In-depth


UNDP is addressing governance issues in China by working to make the country’s system more inclusive and more responsive to the public.

At present we are working along three main fronts:

Public Administration

In our Public Administration work we run pilots and carry out advocacy work to introduce a better conception of government performance assessment into China, particularly assessment that involves public participation and regards public satisfaction as an important performance indicator. Working with local government in a few key pilot cities UNDP is building a body of evidence and best practices to support wider public participation in government performance assessment across China, and has helped hundreds of thousands of people to constructively voice their opinions and have them heard by the government already. We also explore corporate governance models of public service units (PSUs) to enhance public service delivery, and especially for PSUs that relate to social public services, such as healthcare, education, science and technology, and culture.

Social Governance

UNDP is heavily involved at present in the development of Social Governance in China. We also are involved in developing the role of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in China’s governance, working with several different ministries, CSOs and other stakeholders. In the last year we have released a Social Governance Index to help the government guide its innovation in social management, successfully secured NGO legal aid provision for HIV-positive persons experiencing discrimination in a successful pilot and supported the national legislature in empowering CSOs to serve as plaintiffs in environmental public interest litigation cases. In the future, we hope to see CSOs take the lead in social governance more often, to reflect the new need for reactive, dynamic governance from China’s ever more mobile and ever more informed population.

Rule of Law

UNDP also works to support legal and judicial reforms that expand and strengthen the rule of law in China. UNDP and the Supreme People's Court recently reaffirmed their ties to continue UNDP's work in this sector, which has already lasted more than three decades. At present, work is underway to begin research into the arrangements after China retires the 're-eduction through labour' system. Today UNDP provides international experience and policy advisory support to meet demand for access to justice and the rule of law in China, particularly among poor and vulnerable groups, including women and ethnic minority groups and marginalized social groups. For example, further attention is given to the rights and related policies for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and people living with HIV.

Winning against Pollution

Featured publications:
Improving Law-Making in China

This paper addresses the legislative process in China and provides recommendations for ways in which to further improve the rule of law in China through select enhancements to China’s legal system.

Review of Efforts to Improve Judicial Efficiency and Costs in China

This report investigates how anEU-UNDP project promoted policy development in China and assisted China’s legislature to improve judicial efficiency. It also offers some context-specific policy recommendations for continuing China’s judicial reform.

Capacity Development of Civil Society Organisations: Towards Inclusive Social Management in China

In this paper, UNDP's impact on the development of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in China is reviewed, the remaining challenges for CSOs are assessed and projections are made for the future climate for strengthening and innovating in social management.