The fourth training event on VNMOD, the tax-benefit microsimulation model for Viet Nam, is organized as a five-day research retreat, intended to empower participants to use VNMOD to answer their own policy questions.
The retreat is composed of two parts: a brief refresher on the use of the model (1.5 days) and a longer retreat portion (3.5 days). In the latter section, participants break out in groups, develop their own policy questions, model them using VNMOD, and examine and interpret the results.
This work is geared towards writing policy briefs that are expected to be developed further after the retreat, with support from UNU-WIDER, Southern African Social Policy Research Insight (SASPRI) and the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), and eventually disseminated to policymakers and other interested audiences. In addition to informing local policymakers at large, the policy briefs serve to answer questions that are critical for the work of the participants themselves.
The retreat serves as a capacity development initiative where attendees will not only get acquainted with the VNMOD model but also learn to use it to address pertinent policy questions. The participants will complete the retreat with an appreciation of the opportunities to leverage VNMOD to evaluate proposed or hypothetical policy reforms and to provide quantitative evidence on their effectiveness.
The retreat will also serve as a forum to build a community of VNMOD users in Viet Nam, generate ownership of the model beyond the national team at CIEM, and expand the model userbase and expertise at relevant local institutions, including those that administer the policies modelled in VNMOD.
The VNMOD research retreat 2022 welcomes up to 8 participants from government and academia, such as the General Statistics Office of Vietnam (GSO), the National Centre for Socio-economic Information and Forecast (NCIF), Viet Nam Institute for Economic and Policy Research (VEPR), and Vietnam National University (VNU). Most of the chosen participants have attended at least one of the previous VNMOD training events.
The retreat is organized in Hanoi, Viet Nam, and delivered by the SOUTHMOD national team at CIEM, Dr David McLennan from SASPRI, and Dr Jesse Lastunen from UNU-WIDER. A key feature of the retreat is that the national team will take the lead in organizing and delivering the retreat.
This initiative is part of UNU-WIDER's SOUTHMOD – simulating tax and benefit policies for development project. SOUTHMOD is part of UNU-WIDER's research and capacity development programme on domestic revenue mobilization (DRM), funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (Norad).