AbstractThe University of ManchesterStephanie SteelsPhD in the Faculty of Medical and Human SciencesDeveloping Urban Health Indicators for Low Income Countries: Vietnam, a Case StudyDecember 2012BackgroundSince 2008, more than half of the world's population now live an urban area. The consequences of this are strains on existing resources such as access to healthcare, housing and infrastructure. Therefore, access to data at the urban level is important for those involved in policy making in order to assess and address these issues. This is especially important for developing countries where resources are already limited without the added strain of urbanisation. This PhD study is nested within the EURO-URHIS 2 project, a DG Research, FP7 Programme project which is collecting data on a series of indicators deemed to be important to urban health. The first part of this PhD study investigates whether the EURO-URHIS 2 data collection tools designed for use in Europe can be replicated in Vietnam. During a preliminary fieldwork trip to Vietnam it was found that it would not be possible to obtain permission to interview policy makers or the urban population of Ho Chi Minh City within the study time frame. Therefore, the second part of this PhD study is to explore the use of existing data sources, functions and activities of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Vietnam.MethodsThe EURO-URHIS 2 existing data survey was used to collect country and urban area level data from Vietnam. The data for the NGO study was collected using an online questionnaire hosted on a server by the University of Manchester. ResultsThe study found that it was possible to use the EURO-URHIS 2 existing data tool to collect a range of health indicator data at the country and urban level in Vietnam. The online study determined the role of international NGOs working in Vietnam and barriers to using existing sources of information. The study also found low levels of NGO engagement with other NGOs, policy makers, local authorities and Vietnamese government organisations. ConclusionsThe successful implementation of EURO-URHIS 2 existing data survey allowed the examination of the potential health implications of urbanisation in Vietnam. The NGO study identified key areas where international NGOs in Vietnam were active, barriers to using existing sources of data and NGO relationships with other actors. The study also suggested opportunities for further NGO engagement.