søndag 8. mars 2020

China Alters Civil Society Rules, Allowing More Groups to Respond to Coronavirus

As the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic continues in China, so do the efforts of civil society organizations (CSOs) and concerned citizens to mitigate the harm. In the official approach to managing their involvement, there have been clumsy force-of-habit measures from the state, controversies over how donations are collected and deployed, and punishments for cadres-cum-charity leaders.

Early government attempts to monopolize the collection and deployment of donated money and materials have caused critical bottlenecks, and weak coordination among departments and policies are blockingefficient deployment of desperately needed protective equipment. But scholars, donors, CSO professionals, and volunteers are constantly probing for ways around constraints. They have acted swiftly to question government measures, produce policy recommendations, trace and challenge the deployment of protective masks and other vital resources by officially-backed charities, and organize teams able to deliver goods directly to hospitals. 

As this surge of social activity draws attention to the problems created by initial government measures, the Ministry of Civil Affairs is now shifting its policy toward facilitating rather than frustrating CSO efforts, including those of foundations and government-organized NGOs (GONGOs).