wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07BEIJING1753
2007-03-15 07:07:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Beijing
Cable title:  

ADB's NGO PROJECT GETTING HIGH MARKS IN JIANGXI

Tags:   EAID  ECON  PGOV  SOCI  CH 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO5863
RR RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHBJ #1753/01 0740707
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 150707Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY BEIJING
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5712
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA 8946
						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BEIJING 001753 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/CM
MANILA PASS USED ADB PAUL CURRY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON PGOV SOCI CH
SUBJECT: ADB's NGO PROJECT GETTING HIGH MARKS IN JIANGXI

REF: 06 BEIJING 565

SUMMARY
-------



1. (SBU) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and its Chinese Government
partners launched the second phase of the NGO-Government
Partnerships in Village-Level Poverty Alleviation project on January


19. The pilot project, based in Jiangxi Province, was inaugurated
in December 2005 (see reftel). Government and non-government actors
in Jiangxi said that they initially faced some resistance from local
officials, but the second phase should be easier to implement. ADB
Vice-President Lawrence Greenwood attended the January 19 ceremony,
and ADB officials in Beijing are optimistic that the success of the
pilot project to date offers an opportunity for NGOs to play a
greater role in Chinese civil society. END SUMMARY.

TRAVEL TO JIANGXI


--------------------------





2. (SBU) Econoff and Econ Assistant traveled to Jiangxi Province
February 5-7. Emboffs met in Nanchang, the provincial capital, with
the Director General of the Jiangxi Poverty Alleviation and
Development Office and with officials from a Jiangxi-based NGO that
is involved in the ADB-supported project. Econoff previously met in
Beijing with officials at the ADB Resident Mission and China Fund
for Poverty Alleviation and also attended the January 2007 and
December 2005 forums on the project.

NGO Poverty Alleviation Project Moving Forward


--------------------------

-



3. (U) The Asian Development Bank (ADB), Leading Group on Poverty
Alleviation and Development (LGOP), Ministry of Finance (MOF),
Jiangxi Poverty Alleviation and Development Office (JPADO), China
Fund for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA), the United Kingdom Department
for International Development (DFID), and RGM International
co-hosted the National Interim Policy Forum on NGO-Government
Partnerships in Village-Level Poverty Alleviation in Bijing on
January 19. During the event, the ADB and its partners launched the
second round of a selection process for NGOs to receive government
funding to carry out poverty alleviation projects in Jiangxi
Province. This second phase follows the successful conclusion of
the first year of the project, which included the participation of
five Chinese NGOs and one international NGO (Heifer Project
International) in 22 poor villages in three counties in Jiangxi
Province.



4. (SBU) According to Liu Dongwen at CFPA, the Chinese Government
will channel up to USD 1.6 million in funding through JPADO to NGOs
to conduct poverty alleviation work in Jiangxi through late 2007.
The ADB will provide USD 1 million in technical assistance to
support the project.

Provincial Government and NGOs Pleased with Results


--------------------------



--------------------------





5. (SBU) Zhang Zhihao, Director General, JPADO, was enthusiastic
about the project's results to date. Zhang told Econoff that the
project is now running smoothly despite some early obstacles, and
the project's success proves that the government is willing to
cooperate with NGOs to alleviate poverty. Zhang emphasized that the
key to the project's success is that the NGOs promote a
participatory approach to development, asking poor farmers how they
want to utilize available resources. Zhang said that this approach
challenges conventional thinking in China, resulting in some
resistance at the local government level, but he hopes the
participation of farmers in poverty alleviation will both promote a
more democratic system in rural areas and improve the quality of
Jiangxi's farmers.



6. (SBU) Representatives from Shanjianghu, a Nanchang-based NGO
involved in the project, agreed with Zhang that county and village
officials resisted the project at first. Local government officials
were especially concerned about being replaced by NGOs as the
primary providers of social services, they said. The second phase
of the project will be easier, however, because the NGOs'
participatory approach has also co-opted local officials, who now
are encouraging county and village officials in the new target
locations to give the project a chance. As NGOs become more widely
accepted in Jiangxi, local governments will recognize that they are
capable of work in other areas in addition to poverty alleviation,
they added.

ADB Optimistic about NGOs' Role in Development


--------------------------

-



7. (SBU) With a relatively small investment of USD 1 million, the

BEIJING 00001753 002 OF 002


ADB, in cooperation with DFID, has identified an area in China's
social sector where donors can offer technical assistance. Chris
Spohr, a Social Sector Economist at the ADB Resident Mission in
Beijing, told Econoff that ADB also is pleased with the results of
the project to date. Lawrence Greenwood, ADB's Vice President,
attended the January 19 event, lending high-level ADB support to the
project. Just over one year after the project's launch, ADB
officials are optimistic about the future role of NGOs in economic
development. Min Tang, ADB Deputy Country Director and Chief
Economist, told Econoff that the Government-NGO partnerships in
Jiangxi is the first time the Chinese Government has provided
funding to outsource its work to NGOs, which ADB believes is a
positive step forward for civil society in China.

Comment: Better Than We Thought?


--------------------------





8. (SBU) Reftel expressed uncertainty about the impact of the ADB's
NGO-Government Partnerships in Village-level Poverty Alleviation on
civil society in Jiangxi, but one year later, all project
stakeholders (including the provincial and local governments) appear
to agree that NGOs' contributions during the first phase were
positive. We note that the project's success is unexpected given
that NGOs throughout China still are facing increased government
scrutiny for political reasons, and some donors in the country are
preparing to close or scale back their programs as China graduates
from the need for foreign assistance. As with other pilot projects
in China, however, it is unclear if this project will be replicated
on a national level.

RANDT