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2014 events

Child welfare non-government organizations in China

Dr Karen Fisher, Reader, Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Australia
China Institute research seminar
4-6pm, Wednesday 8 October

Room S-1.04, -1 Floor, Strand Building, King's College London

All welcome - no need to book a place.


The accountability of children’s welfare organizations is a current challenge in China, as its social service system expands. The government is beginning to fund children’s welfare organizations directly; however, the accountability practices remain weak. This has created a credibility crisis with the public about the use of donations and quality of services. Some organizations are starting to engage with their service users to address this problem. User participation is an important approach for China, since the government regulation of nongovernment organizations is limited. This qualitative study is the first to examine the practice of user participation through case study analysis of a child disability organization founded by parents of the children. We found that the organization’s governance and operational structures attempted to fulfil accountability to all stakeholders (children, families, government, staff and community donors). Accountability for professional and technical quality was supported by international professional organizations, which is not an option available to most NGOs in China. Government support needs to extend beyond funding, to training and technical support to achieve quality service provision by NGOs.

About the speaker

Dr Karen Fisher is an Associate Professor/Reader, Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Australia. She conducts social policy research in Australia and China about the organisation of human services, particularly disability and mental health policy; program and service evaluation; and policy process. She applies participatory methods with people with disabilities, disability policy officials and service providers. She researches with Dr Xiaoyuan Shang and Prof Jude Howell on Chinese NGO policy. She is a Visiting Fellow at LSE until December 2014. (

'Lonely child' by 'Zhao!', via, under Creative Commons licence

'Lonely child' by 'Zhao!', via, under Creative Commons licence

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