Monday, November 25, 2013

Civil Society Happenings in China for September and October of 2013

There have been a number of events going on in the civil society sector, too many for me to catalog, but below are some of the events that I and other CDB staff have been involved in over the last few months. November was a particularly busy month for us, so I'll summarize those happenings in a separate posting. I hope this post provides interested onlookers a glimpse into some of the issues being discussed in the sector.

A UNDP Book Launch: Working with Civil Society in Foreign Aid, September 26, 2013
Shawn Shieh, Editor of CDB (English) participated in a book launch of a UNDP China E-Book, Working with Civil Society in Foreign Aid: Possibilities for South-South Cooperation, which was published with the support of Australian AID. The launch was held at the UNDP China office. The author, Brian Tomlinson, of AidWatch China provided an overview of the book, and participants were invited to provide feedback. The UNDP plans to hold more forums on this topic involving other civil society representatives in China.

2nd China Charity Fair, Shenzhen, September 21-23, 2013
Shawn Shieh, Editor of CDB (English), was invited to speak about the operational characteristics of China’ grassroots NGOs at the Charity Fair’s Social Good Summit on “Innovating Philanthropy for Civil Society Development” on September 21, 2013. The Summit was sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the UNDP, and the UN Foundation which were taking part in the Fair for the first time in an effort to internationalize the gathering. The China Charity Fair is the only national gathering of foundations, NGOs, companies, and media interested in promoting philanthropy in China. The organizers include the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the Shenzhen city government. Aside from the Social Good Summit, the Fair featured other forums and salons on various topics related to philanthropy, and booths and displays set up by various foundations, companies and NGOs. While the Fair went smoothly, some participants complained about the top-down nature of the event, the absence of NGOs engaged in more sensitive areas such as legal aid and labor, and the exclusion of one LGBT NGO whose materials were removed from the premises. Details of the Charity Fair can be found on their website at

China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation Forum on its Program to Assist Malnourished Children in Africa, September 29, 2013
CDB Editors, Liu Haiying and Shawn Shieh, were invited, along with other media representatives, to take part in a forum on media strategies regarding CFPA’s program to assist malnourished children in Africa. CFPA, which has already built a hospital in the Sudan, plans to send Chinese volunteers to work in African on this program and held the forum to get feedback on how to deal with the public relations aspect of the program. CFPA is one of the few Chinese NGOs active overseas and has plans to develop into an international NGO.

The 2nd China AIDS Walk, October 13, 2013
CDB organized a team to participate in the 2nd China AIDS Walk. See The China AIDS Walk 2013: Walking to Raise Awareness.

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