HCMC promoting innovation in public sector

Ho Chi Minh City is encouraging the implementation of technological-scientific measures in administrating and monitoring community activities, digital transformation in different aspects, and administrative reform, as well as operations in the public sector.

(Photo: SGGP)

Statistics from the National Innovation Center (NIC – under the Ministry of Planning and Investment) reveal that innovation has contributed 95 percent to the economic competitiveness increase, 91 percent to the green economy, 88 percent to new job offering, 86 percent to creating new partnerships, 87 percent to the overall value of the society, and 66 percent to daily activities of citizens.

Director of the HCMC Department of Science and Technology Nguyen Viet Dung stressed that innovation in the public sector is critical to boost sustainable socio-economic growth in the city.

Since this May, the HCMC Departments of Health and Science & Technology have co-held a program about innovation in the healthcare sector in the 2022-2025 period. The program aims at connection the HCMC Health Department to research centers, the innovative startup community to answer the former’s demands in disease diagnosis, treatment as well as medical care for the public.

Before this, the HCMC Department of Science and Technology held a conference to promote innovation and technology implementation in the public sector via a link between district leaders and educational institutes, businesses, startups for feasible solutions in administration, trading activities.

To further encourage this innovation, this department has provided support for needy units to connect to experts in the innovation ecology for optimal solutions. At present, it is working with related state departments and the People’s Committees of all districts and Thu Duc City to launch three programs of Inno-Coffee, R&D and Sandbox.

Inno-Coffee is an event to connect different innovation ecologies, offering a chance for needy organizations to voice their requests and seek satisfying answers or consultation from experts. R&D is a policy to aid research activities to turn those answers and consultation into a feasible solution. Sandbox means a collection of suitable policies to help the pilot of that solution for perfection.

“Problem identification and prioritization are critical in developing a project for innovation in the public sector (in specific state management areas). It is done in five steps of creating requests of the project (investigating, assessing, classifying, and describing problems), publicizing this project to the community, selecting the unit in charge of answering these requests, carrying out the solutions, and evaluating results”, said Deputy Director Le Thanh Minh of the HCMC Science & Technology Department, with the stress on continuous interaction between solution providers and solution implementation units for the best results.

This October, the above department is going to host a training session for members of the task force to apply innovation in the public sector to further boost these activities in that sector. It will also cooperate with related units to devise a common plan for innovation in the public sector so that state departments and the localities can work together to develop major projects in the assigned aspects. The performance of these tasks will be evaluated by the public and businesses sited in HCMC.

NIC expert Pham Thi Thu Trang proposed that Vietnam should have a measurement framework for innovation in the public sector to provide an overview on the concept and precisely evaluate this innovation.