,
it will also be used as maximum value. If it is impossible to identified the values or if
there is no instruction on sustainable limit of those values, the maximum values to be
taken will be the value of trend, i.e. the maximum value of the indicators during the
study period.
- Minimum value: Similar to maximum values, if the minimum limit of the
values can be identified, the miimum value will take. Other indicators can take the
value of trend as its minimum value.
Second, regarding the group of central-tendency indicators.
- Central value: If there is information about the optimum value of the indicator,
the central value will take that value. For the rest of indicators, the choice will be made
upon each indicator’s characteristics.
- Maximum value: the value of the biggest difference (either positive or
negative) from the central value in the time series.
2.2.2. Methods to calculate component indicators
2.2.2.1.Aritmethic or geometric average?
Both the averages take the common feature of general average. However, the
geometric average respects the equality than the arithmetic one. An indicator with high
value cannot make the overall index’s value rocket if the geometric average formula is
14
used. Therefore, to best reflect the reality and to make the aggregate index more
meaningful in the case of data diversity, the geometric average is the best choice.
2.2.2.2. Simple or weighted geometric average?
The thesis introduces both two methods of calculation. The real data collected
will decide which method would be suitable in the current conditions of Vietnam.
The most important in developing weighted geometric average formula is to
give a suitable weight to individual specific indicators. Method of semi-matrix is a
simple and quite effective because it takes the nation’s development strategy in a
specific period into cosideration.
2.2.3.Formula to calculate the aggregate index of sustainable development
According to the content of sustainable development and the Vietnamese
perspective of development, sustainable development means a balanced and
harmonious development between three aspects, namely economy, society and
environment, with no bias on any of these aspects. Therefore, the contribution of each
aspect into development is equal. The author, therefore, choose the simple geometric
average formula (without weight) to calculate the aggregate index of sustainable
development. This method of calculation ensures the coverage of development
contents and their meanings and is easy to implement.
Formula: 4 MTXHKTTH IIIII
Besides, in the situation of date being not or not fully available, if the number
of indicators in the group is not enough to represent the group of indicators, the
component index calculated will not reflect accurately the reality of development.
Then, it is necessary to calculate the aggregate index of sustainable development
directly from individual indicators, accepting their equal role and contribution to the
index value. The overall formula is: n
n
1i
iII
According to the above formula, the aggregate index of sustainable
development is always valued between 0 – 1. Different values will show different
levels of sustainable development. From this finding, the author suggests a scale to
measure the development to identify the level of sustainable development in Vietnam
when the calculation results of the aggregate index is completed, as follows:
15
0.0 - 0.2: develop unsustainably
0.2 - 0.4: develop fairly sustainably
0.4 - 0.6: develop relatively sustainably
0.6 - 0.8: develop quite sustainably
0.8 - 1.0: develop very sustainably
CONCLUSION OF CHAPTER 2
From the available system of statistic index for sustainable development
Chapter 2 has reviewed various studies on aggregate index and recommended a
method to calculate the aggregate index of sustainable development in Vietnam. This
is also the main content of the thesis.
The indicators in the system of statistic index of sustainable development are
classified into 3 groups of positive, negative and internal indicators. The author
identify formulas to calculate individual indicators and their minimum and maximum
values in each group. From the individual indicators the author analyzes and selects
various formulas to calculate component indicators using the averages: arithmetic or
geometric averages, simple or weighted geometric averages. Then the author goes on
with identifying the weights in the formula for weighted averages.
The last content in Chapter 2 refers to developing a formula to calculate the
aggregate index of sustainable development. The author gives out 2 formulas to
calculate the average directly from individual indicators in the case when data are not
available and indirectly from component indicators when data collected mostly in full.
After developing formulas, the author deals with the questions e.g. whether the
formulas are really different in assessing the sustainability of the development, and
which formula or method are practical enough to be implemented in reality. These
questions cannot be answered with theoretical arguments but need being proved by
real evidence. The real data of Vietnam’s development in the period 2001 – 2010 are
used in the light of the above theory for experimental calculation, then for selecting
appropriate formulas to prove the feasibility of the study.
16
CHAPTER 3. EXPERIMENTAL CALCULATION AND ANALYSIS OF
FLUCTUATION IN VIETNAM’S INDEX OF SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT PERIOD 2001 – 2010
3.1. Experimental calculation of aggregate index of sustainable development in
Vietnam in the period 2001 – 2010
3.1.1.Current situation of data of statistic indicators in Vietnam
The system of statistic index of sustainable development selected for
calculating the aggregate index of sustainable development is the system used for
development plan in the period 2011 - 2020. Therefore, when using it for experimental
calculation for the period 2000 - 2010, the real data are not sufficient. There are many
indicators not sufficiently collected. In fact, there are only 16 indicators having enough
data for experimental calculation.
3.1.2. Calculation of individual indicators
The individual indicators are calculated by the relevant formulas mentioned in
Chapter 2, after identifying each indicator and from the available time series and
selecting the relevant maximum and minimum values.
3.1.3. Calculation of component indicators
Formulas mentioned in Chapter 2 are used to calculate the appropriate
component indicators in two cases: the formulas of simple arithmetic average and
weighted arithmetic average.
3.1.4. Calculation of aggregate index of sustainable development
Using the formula recommended in Chapter 2, the author calculates and obtains
the results of index of sustainable development with 3 different formulas: (1) direct
calculation from individual indicators; (2): calculation from component indicators
which are computed by the formula of simple geometric average; (3): calculation from
component indicators which are computed by the formula of weighted geometric
average.
The calculation results are shown in Table 3.1.
17
Table 3.1. Aggregate index of sustainable development
of Vietnam in the period 2001 - 2010 by different methods of calculation
Unit: time
Year
Method
2001 \\2002 2003 2004 2005
(1) 0.295 0.344 0.370 0.434 0.494
(2) 0.414 0.453 0.476 0.522 0.568
(3) 0.415 0.459 0.483 0.530 0.569
Year
Method
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
(1) 0.492 0.403 0.316 0.284 0.420
(2) 0.569 0.509 0.446 0.420 0.529
(3) 0.574 0.523 0.460 0.435 0.565
3.1.4.Comments on the methods of calculating the aggregate index of sustainable
development
The three methods of calculation mentioned above show three different results.
The two following cases are observed:
- When the data of indicators were not sufficient, one indicator could not be
representative for the whole big group, so in this case the first formula (calculated
directly from individual indicators) better reflected the reality of sustainable
development in Vietnam for the past 10 years.
- When there were enough data of indicators, the second method of calculation,
which was to use indirect average through component indicators, would be more
suitable. The aggregate index of sustainable development also needs building based
odeveloping on the basis of representative levels for each field.
Thus, due to the fact that there were not enough data of the indicator system in
the period of 2001 - 2010, the study would select results from the first method of
calculation, which is to use simple geometric average of individual indicators as the
basis for the analysis of the current status of sustainable development in Vietnam.
18
3.2. Analyzing trend of substainable development in Vietnam in the period 2001 –
2010
3.2.1. Choosing the method of analysis
Using the method of statistical tables and graphs, we will have an intuitive
overview on the trend of sustainable development of Vietnam for the past 10 years.
3.2.2. Trend of substainable development in Vietnam in the period of 2001 - 2010
Selec the method of calculating the index of substainable development basing
on individual indicators, using simple geometric average. Calculation results are
represented in Figure 3.1.
Figure 3.1. Vietnam’s index of Sustainable development in the period
2001 - 2010
Actual development of Vietnam in the period of 2001 – 2010 was not really
stable and sustainable . In the early days of this decade (from 2001 to 2005 ), the
development trend was quite good. The index of substainable development gradually
increased over time. If sustainable development was weak at 0.280 in 2001, it reached
the average level with the value of 0.470 in 2006. The sustainable development
slightly decreased since 2006 and sharply went down from 2007 to 2009. The index of
sustainable development in 2009 only stayed in the range of a fairly sustainable
development; in other words, the substainability was weak, even worse than that in
2001 with the value of 0.270. However, Vietnam had a breakthrough in 2010 with the
19
index of substainable development of 0.400. Although it still did not came back to the
level of substainable development of the mid-decade, in general Vietnam tended to
recover its momentum by 2010.
Which of the group(s) of indicators, among those having contributed to the
sustainable development, held strong fluctuation which affected the overall fluctuation?
This question is answered as in the graph of Figure 3.2.
Figure 3.2. Fluctuation of Economic and Social Sectors indicators in the period
2001 - 2010
It is easy to see the significant improvement of society when people's lives
gradually progressed year by year. However, this indicator group had relatively low
values compared to the economic indicators. It means that the improvement of living
did not keep pace with the economic development of Vietnam. Life and living
environment were still the issues that needed attention and priorities to be addressed.
The changing trend of the indicators in the economic field was similar to the
general changes of sustainable development. Among those economic indicators, which
indicators made a significant impact on such general volatility, if considered in two
years of sharp decline in economy 2008 and 2009?
In 2008, the current account balance was the main reason for the economic
decline, being the lowest in the 10-year period with deficit of $10.79 billion, much
lower than the other years. The second reason was the consumer price index CPI or
inflation (CPI in 2008 was up to 123%).
20
Figure 3.3. Changes in group of economic indicators 2008 - 2009
In contrast to 2008, in 2009 the government implemented stimulus packages
that made certain recovery of international economic relations as well as kept the
speed of increasing consumer price within one single digit (by using the solution
package of curbing inflation, tightening the monetary policy); however, this caused a
decrease in the contribution proportion of TFP among the indicators to the general
growth and the state budget deficit.
3.3. General assessment on the index of substainable development and some
recommendations
3.3.1. General assessement on the index of substainable development
From the results of experimental calculation of the indext of sustainable
development in Vietnam in the period of 2001 - 2010, the author comes back to
evaluate the suitability of the system of statistical indicators of sustainable
development as well as the formulas proposed in Chapter 2.
First, for the system of statistical indicators of sustainable development: The
number of indicators was quite large, making the process of calculating the overall
index become cumbersome; some indicators do not ensure the consistency of
calculating methods, data sources, and the reporting periods, which cause many
difficulties in data collection, affecting the accuracy of the calculated results; there was
0.000
0.100
0.200
0.300
0.400
0.500
0.600
0.700
0.800
0.900
1.000
ICOR NSLĐ XH Tỷ trọng
TFP
CPI Cán cân
vãng lai
Bội chi
NSNN
Nợ nước
ngoài
2008
2009
21
an overlap that leads to the duplication of the aggregate index of substainable
development.
Second, for the proposed formulas: Proposal of stages of calculating the
aggregate index of sustainable development is based on the overall study and analysis
of the available system of statistical indicators. The indicators calculated in the same
period had to be integrated in the scope and methods of calculation in order to ensure
the comparability. However, for each different stage of development, there might have
different changes.
3.3.2. Some recommendations of and solutions to the statistical work on
substainable development in Vietnam
3.3.2.1. Recommendations
- For the Government and the Council of National Sustainable Development:
there is a need to organize a specialized department in order to analyze the statistical
indicators collected, thereby evaluate the status of sustainable development in Vietnam
in each period. On that basis, the Council of National Sustainable Development can
propose directions, policies, and goals of sustainable development for the next years to
the government. These development goals will be the basis to determine the actual
maximum and minimum values in the formula of calculating separate indicators as
proposed.
- For the statistical industry: It is necessary to carry out re-checking the
indicators in the system of statistical indicators of sustainable development so as to get
the best indicator system to assess the development process in Vietnam. The GSO also
needs to do research in order to provide specific methods of calculation, integrating the
aggregate index of sustainable development, helping the Council of National
Sustainable Development in assessing and analyzing the development situation of the
country.
- For the related ministries and ministerial-level agencies: it is important to
coordinate with related agencies, unifying the methodology of calculating some new
indicators, understanding and periodically reporting the statistical figures required so
as to summarize, process, and analyze data in time.
3.3.2.2. Solutions
- For the multi-level model of statistical reports:
22
Figure 3.1. Multi-level model of statistical reports
- For the system of statistical reports:
Sustainable development is also a macro problem and should be accumulated in
in quantity in a long time. Therefore, the data of the statistical indicators of sustainable
development should be periodically aggregated every year by the responsible agencies.
CONCLUSION OF CHAPTER 3
The main content of Chapter 3 deals with the data collection of the indicators in
the system of statistical indicators of sustainable development, thereby the application
of the calculation process described in Chapter 2 to calculate the aggregate index of
sustainable development. With different formulas, the author comes up with many
different results for indicators of sustainable development. To be able to select
appropriate methods, the author used methods of statistical graphs and tables for
comparison and analysis.
With the available analyses, the author choses the most appropriate formula for
the data conditions in the period of 2001-2010. Although it was only relative due to the
limit of indicators in quantity and the inconsistent sources of data, the aggregate index
of sustainable development partly reflected the development process in Vietnam
during the 10-year period from 2001 to 2010. That proves the feasibility of the
research thesis.
Through calculation and graphical analysis, the aggregate index of sustainable
Related ministries,
ministrial-level
agencies
Bureaus of
Statistics in
provinces and
cities
Specialized
divisions – General
Statistics Office
Council of
National
Substainable
Development
Related
departments
Office for
national
substainable
development
Governm
ent
23
development shows that the results of the development of Vietnam was not really
stable and sustainable as expected in the strategy of socio-economic development in
the period of 2001-2010. The economy developed unstably due to the influence from
the general scence of the world as well as of the related policies. Although people's
lives were improved, they were still quite low, only moderate.
In the last part of the chapter, the author returns to assess the indicator system
as well as the proposed formulas, basing on the calculation results and analysis of the
aggregate index of sustainable development in the period 2001-2010 in Vietnam.
Thereby, the author makes some recommendations and suggests solutions to perfect
the statistical work in developing a mechanism of collecting, summarizing, and
publishing the data of sustainable development in the future.
CONCLUSION
Sustainable development – the process of balanced and harmonious
development of all three factors of economy, society, and environment – is the final
goal of most countries in the world today. The “Strategy of Socio-economic
Development of Vietnam 2001 – 2020” has determined the development perspective
in this period as "Rapid development closely associates with substainable
development, sustainable development is the consistent goal in the strategy".
To assess the performance, the Government launched the system of statistical
indicators to monitor and evaluate sustainable development. Thereby, it is crucial to
have the aggregate index to assess the process of substainable development basing on
this indicator system. To contribute to the implemetation of that requirement, the thesis
has studied and solved some basic problems as follows:
- Generalize the concepts, the need for, and the content of sustainable
development. This is the rationale for studying and analyzing the system of statistical
indicators of sustainable development.
- Summarize some systems of statistical indicators of sustainable development
available in the world; generalize and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the
system of statistical indicators of sustainable development in Vietnam. The thesis
analyzed and proposed solutions of improvement to the indicator system issued by the
24
Government, making conditions of better assessing the current status of sustainable
development of the country.
- Recommend the aggregated evaluation process of sustainable development,
including formulas and methods to determine the factors in calculating individual
indicators, component indicators, and aggregate index of sustainable development.
This is the key content of the thesis. The result of this process will show an overview
of the development process of Vietnam in the study period.
- Collect data of indicators in the period of 2001-2010 to experimentally
calculate the proposed index of sustainable development. The calculation demonstrates
the feasibility of the studyin this thesis. Moreover, the author analyzes the current
status of sustainable development of Vietnam in the period of 2001 - 2010 basing on
the calculated results.
- Presenting some recommendations and solutions in order to well perform
statistical work on sustainable development in Vietnam, enabling the best data
condition, contributing to accurately assessing the sustainability of the development
process of the country.
The thesis proposed a basic methodology to calculate the aggregate index of
sustainable development for Vietnam in every stage of development. On this basis, it
is possible to build a system of statistical indicators, and to calculate the aggregate
index of sustainable development among provinces over time. Thereby, it is possible
to enable comparing and assessing the development levels of each and every province
all over the country, making conclusion on the weaknesses to be overcome in order to
make the country develop more substainably. This thesis will also serve as the basis
for further research in the future.

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