Enhancing China’s South-South Policy Dialogue on Poverty Reduction

Enhancing China’s South-South Policy Dialogue
The fifth anniversary of the establishment of the International Poverty Reduction and Development Centre in China, 17 October 2010, Beijing.

South-South cooperation is making a growing contribution to global efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. China’s rapid growth and development has caught the attention of many developing countries across the world, who are increasingly keen to learn from its experiences, especially in relation to poverty reduction. In this regard, UNDP has been asked to play a leading role in supporting China’s efforts to share its poverty reduction and economic development experiences with developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.


  • The International Poverty Reduction Centre in China is the only institution of its kind in China, and has served as an influential platform for encouraging international collaboration on poverty reduction.
  • From 2005 to 2014, with UNDP and other partners’ support, IPRCC has organized 74 training workshops on poverty reduction for 1,798 trainees from 104 countries

A key step in these efforts to connect China with other developing countries was made in the establishment of the International Poverty Reduction Centre in China (IPRCC) in 2004. As a joint undertaking between UNDP and the Chinese Government, the IPRCC is the only institution of its kind in China, and has assumed a prominent and influential role as a platform for exchanging information and encouraging international collaboration on poverty reduction. It has also built a commendable track record as a centre for training, research and high-level policy dialogue. UNDP supported the Centre since its inception, providing advice and training for its staff and helping it to gain international recognition.

High-level training programmes held by the IPRCC have deepened South-South exchanges between China and other developing countries, facilitating active discussions among a variety of nations, on such topics as natural resource management, poverty reduction, agricultural and rural policies, management and monitoring of poverty reduction funds and rural financing schemes, etc.From 2005 to 2014, with UNDP and other partners’ support, IPRCC has organized 74 training workshops on poverty reduction for 1,798 trainees from 104 countries.

On the research front, IPRCC experts have explored strategies, models and best practices from international experience, con- ducted comparative studies on Chinese and international poverty reduction models, and provided technical support to policy makers in China and overseas. These efforts include policy inputs to the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, as it sought to develop China’s own domestic 10-year poverty reduction strategy (2011-2020).

UNDP and the IPRCC have also worked together to convene high-level meetings on poverty alleviation. This includes China’s annual International Poverty Reduction Forum – a high profile exchange that takes place on 17 October each year to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. With the support of senior government leaders and the UN System in China, this Forum serves as a mechanism for intensifying dialogue on policy formulation and implementation for poverty reduction and knowledge sharing between China and the world.

In September 2010, UNDP further strengthened its relationship with the government by signing a partnership agreement to enhance South-South Cooperation. In November 2010, the first China-Africa Poverty Reduction and Development Conference was co-hosted in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by UNDP, the Government of China and the Government of Ethiopia. Consisting of high level dialogues and mutual learning experiences on the conference’s theme of Transforming Development Patterns and Poverty Reduction, the meeting brought together ministers and senior officials from 20 African states, including the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Mr. Meles Zenawi, as well as UNDP Administrator, Ms. Helen Clark and senior representatives from 9 Chinese government ministries.

This conference was also significant for the signing of two important letters of intent. The first was signed by UNDP and the IPRCC, focusing on expanding the scope of sharing China’s poverty alleviation experiences with developing countries in Africa. A second letter, signed by UNDP and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, agreed to strengthen and promote trilateral cooperation with African countries on food security and poverty reduction in rural areas.

Since then the Conference is organized every two years and with a demand-driven seminar in between for African officials to exchange with China on thematic topics, such as Special Economic Zones, youth employment, Economic and Technology Development Zones (ETDZs), etc.

Poverty reduction has become a priority area of Africa-China cooperation as pointed out by Premier Li Keqiang during his visit in May 2014. Outcomes of this conference will be rolled out the follow-up initiatives and will also be fed into preparations for the next FOCAC in South Africa in 2015

It is worth mentioning that, following two thematic seminars on development zones, UNDP and IPRCC reached a consensus to conduct a joint comparative study between China and three African countries, i.e. Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zambia, to provide policy recommendations to relevant stakeholders in further improving the strategic planning and management of development zones, so as to contribute to enhance the development benefits to the poor. 

In China’s White Paper on New Progress in Development-oriented Poverty Reduction Program for Rural China issued in November 2011, UNDP has been commended as a strong partner of China on poverty reduction work. Many of the flagship initiatives supported by UNDP, such as the Global Poverty Reduction and Development Forum, the China-ASEAN Forum on Social Development and Poverty Reduction and the China-African Poverty Reduction and Development Conference, have all been referred to as good poverty reduction and South-South cooperation practices.