International Workshop on Developing Integrated, Interdisciplinary, Long-term and Multi-purposed Database to Evaluate Socio-economic and Environmental Changes in Vietnam

The international workshop entitled “Develop Integrated, Interdisciplinary, Long-term and Multi-purposed Database to Evaluate Socio-economic and Environmental Changes in Vietnam” was hosted by the VNU - University of Economics and Business on Aug 21-22, 2013 at Ba Vi district, Hanoi. The workshop was chaired by Dr.Vu Anh Dung, UEB’s Vice Rector, and his joint team.

The workshop was attended by several international and local leading experts in economics, sociology and environment such as: Dr. Steven Uriq - Director of the long term households survey project in the UK, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex; Professor Sarah Turner - University of McGill University (Canada); Prof.Dr. Mai Trong Nhuan - Senior Advisor, former Director of VNU; Prof.Dr. Truong Quang Hai (VNU InstituteofVietnamese Studiesand Development Sciences); and researchers and several experts from the Institute of Sociology (Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences); Department of Sociology (VNU University of Social Sciences and Humanities), Institute of Population and Social Studies (National Economics University), Institute of Psychology, VNU International Centerfor Advanced Researchon Global Change, representative of global market research company Nielsen, etc. The workshop was also attended by fellows from University of Portland (USA), University of Pau and Pays de l'Adour (France) and some learners and students of VNU.

Experts and delegates attending the workshop

The workshop focused on four major issues during two working days: (1) International lessons in conducting household survey projects; (2) Content and parameters of  economic, social, cultural, education and environment aspects in the questionnaires; (3) Project design; (4) Project organization and pilot survey planning.

Prof.Dr. Mai Trong Nhuan opening the workshop

In the opening speech, Prof.Dr. Mai Trong Nhuan emphasized the important role of this project. He insists that the project is relating to many social aspects, data is collected continuously to serve long term research, therefore it is necessary to take advantage of resources and establish an advisory board for the project which considers households a “monitoring station”.

Dr. Vu Anh Dung delivering a speech and chairing the workshop

Dr. Steven Uriq introduced the household survey project conducted in the UK with general ideas, purposes, advancement through different stages, implementing principles and survey content in order to help Vietnamese attendants learn more about the project to apply in Vietnam.

Dr.  Steven Uriq introducing the UK households survey project which has been conducted for 24 years

Members of the team, including researchers from universities belonging to the Vietnam National University, Hanoi, such as University of Science, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Education, InstituteofVietnamese Studiesand Development Sciences, University of Economics and Business, and other universities such as National Economics University, explained the purposes, parameters in the questionnaires covering economics, culture, society, education, health, psychology, environment aspects.

Dr. Nguyen Anh Thinh explaining the parameters/content of environment aspect in the households survey project

Dr. Nguyen Cam Nhung explaining the parameters/content of economic aspect in the households survey project

Several attendants to the workshop appreciated the group’s preparation for the questionnaires which specify the issues needed to be clarified and serve the project’s goal well. The experts contributed several ideas to improve the questionnaires, some groups of questions should be clarified more clearly and avoid overlapping, for example. Prof.Dr. Trinh Duy Luan (Institute of Sociology) said that the questions should be adjusted to cover more types of people in the society as they differ much from one another in terms of forms of income: cash or farm produces. Sharing view points on distinctive characteristics of Vietnamese society, Assoc.Prof. Dang Nguyen Anh (Institute of Sociology) pointed out some issues needed to be cared more, such as migration, marital status, domestic violence, social inequality, gap between the rich and the poor. Several experts said that languages and questions should be as simple and clear as possible.

Nielsen’s representative presenting the project design and pilot survey planning

A Nielsen expert made presentation about the project design and pilot survey planning in terms of sampling frame, sampling unit, interview time, sampling procedures, data processing, etc. The attendants commented on different issues, especially random sampling method, stratification, how to ensure interviewed households to continuously participate in the annual surveys, how to define household in a single way, samples checking procedures, how to maintain samples and how to properly manage questionnaires. Prof.Dr. Truong Quang Hai emphasized the role of ethnic minorities as objects of the survey. He suggested the team to avoid conducting survey on localities sharing many similarities. Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Thi Thieng (Institute of Population and Social Studies) analyzed the complexity of a social survey project, requirements for interviewers, how to maintain contact and response from interviewees, etc.

Delegates and experts contributing their ideas at the workshop

The experts, researchers and the team worked intensively and effectively during the two-day workshop. The ideas and comments from experts and delegates are useful for the team to improve and conduct the project.

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