[Excerpt] Since 1992, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has supported disability activities in Vietnam including activities focusing on education, health, employment, rehabilitation, accessibility, policy development, and advocacy. Through technical assistance and funding of nongovernmental organization (NGO) activities, USAID/Vietnam has contributed to raising awareness at the national, provincial, community and family levels regarding the needs and abilities of children and adults with disabilities in Vietnam. While progress is being made, significant gaps still exist and funding for programs is decreasing. A comprehensive strategy for disability programming will allow USAID/Vietnam to maximize available resources in order to continue the momentum of the disability programming in Vietnam. To inform USAID/Vietnam on strategic planning, this assessment team was charged with analyzing gaps in current programs and providing recommendations for a broader disability strategy.
The overarching purpose of the assessment was “to assist USAID/Vietnam in identifying focus areas where its disability portfolio can have the greatest impact in advancing the livelihoods of Vietnamese with disabilities (VWD).” The following priority guiding questions were developed to aid the assessment: 1) What are the most pressing needs of people with disabilities (PWD) in Vietnam and which of these are not being met? 2) What has been the reach/impact of USAID/Vietnam’s disability programming? and 3) Considering USAID/Vietnam’s existing position and the needs of VWD, where should USAID/Vietnam concentrate its efforts?
From information gathered in multiple interviews, meetings and other contacts with representatives of many segments of the disability community in Vietnam, the Assessment Team identified four areas of priority concern and three areas of recommendations.