In China, the Foundation focuses on developing the charitable sector, disaster management, gender equality and women’s development, child welfare, regional cooperation, and constructive U.S.-China relations. By contributing technical expertise and the Foundation’s well-established network in the U.S. and Asia, we work closely with local partners to improve stakeholders’ understanding of China’s development strategy, development assistance, and overseas investment. We also seek to strengthen the capacity of Chinese civil society organizations (CSOs) to tackle the intersection of these issues with disaster relief and assistance, environmental resilience, and gender equality.
Local philanthropy sector grows in China
Since the tragic 2008 Sichuan earthquake, grassroots philanthropy in China has grown rapidly. Domestic giving rose from US$537 million in 2000 to US$10 billion in 2012 (in line with China’s recent economic growth), and now far surpasses foreign support. However, only about 2% of Chinese foundations make grants to CSOs. Many CSO leaders are recommending a shift to grantmaking as the next important step for civil society development. In 2014, The Asia Foundation first teamed up with China Foundation Center to promote grantmaking to CSOs to sustain the diversity and innovation of China’s civil society. The project provided technical assistance to selected domestic foundations, and then drew upon these models to advocate for a broader culture of effective and transparent grantmaking. In the past year, hundreds of participants from foundations and community groups have attended workshops and training sessions, and tens of thousands more visited the website.
NEWS FROM CHINA
Helping communities prepare for natural disasters
With its vast territory and diverse climatic and geological conditions, China is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. In recent years, we partnered with Chinese government to equip communities with essential skills in response to disasters. One seminal initiative is introducing the U.S. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) model to China and trained Chinese “master trainers,” who will teach basic response skills to communities. Since the start of the project in 2015, we have trained 162 Chinese master trainers from Sichuan, Shaanxi, and Guangxi provinces. In 2017, we worked with the China Association for Disaster Prevention and established a CERT Advisory Workgroup, with 17 volunteer experts from 11 Chinese provinces. The workgroup will continue to provide technical support for future training by master trainers as well as China’s development of standards and criteria for community-level emergency responses.
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Impact Report 2020
Leading through change