By: ACN Newswire
February 22, 2006 at 09:16 AM EST
ADB Supports First Selection of NGOs for PRC Poverty Reduction Programs
In a major first in poverty reduction efforts in the People's Republic of China (PRC), nongovernment organizations (NGOs) have been competitively selected to serve as partners in state-funded poverty work.
The announcement today follows a 19 December 2005 ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People to formally announce procedures for a pilot test under a technical assistance (TA) project on NGO-Government Partnerships in Village-level Poverty Alleviation.
The TA is supported by ADB and executed by the State Council Office of the Leading Group on Poverty Alleviation and Development (LGOP) and Jiangxi counterparts. The China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA), a leading national NGO active in poverty reduction and related fields, is acting as implementing agency for the TA's focal pilot test component.
"The receipt of 11 very strong proposals from consortia involving a total of 16 NGOs is very encouraging and is indicative of the level of interest the project has attracted in civil society circles, as well as the government and media," says Christopher Spohr, a Social Sector Economist based at ADB's Resident Mission in Beijing.
Panel deliberations recommended six proposals, which were endorsed by the Jiangxi Province Poverty Alleviation and Development Office (PADO) today. Selected NGOs, ranging from those based in Jiangxi to internationally-associated NGOs, will shortly begin poverty alleviation work in six villages distributed in three poor counties in Jiangxi under Phase 1 of the pilot. The selected NGOs are:
China Association for NGO Cooperation
China Office of Heifer Project International, in association with Sichuan Yilong County Town and Village Development Association, Dabashan Mountain Society on Ecology and Poverty, and Shou Country Poverty Alleviation Association.
Jiangxi Youth Development Foundation
Ningxia Center for Environment and Poverty Alleviation
Promotion Association for MRL Regional Sustainable Development
Shaanxi Research Association for Women and Family
"This process marks the culmination of effective policy dialogue and cooperation, as well as strong foresight and support from LGOP, Ministry of Finance, and partner agencies in Jiangxi Province, who increasingly view NGO participation in poverty reduction as a means to address certain systemic flaws and inefficiencies," Mr. Spohr adds.
"It may also mark a new era. As this is the first time in the PRC that state funds for national programs have been channeled through NGOs on a significant scale, the pilot has potential to fundamentally change the way the Government pursues poverty reduction efforts and state-funded programs more broadly."
The project will help to operationalize recent calls by high-level PRC leaders for transforming the Government's role in poverty alleviation and other spheres. International experience suggests that while the PRC Government will maintain a key guiding role in poverty reduction, increasing partnership with NGOs can enhance program efficacy by tapping important complementarities, based on each partners' strengths.
By completion of the two-phase pilot test in September 2007, LGOP and PADO will channel nearly $1.4 million equivalent of state funds through competitively-selected NGOs for implementation and facilitation of village-level poverty alleviation projects, working with local governments. ADB will fund NGO administrative costs, as part of $1.0 million TA funding from its Poverty Reduction Cooperation Fund, financed by the United Kingdom's Department for International Development.
About ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK:
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in the Asia and Pacific region through pro-poor sustainable economic growth, social development, and good governance. Established in 1966, it is owned by 64 members - 46 from the region. In 2005, it approved loans and grants for projects totaling $6.95 billion, and technical assistance amounting to $198.8 million.
Tsukasa Maekawa Email: email@example.com Tel:+632 632 5875; Mobile: +63917 625 1351 Graham Dwyer Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel:+632 632 5253; +632 898 3413
ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK
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