Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Progress Report on China Development Brief (English)

I realize it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  April was a difficult month for me personally.  I had to return to the U.S. to take care of my parents whose health has declined suddenly.  My mother died on April 12 and my father’s health took a turn for the worse, and he’s now living with us temporarily here in Beijing.  As a result, I've had to put diversions like this blog aside for the time being.

The good news is that the China Development Brief (English) project is coming along nicely.   As of April, we had almost 40 volunteers sign up to translate CDB articles, and many of them are hard at work translating and reviewing the articles for our first special issue on Philanthropy and Civil Society in China.   Almost all of the translations for the special issue have come in and are now in the process of being reviewed.  We hope to have the special issue ready by next month.  
 We also received a modest grant from the Ford Foundation to translate CDB reports on civil society, and are applying for funds from other sources.   We’ll keep our fingers crossed.
 Finally, thanks to Enway Software Technology Company whose staff has been volunteering their time to develop our website, the CDB (English) website is close to a public launch.   I’ve also had the help of an intern who has been putting together a bibliography of sources on civil society in China.  That bibliography will be available on our website.  This summer, I’ll be assisted by two other interns who will be working on the website development, and updating CDB’s directory of international NGOs in China. 
 The staff at CDB have been a real pleasure to work for.  They have been very responsive, accommodating and professional about working with me, and putting up with my deadlines, even though it means more work for them.   I cannot ask for a better group of people to work with.
As many of you have read about in the international media, this is a difficult time for civil society in China with the government’s repression of human rights and legal activists, and news of growing sensitivity to foreign NGOs.  I wrote a post about this some time ago, then decided to sit on it until I made more revisions, but I will be posting it soon.

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