Representatives of the Component 3 SPRP team together with an EU expert Ms. Kim Schryvers from the Belgium Ministry of Social Integration took part in a visit to pilot site in Jiangsu Province to Zhangjiagang. The main target was to keep dialogue on the Component 3 SPRP pilot site program and activities undertaken locally by civil affairs offices. The visit was an opportunity for an open exchange on the main current and future Chinese characteristics for social assistance also by sharing EU countries practices mainly in social services and cash benefits schemes for vulnerable groups. The visit was organized under the leadership of Social Assistance Department of MoCA with a great support coming from provincial and city level MoCA of Zhangjiagang City. The main aim of the visit was to give an opportunity to the EU and Chinese side for practical exchanges and learning on existing solutions in social assistance standards in terms of data collecting, application procedures including evaluation and administration.
Local MoCA staff shared with the EU team several practical arrangements of vulnerable children care facilities, support offered toward elderly (including digital support and free lunches) and social organization incubator. Special attention was given to the migrant workers so called new residents since 2/3 of the whole population of Zhangjiagang are having migrant background (including construction workers). This is mainly due the labour opportunities the city is offering workers of different skills. The city is providing great support to the new comers and their families including children to facilitate medical and education services for them.
This visit was an opportunity to gather several local partners dealing with social assistance at the grassroot level including social workers. Key part of the presentations and discussion was focused on improving social assistance delivery. The SPRP side was encoring to take some actions for developing benefits in kind especially for the elderly and disabled people.
Zhangjiagang is also sharing their capacities (knowledge and practice sharing) with some other less developed regions in terms i.a. new agricultural techniques in the organic production (visit to a training center). The C3 pilot will continue for the next following months and will be evaluated by mid-year together with other three C3 pilots.