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New utility app streamlines bureaucratic procedures for disabled Vietnamese

New utility app streamlines bureaucratic procedures for disabled Vietnamese

Thursday, June 17, 2021, 11:29 GMT+7
New utility app streamlines bureaucratic procedures for disabled Vietnamese
NKT's interface, as seen from a smartphone. Photo: Ha Quan / Tuoi Tre

NKT, a novel mobile app aimed at easing the burden of administrative paperwork on disabled Vietnamese, has launched on the iOS App and Android Play stores, as well as on a website.

NKT was initiated from the collaboration between the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the Vietnam National Mine Action Center (VNMAC), with support from the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids, and Social Affairs.

It was launched on Tuesday in Hanoi as part of the Korea-Vietnam Mine Action Project (KV-MAP).

The app allows disabled people, particularly survivors of explosive ordnance, to provide and access data about their disabilities and print the disability certificates needed to receive government assistance and communicate other needs to authorities.

It also helps social protection officers provide assistance to disabled people in a prompt, timely, and effective manner. 

Local authorities and public welfare officers will benefit from the system as it supports their bids to develop a national database for the disabled capable of publicizing the country’s policymaking process and targeted assistance programs.

In the future, NKT developers plan to improve the app’s accessibility features in order to ensure the best experience on the app. 

Before the launch, the app passed a nine-month testing phase which included participation from 90,000 disabled people in nine provinces and cities in Vietnam. 

Nguyen Thi Lan Anh, director of the Action to the Community Development Institute and a physically challenged person herself, shared her excitement regarding the app’s usefulness. 

“Not everywhere is accessible to disabled people,” she stated.  

“With this app, I no longer need to go outside to get paperwork done.  

"A computer or smartphone with an Internet connection is all it takes to look up the level of disability my friends and I are categorized as.”

At the launch of the digital platform, Caitlin Wiesen, a representative of the UNDP in Vietnam, emphasized the importance of promoting innovative solutions for settling issues for people with disabilities, a subset of the population which is among the most vulnerable in the country and has been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

“The UNDP rapid assessment of the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 on people with disabilities showed that 24 percent of the respondents did not have a disability certificate, which limited their ability to access the services and assistance they need,” she said.

While the app will likely improve medical access for people with disabilities during the pandemic, many believe its benefits will extend across society. 

“We will promote these applications widely, while at the same time continuing to develop the skills of social workers and enabling them to meet the needs of those they serve,” said Nguyen Van Hoi, vice-minister of the labor ministry.

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