2011 12 remarkable years for china s civil society n.
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2011/12— Remarkable Years for China’s Civil Society. Slides for UW presentation July 30, 2012. Policy Documents. Four important policy documents set the stage: 1. Five Year Plan adopted by NPC in March 2011 2. Five year plan for charity adopted in July 2011 by Ministry of Civil Affairs

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2011 12 remarkable years for china s civil society

2011/12— Remarkable Years forChina’s Civil Society

Slides for UW presentation July 30, 2012

policy documents
Policy Documents
  • Four important policy documents set the stage:
  • 1. Five Year Plan adopted by NPC in March 2011
  • 2. Five year plan for charity adopted in July 2011 by Ministry of Civil Affairs
  • 3. Five year plan for HIV/AIDs adopted by Ministry of Health in February 2012
  • 4. Draft Charity Law submitted to State Council June 2012

Each of the documents gives prominence to CSOs and their varying roles

  • National Five Year Plan contains an entire chapter on CSOs and there are other mentions of their important roles in “social management,” service delivery of outsourced government services, etc.
  • MCA treating national Five Year plan as a law that mandates certain activities on its part
scandals in gongos
Scandals in gongos
  • Another important impetus to reform (gaige) of the legal environment has been the scandals that occurred during 2011 among state-linked CSOs, including the China Charity Federation (CCF), the Chinese Red Cross Society, and the Henan Soong Ching Ling Foundation
  • The word of these scandals raced all over weibos and the internet and caused such outrage that there was a drop in gifts to charity of a huge amount between June and August 2011– almost an 80 percent drop
  • As an example, Li Na refused to make a gift of some of her French Open prize money to the Red Cross Society (the money was intended for an orphanage in her home village); she used the Teenagers’ and Children’s as the conduit
  • These can be organized under two headings:
  • 1. the responses to the scandals aimed at transparency and accountability of CSOs
  • 2. the responses to the reforms urged in the policy documents
  • These are, of course, intertwined – reform requires better governance within the CSOs themselves – an issue that MCA knows it must address
responses to the scandals
Responses to the Scandals
  • 1. Charity Donation Disclosure Guidelines December 2011
  • 2. New Disclosure Platform joined by 112 charities in December 2011
  • 3. More efforts at internal governance reforms among big charities
  • 4. Work on self-regulation both within the sector and with MCA
  • 5. Audit Guidelines effective January 2012
  • 6. Provincial and municipal charity donation disclosure rules
  • 7. Draft Charity Law submitted to State Council (June 2012)
  • 8. MCA published new draft of disclosure guidelines for major charities (July 30, 2012)
  • Two different categories:
  • 1. Direct Registration – removal of the requirement for a sponsor
  • 2. Outsourcing social services in connection with two important national goals:
    • a well-off (xiaokang) society
    • small government big society (xiaozhengfu da shehui)
direct registration
Direct registration
  • Bottle-neck under the 1998/2004 regulations for the three types of CSOs: Social organizations (shehuituanti or minjianzuzhi), NPOs (minbanfeiqiyedanwei (min feI)), and foundations (jinjinhui) – the requirement of a sponsor frequently led CSOs either to not register or to register as a commercial company (both modes of operation are illegal)
  • The puzzle is, of course, why some people are successful operating CSOs as companies (Beijing Yirenping Center) and some are not (Aizhixing)
  • Beginning in 2009, national MCA has been signing agreements with local governments (first with Shenzhen) to conduct experiments with direct registration
direct registration cont d
Direct registration cont’d
  • This is now widespread and applies in varying degrees in many provinces and municipalities
  • Minister of Civil Affairs Li Liguo said in December 2011 that the “Guangdong model” should be adopted all over China
  • Reading the tea leaves,it is amply clear that the three draft regulations now sitting at the State Council awaiting approval will reflect the new system of direct registration; but indications are they will be delayed
direct registration cont d1
Direct registration cont’d
  • The new system is not for all types of CSOs – only for 8 types (based on Guangdong’s regulation from July 1, 2012) – industry associations; chambers of commerce; public or charity services (cishan); community services (gongyi) (this includes protecting the environment); economics; science & technology; sports; and culture
  • For those types, MCA is both the registering and sponsoring body
  • The old sponsor will be an “advisor”
  • Membership and endowment requirements are lowered
  • The old one CSO per place rule is abolished
bei an
  • In addition to these experiments with direct registration, Qingdao began in 2002 to experiment with a procedure called bei’an for small community based, grass roots organizations providing community services (e.g., elder care) or clubs like chess clubs, etc.
  • There are a variety of models now, but they all apply to organizations that do not meet the requirements for actual registration
  • All the organization needs to do is notify the local street committee or other local governing body that it is working on a project or carrying out an activity
  • The organizations do not become legal entities, but this seems to be an acceptable model for many of them
foreign organizations
Foreign Organizations
  • Since 2010 Yunnan Province has had in place a system of Bei’an for foreign CSOs
  • Further experimentation with respect to such CSOs will begin in at least two additional provinces in the autumn
  • This is one reason why the minjianzuzhi regulations are being delayed, as they are expected to address recognition of foreign organizations
next steps
Next steps
  • Shenzhen BCA is working on a “law” (actually a regulation or tiaoli) that they expect to bring to the Shenzhen People’s Congress sometime this year or next
  • It will have three levels of “legalization” – bei’an, registration, and then for registered entities that want to be charities or public benefit organizations, a “certification” procedure
  • This should tie in nicely with the Charity Law being developed at the national level, which is expected to go to the NPC in late 2013
  • Synchronizing the Charity Law with the “san tiaoli” (for minjianzuzhi, min fei, and jijinhui).
  • The aim here is to shrink the government while at the same time hoping to motivate donors to give money to support programs the government outsources to CSOs
  • Study conducted for World Bank in 2009 – Wang, Salamon, Simon & Irish – looks at outsourcing examples from China and abroad; published as a bilingual book by PKU Press
  • MCA firmly backs outsourcing and uses welfare lottery funds to support it
  • Problems include use of captive CSOs, failure to explore instruments other than contracts, corruption, etc. ; these must be addressed
  • Another difficulty is not enough trained social workers to do both government and CSO projects
charity fundraising
Charity fundraising
  • While the written rules suggest that most organizations having charitable purposes should be able to issue tax deduction receipts, in fact at the national level only 120 have qualified for this purpose
  • Many more are qualified at the provincial and local levels
  • This needs attention by MCA, MoF, and SAT
additional resources
Additional resources
  • 1. Join the China Civil Society listserv
  • Information about how to do so is at the bottom of the Homepage at www.iccsl.org
  • 2. Read my blog, which is posted on the website of Alliance magazine – the latest one is available here:
  • http://philanthropynews.alliancemagazine.org/evaluation-of-a-undpeumoca-project-and-other-developments-in-china/.