Home / News Type Content Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
China Testing New Approach to Poverty Alleviation
Adjust font size:

In a pilot program promoting stronger village involvement in poverty alleviation participating poorer communities in four provinces will themselves make local development decisions, manage funds, undertake smaller infrastructure projects and public service improvements.

It's a two-year "community-driven development" (CDD) program launched yesterday by China's State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development (LGOPAD) in collaboration with the World Bank. The program is expected to help around 100,000 poorer farmers in 60 participating villages in Shaanxi and Sichuan provinces and in Guangxi and Inner Mongolia autonomous regions. If successful CDD could become a model for poverty alleviation initiatives on a broader scale under China's 11th Five-Year Plans (2006-2010).

China has achieved tremendous success in poverty alleviation in previous decades but now confronts residual issues in relatively remote areas which have been beyond the effective reach of previous government programs. Because of their remoteness many villagers also lack the education or experience which is helpful in actively involving themselves in development.

In contrast to existing approaches to poverty alleviation the CDD program encourages more active engagement between residents and local government agencies. Local residents will identify their own local development priorities and manage many aspects of the work. Local government agencies will shift from a planning role to become more effective local service providers. The program is expected to improve the targeting of poverty alleviation funds by allowing poorer people to manage funds to pursue their own priorities.

"Based on successful experiences in poverty alleviation over the past 20 years and the status quo in poor areas in China we have deepened our understanding of the importance of CDD to poverty alleviation," said Deputy Director Wang Guo Liang of LGOPAD.

"I believe the objective of this pilot is quite consistent with a radical requirement for construction of a 'New Socialist Countryside' put forward by the government of China," he said. "This CDD pilot will promote more participation of villagers in project planning and implementation and encourage local governments to provide services to poor areas and people in a new way. Therefore, the CDD model will strongly promote our 'New Socialist Countryside' development strategy."

In the pilot program the 60 participating administrative villages will receive grants in support of three activities intended to address inadequate living conditions and incomes. In one activity villagers will receive funds to undertake small-scale infrastructure or public service improvements.

A second activity provides funds to improve village natural resource management or local environmental conditions. And the third allows villagers to collectively manage a revolving fund that provides small investment loans to households. Within each administrative village smaller natural communities will compete for access to program grants. 

A facilitator will be hired and trained for each participating village to assist villagers with program planning and to monitor performance. Within each participating county, a local government leading group will be formed to supervise the program. Local government agencies will play key roles in assisting villagers in designing program proposals which are technically feasible and within available budget. The CDD program provides support only for village-level initiatives. Local governments retain overall responsibility for planning and implementing all larger activities.

The pilot program, modeled in part on CDD operations supported elsewhere in Asia by the World Bank, is expected to cost 64 million yuan (US$8 million). The program is supported by a grant of 16 million yuan (US$2 million) from the Japan Social Development Fund in the World Bank. Three international NGOs -- Action Aid, Plan International and World Vision -- are assisting in program training and local facilitation. A fourth NGO, Oxfam Hong Kong, is also supporting with program design, monitoring and evaluation.

CDD has great potential for China," said David Dollar, World Bank Country Director for China. "Many other programs in China have involved consultations with local people or even involved them in local participatory planning. But giving communities more control over decisions that directly concern them at a local level is likely to be another big step toward a well-off and harmonious society."

The pilot program, which will run through October 2008, will be based in Jingxi County in Guangxi, in Jialing District of Sichuan, in Baishui County in Shaanxi and Wengniute Banner of Inner Mongolia. Aspects of the program which prove successful could be applied more broadly in LGOPAD's Village Development Planning Program which will operate through 2010 in 148,000 officially designated poor villages throughout China.

(China.org.cn June 1, 2006)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- 'Yearly Prize of Contribution' for Poverty Relief Awarded
- Guangxi Reports New Achievements in Poverty Reduction
- NGOs Arrowed for Village-level Poverty Relief
- 6 NGOs Win Bids for Poverty Relief Projects
- Poverty-relief Program Still Has Long Way Ahead
- China to Lift 23.65 Mln People out of Poverty in 5 Years
Most Viewed >>
- World's longest sea-spanning bridge to open
- Yao out for season with stress fracture in left foot
- 141 seriously polluting products blacklisted
- China starts excavation for world's first 3G nuclear plant
- Irresponsible remarks on Hu Jia case opposed 
- 'The China Riddle'
- China, US agree to step up constructive,cooperative relations
- FIT World Congress: translators on track
- Christianity popular in Tang Dynasty
- Factory fire kills 15, injures 3 in Shenzhen

Product Directory
China Search
Country Search
Hot Buys