UNDP seeks to reduce poverty and inequality in China by tackling the roots of these issues, and doing so in a way that is sustainable and true to the social values and cultural identity of the people we work with. At present our assistance to China under this focus area takes two main forms.
Macro-planning and policy work
Recently, UNDP has been supporting China’s move towards multi-dimensional development planning and contributed to designing a new system measuring development progress over the next five years. With UNDP’s support, the Government has shifted from growth-centered indicators to a multi-dimensional indicator system including social protection, environmental sustainability, and the rule of law. Of 50 development indicators developed by the Chinese Government with UNDP support, 23 were incorporated in the 12th Five Year Plan. UNDP also supported the adoption formulation of similar indicators for 15 pilots of the Five Year Plans at the provincial level.
UNDP also works with leading national institutions working on poverty-related issues in China to support policy research and recommendations, which has contributed directly to the new ten-year Poverty Reduction and Development Guidelines, which place a stronger emphasis on integrating poverty reduction policies with social inclusion strategies for the rural poor. We also provide practical trainings on how to put these principles into action, and by the end of 2012 UNDP had provided opportunities for more than 400 senior leaders and 1,600 mid-level management figures to improve their understanding of methods to tackle poverty.
Social Inclusion and Equity
UNDP works to improve access to social services for disadvantaged groups in China, particularly migrant workers who at present are lacking in social protection and excluded from basic services because of flaws in the hukou household registration system. In 2011 we supported a policy study containing recommendations for a universal social protection system and new residence registration system, intended as a transitional measure for widespread reform of the existing system. The state council has since declared the hukou system is due for nation-wide reform. A new partnership formed with the China Academy of Development Strategy in 2013 has also seen UNDP adopt a new focus on strengthening social services during the urbanization process in China.
We also have a series of programmes running in China with an emphasis on inclusive development for ethnic minorities. These programmes improve organisational abilities to help impoverished minority communities improve their livelihoods without sacrificing their cultural identity, and in fact often by using it as valuable resource for development. We engage both local government and communities in these projects through a participatory approach, and their commitment to this work ensures project sustainability.
Based on our proven progress at local level, UNDP has broadened its partnership with a growing number of private sector partners such as Jala Group and Mary Kay. These partners have committed to join the efforts to support ethnic minorities, particularly women, and to empower them for increased participation in local socio-economic development and public affairs.