White paper

Enhancing Digital Competence: Impacts and Policy Implications from a study in Vietnam

The report emphasizes Vietnam's need to enhance digital competence due to its role in shaping a thriving digital society. Despite remarkable progress, the country's digital skills rank below the median in some global indices. Prioritizing digital competence will not only address economic challenges but also establish Vietnam as a prominent digital leader in the region. This approach will accelerate the implementation of the national strategy for digital and green transformation, foster digital civility, and prepare the country for technological mega-trends, ensuring Vietnam’s preparedness for a better future. The study employs the Digital Competence Framework for Citizens (DigComp) and surveyed 723 Vietnamese individuals to measure their competence. Key findings are presented below. Additionally, the study highlights common best practices from successful nations and provides insightful policy recommendations and suggestions for future research.

Key findings

1. Effects of digital competence on society

  • Provide access to opportunities;
  • Improve communication and collaboration;
  • Increase citizen’s empowerment and active involvement;
  • Safeguard privacy and strengthen cyber security;
  • Facilitate critical thinking;
  • Foster a culture of lifelong learning and the ability to adapt;
  • Promote innovation.

2. The imperative of digital competence in Vietnam

  • Overcome challenges facing the Vietnamese economy
  • Serve the national strategy for digital and green transformation
  • Create digital civility and prepare for the mega-trends

3. The common best practices from world leaders include:

  • Education: Prioritizing digital skills integration, early exposure to coding, and computational thinking.
  • Government initiatives: Driving digital competence through comprehensive plans, training, and e-learning.
  • Digital literacy for all: Promoting digital literacy for all age groups, including older adults.
  • Collaboration: Inclusive digital transformation via public-private collaboration and stakeholder engagement.
  • Lifelong learning: Emphasizing continuous learning, subsidizing digital skill upgrades.
  • Innovation: Embracing flexibility, design thinking, and innovation for digital society advancement.

4. Policy implications for Vietnam

  • Use DigComp to assess digital competence levels in Vietnam, considering limitations of online self-assessment for all citizens.
  • Conduct a comprehensive survey to assess digital competence, incorporating AI-related elements.
  • Involve digital officers for digital competence assessments, especially in remote areas.
  • Enhance digital proficiency in problem-solving, safety, and content creation through various courses, including Vietnamese Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
  • Consider adopting tailored DigComp frameworks for other key areas, especially education.
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Full version of the White paper