Report: The Roles and Challenges of International NGOs in China’s Development - Free PDF

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Special Report:
The Roles and Challenges of International NGOs in China’s Development
Executive Summary                                                                    3
Introduction                                                                              4
Background on International NGOs in China                                  6
Chinese Government Policy Toward INGOs in China:                     11
Uneasy Coexistence
The Roles of INGOs in China: Collaboration, Policy Influence          20
and Civil Society Promotion
Limits and Challenges Facing INGOs in China                                27
Conclusion: The Future of INGOs in China                                    30
Works Cited                                                                              32
About this Report:
This report was written by Dr. Shawn Shieh (谢世宏), Director and Editor of China Development Brief (English), and Signe Knutson (柯思林) who was a Visiting Research Fellow at CDB (English) during the Spring of 2011.  An earlier version of this report appeared in the 2012 Blue Book of Philanthropy (Social Sciences Academic Press (China), 2012). We would like to thank Sabine Mokry for her invaluable research assistance.
Executive Summary:
International NGOs such as the Ford Foundation, China Medical Board, and World Wildlife Fund, have been coming to China since the start of the reform and opening period in the1980s.  Yet only a few are legally registered, and the remainder carry out their work using creative arrangements with Chinese characteristics. This report argues that, despite working in a tenuous political and legal environment, international NGOs have managed to play a significant role in promoting development in China through partnerships with government, business and civil society actors. 
The report provides a detailed discussion of the following areas: (1) the policy environment for international NGOs working in China and how it has changed over the past 30 years; (2) the roles international NGOs play in shaping policy preferences and promoting participatory approaches in China; and (3) the limits and challenges facing international NGOs and their future in a rapidly globalizing country that seeks a greater voice on international issues.

Cross-posted from:

To download the report, please visit:

Tags: china, china medical board, chinese business, chinese civil society, chinese government, chinese policy, ford foundation, ngo, world wildlife fund

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