Integrating culture into sustainable development policies
During the World Decade for Cultural Development, 1988-1997, Viet Nam was aware of the necessity to integrate culture into sustainable development policies and develop it to new heights. In Resolution 5 of 1988, the Communist Party of Viet Nam recognized culture as “the spiritual foundation for the society, as well as the goal and the driving force for socio-economic development.” This belief has since served as the foundation for many programmes and action plans of the government, ministries and sectors focusing on the contents of cultural development.
The socio-economic development strategies contained in Viet Nam’s five-year socio-economic development plans identified that the key mission was to develop culture and human resources, together with the restructuring of the economy, growth and poverty reduction. In the development strategies, investment in the development of the national education system, healthcare, welfare and social programmes, anti-illiteracy programmes and ethnic language teaching, created a foundation for development, reflecting in reality the integration of cultural elements into development policies. The integration of cultural elements into sustainable development strategies is reflected in some aspects, such as rural development, poverty reduction and gender as cross-cutting issues in development programmes. In the field of culture, community approaches and reality-based needs are two more important factors which contribute to the formulation of development programmes.
The national target programme on Developing a New Rural Model in the Period 2010-2020 will be a typical example of these integration efforts, with the objectives: Formulating a new rural model with ever-modernized socio-economic infrastructure; Developing suitable economic structure and production forms, linking agriculture with the robust development of industries and services; Linking rural development with urban development according to planning; Developing a rural society characterised by democracy, stability and richness of traditional cultural identities; Protecting the ecological environment; Ensuring safety and security; and Improving the spiritual and material life of citizens.
The programme comprises 11 elements: Planning the construction of the new rural development model; Developing the socio-economic infrastructure, transforming the economic structure, developing the economy and increasing income; Reducing poverty and improving social welfare; Renovating and developing effective production and business forms in rural areas; Developing a healthcare system for people in rural areas; Developing cultural life, information provision and communication for rural areas; Providing clean water and improving hygiene standards in rural areas; Ensuring safety and security in rural areas; and Improving the quality of Party units, local governments and political-social organizations in the region.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Viet Nam, together with Ministry of Information and Communication, have taken responsible for the implementation of the cultural aspects of these above-mentioned elements, as well as for the formulation of cultural life and the organization of information and media activities. The budget for the programme includes capital from national target programmes and supporting projects, loans and funds from enterprises.
In the fields of information and communication, the Prime Minister approved in 2005 the Development Strategy of Viet Nam Information Technology and Communication for the period up to 2010 with Orientation to 2020, and in 2009 the Project Developing Viet Nam into a Strong Country in the Fields of Information Technology and Information, creating the essential foundations for the development of information technology and communications infrastructure, and for the creation of many new creative and entertainment forms, as well as personal connections in a modernized society.
The project Developing Information Technology and Communication in Rural Areas from 2011 to 2020 was issued in 2011 with the following objectives: Developing the infrastructure for a modern and compliant information technology-communication network at grassroots-level areas, making contributions to economic restructuring, development of production and services and poverty reduction and improving the intellectual level of rural areas; Spreading post office, telecommunication services and information technologies, as well as radio and television services, magazines and newspapers to rural people, so that the information gap between rural and urban areas will be gradually narrowed down; Digitalizing and storing information relating to everyday life in the Internet environment, creating favourable conditions for people in rural areas to get access to and process information quickly and conveniently, and ensuring two-way communication from central to grassroots levels, so that people in rural areas can receive information and make their voices heard, expressing their wishes and thinking, thus promoting grassroots democracy.
The national target programme on Providing Information to Mountainous, Remote, Border, Sea and Island Areas in the Period 2012-2015, hosted by Ministry of Information and Communication, aims at formulating and strengthening the grassroots information and telecommunication system; reducing the gap between different areas in relation to the provision and enjoyment of information ; contributing to economic development, improving the cultural and spiritual life of the people; and ensuring safety and national defence in mountainous, remote, sea, island and border areas.