Young Vietnamese intellectuals selected for UN innovation programme hinh anh 1Poster of the programme.
Hanoi (VNA) - Two young Vietnamese, Vu Son Tung and Le Minh Anh, have surpassed over 100 candidates in the Asia-Pacific region to be selected for the United Nations programme “Youth Innovation for Human Mobility”.

The UNDP Human Mobility Team and Youth Co:Lab, an initiative co-led by the UNDP and Citi Foundation, are partnering with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN), and Migrant Forum Asia (MFA) for the first Youth Innovation for Human Mobility initiative in the Asia-Pacific region.

The initiative called for exciting business proposals or innovative ideas to improve the lives of migrants, displaced people and their host communities among the urban poor. It prioritised proposals and ideas that target to address a range of challenges experienced by the groups. These are generating jobs and incomes in ways that protect natural resources and avoid environmental damage; improving relations between migrants, displaced people, their host communities and local authorities; preventing or lessening the impact of disasters and climate change on the urban poor; and enhancing health and other essential services for the urban poor.

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) announcement of the selection of suitable candidates for its initiative came after four months of processing 150 submissions from the region.

Two Vietnamese, Vu Son Tung and Le Minh Anh, have been selected for the programme. Both of them are international students in the US and representatives of the Global Network of Young Vietnamese Intellectuals.

To be selected, applications ought to address at least one of the social or economic challenges outlined above; are specific to the urban poor, and respond to the particular challenges of migrants/displaced people in the target areas, particularly women or youths; and involve people from the target community in the proposal development. They are also requested to be innovative, and demonstrate the potential for the proposal’s viability and long-term sustainability.

The project by Son Tung and Minh Anh, named VieSIBLE, helps provide services and training programmes for immigrant and informal workers in Hanoi based on artificial intelligence programming.
Young Vietnamese intellectuals selected for UN innovation programme hinh anh 2Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)
VieSIBLE receives information from the groups on their living situation, challenges, and desire to improve their current life. Its algorithms will screen and provide the most suitable training or services for them, saving time and consulting costs to the maximum. Thereby, migrant workers will receive career orientations, navigation on related administrative processes, legal support, as well as psychological consultation.

Son Tung and Minh Anh said they both care about social issues, particularly development rights of vulnerable groups in the society. They have actively participated in the Global Network of Young Vietnamese Intellectuals’ activities and been trained on innovation by the network.

Making efforts to join the UNDP’s initiative, the two said they believed the highlight of their project is “technology”, as it offers a convenient, accessible, time and cost saving, and sustainable solution, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

They will receive up to a cash prize of 1,000 USD to springboard their innovation and join the Youth Co:Lab Springboard Programme – an incubation platform for young Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) entrepreneurs to turn innovative SDG solutions into sustainable businesses.

They will take part in the Youth Co:Lab Summit – a flagship event that brings together the brightest young entrepreneurs in the Asia-Pacific region and connect them to a support network to help them succeed. They will also be featured in a multimedia campaign for broad exposure, including videos, blogs and posters./.
According to the UNDP, 1 billion people, or about 1 in every 8 persons around the world, live in informal urban areas, where families across generations are often squeezed into tiny, makeshift dwellings without access to running water, adequate sanitation and other essential services. Many are unemployed or in precarious work situations that barely pay for their daily survival. Their communities typically experience weak governance and rule of law, and their voices are rarely considered in urban planning processes. The impact of disasters and climate change is increasingly worsening such challenges.

Most people in informal urban areas live in the sprawling megacities of Asia, with internal and cross-border migrants, displaced people, youth and women often over-represented, contributing to their exclusion. The marginalization of migrants and displaced people is frequently compounded by factors related to immigration status or municipal registrations, access to information and social support networks, or discrimination and xenophobia.