PROJECT MEMORABILIA

(Version 20 February 2019)

CONTENTS

Background

LIST OF ACRONYMS

1. Overall presentation

2. Horizontal activities

3. Component-based Activities

 

Background

The EU-China Social Protection reform project was to assist the Chinese central Government in its efforts to further develop social equity throughout its society, by contributing to a more inclusive and harmonised social protection system nationwide. Specifically, and as provided for in the Commission-approved China MIP 2011-13 (ref. Part III, 3.1.2), the SPRP project was to enhance the institutional capacity and policy effectiveness of the leading National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and to strengthen coordination of policy making among government agencies (Component 1). It cooperated with the Chinese Ministry of Finance (MoF) to establish an appropriate management and supervision mechanisms for fiscal support (Component 2). It assisted the Chinese Ministry for Civil Affairs (MoCA) in upgrading the legal framework regulating social security delivery and policy enforcement for social assistance (Component 3).

This project was conducted between 17 November 2014 and 16 November 2019 . Of an initial duration of 4 years, it was extended by one year within the originally allocated budget of 7 million euros for technical cooperation (EU budget. Counterparts input estimated at 1 million euros). It is a successor of the EU-China Social security reform cooperation project - Europe Aid/125029/C/SER/CN conducted between November 2006 and May 2011.

Action fiche of the EU-China Social protection reform project

LIST OF ACRONYMS

1. Overall presentation

The overall scope of the SPRP project is to further develop social equity and inclusiveness of economic development throughout Chinese society.

The project is implemented by a Consortium of 10 public and semi-public institutions, representing 7 European Union Member States. The Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale INPS was designated by the Consortium as its Leader and ensures the overall management and supervision of the project.

For each of the three Components, one of the Consortium Members was designated as Component Coordinator, in charge of implementing the activities for each Component and reporting to the Project Leader. The Component 1 Coordination has been assigned to the French Partner, Expertise France, which legal entity was previously named ADECRI. The Component 2 Coordination has been designated to the Italian Partner, INPS, after the first year of the project when it was assigned to Formez. The Component 3 Coordination has been assigned to the Polish Partner, the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy, which legal entity was previously named Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.

Each component is coordinated on the field by a Resident Expert, one of them being also Team Leader. Resident experts work on a daily basis with the local support staff, as well as with European and Chinese experts mobilized to implement the project activities.

  • 1.1 Who is Who (EU, Consortium, Main stakeholders)

Project implementation was jointly monitored by the EU Delegation in China and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce MOFCOM.

The responsibility for the project was incumbent upon a consortium consisting of:

 Istituto Nazionale della Previdenza Sociale (INPS); Italy
Società Italiana di Servizi per la Previdenza Integrativa (SISPI SPA); Italy
Federal Public Services Social Security (FPS Social Security); Belgium
Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy (MRPiPS); Poland
Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Protection and Elderly (MoLFSPE); Romania
Ministry of Employment and Social Security (MEySS); Spain
International and Iberoamerican Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP); Spain
Agence Française d'Expertise Technique Internationale (Expertise France); France
Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (MoLSA); Czech Republic
Scuola Nazionale dellAmministrazione (SNA); Italy

The project core Chinese partners were:

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC P.R. China)
The Ministry of Finance (MoF P.R. China)
The Ministry of Civil Affairs (MoCA P.R. China)

Other Main Chinese Stakeholders were:

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MoHRSS)
The National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC)
The Chinese Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC)
The All-China Women s Federation (ACWF)
The All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU)
The Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council (LAO)

  • 1.2 Opening and Closing ceremonies

The project opening ceremony was held in Beijing on 15 September 2015 on the occasion of the 2015 EU-China High Level Forum on Social Protection Reform Challenges for Legal Framework of Social Assistance.

The project closing ceremony...

  • 1.3 The Grant application form

The final project Grant application form was submitted to the European Commission in October 2014. It consists of a main text describing the situation in the area of social protection reform of China, and the means envisaged to address the corresponding challenges, supplemented by standard annexes. A revised version was submitted by the Consortium in July 2018 to substantiate the request for extension of project activities into the year 2019.

  • 1.4 Project brochure

Brochures presenting the project and its activities were published and disseminated in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Project 2017 Brochure

  • 1.5 Project Aide-memoire

The project advisory committee PAC - see below - is the body advising the EUD and MOFCOM in their project monitoring functions. On the occasion of each PAC meeting, the Consortium produced an Aide-memoire summing up activities conducted to date, and proposals for future activities. The PAC meeting amended and endorsed the Aide-memoire, which thus became the main project governance instrument.

Aide Mémoire 2015
Aide Mémoire 2016
Aide Mémoire 2017
Aide Mémoire 2018
Aide Mémoire 2019

  • 1.6 Project Interim reports

Pursuant to the EU rules governing technical cooperation projects, the Consortium had to produce annually an Interim report to evidence progress made towards meeting its objectives as embodied in relevant indicators, through its programme of activities.

Interim report 2015
Interim report 2016
Interim report 2017

  • 1.7 Project mid-term, final evaluations

Pursuant to EU rules concerning technical cooperation projects, a mid-term evaluation was conducted in April 2017. The Project final evaluation took place in...

Mid-term evaluation report

  • 1.8 Logical framework

The project logical framework details the indicators used to monitor the achievement of desired project results. The original Logical framework was amended during project implementation to take into account the evolving overall situation in the field of social protection reform and recommendations from the mid-term evaluation mission. Amendments were upheld during PAC meetings.

Project logical framework

1.9 Assigned goals and expected results

The project is to pursue the following assigned goals and to achieve the corresponding results:

Assigned goals

Component 1

Consolidation of institutional capacity for social protection policy development and reforms in collaboration with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

Component 2

Enhancing of institutional capacity for financial management and supervision concerning social security funds in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

Component 3

Improving of legal framework and policy for social assistance in collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MoCA).

Expected Results

Horizontal

R1

The mechanism for EU-China high level policy dialogue on social protection reform is established and partnerships with the Specialized Public Bodies of EU Member States and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MoCA) on social protection have been set up and they are active.

Component 1

R2

Under the leadership of the NDRC, coordination of policy making among government agencies in areas related to social protection reform is strengthened.

R3

The capacity of the NDRC in policy development and implementation, notably establishing and enforcing a national policy evaluation technique in the area of social protection, is enhanced.

R4

National policy framework for a full coverage of old-age insurance system throughout China is consolidated by strengthening the interface of various schemes, pension funding pooling, old-age insurance scheme for civil servants/the employee of public agencies and the existing multi-layer pension system.

R5

Reform efforts in response to urbanization trends, in particular the harmonization and integration of the various basic social protection systems for different groups of beneficiaries, the portability of social insurances and better suited assistance schemes.

Component 2

R6

The capacity of the MoF in management and supervision of fiscal support to social security is consolidated by the establishment of a unified statistic index system and the development of an appropriate performance assessment model.

R7

National actuarial analysis model of old-age insurance is developed by the MoF and the skills and knowledge of provincial administrators in risk control of fiscal support to basic pension fund are upgraded.

R8

Reform efforts of the MoF in the management of social insurance funds, focusing on fiscal support budgeting, accounting system, investment techniques and adjustment mechanisms for pension benefits are strengthened.

Component 3

R9

The capacity of the MoCA for promulgating and enforcing the Social Assistance Law and the regulations on rural and urban minimum standards of living are strengthened; the skills of local officials in policy transmission and implementation are upgraded.

R10

The legal frameworks on a) formulation of unified standards for the estimation and calculation of social assistance benefits, b) recognition of social assistance target groups and c) identification of low-income families are consolidated.

R11

Efforts of the MoCA in improved care for poor rural people and disabled people are strengthened, and public information and transparency of social assistance policies are raised at provincial level.

 

2. Horizontal activities

Horizontal activities are directly connected with the achievement of the project overall objective and, more generally, they are essential for ensuring the coordination, the harmonization and the effective accomplishment of the component-based results.

  • 2.0 The project structure

From its second year of functioning, the Project structure reflected a clear segregation between component based and horizontal activities. While overall coordination remained with INPS, Italy, coordination for individual Components relied on the services provided by two Secretariats, Expertise France for components 1 and 3, SISPI Italy for Component 2 (and Horizontal).

Project structure

  • 2.1 Who is Who (SISPI, Project office)

The project IMC Internal Management Committee headed by the project leader is composed of representatives from all members of the consortium. It takes managerial decisions related to project operation. While component based activities are entrusted to component secretariats (see below, Chapter 3), horizontal activities are since the second year of the project entrusted to SISPI, which joined the consortium as an entity affiliated to INPS. A Project office has been established in Beijing since the inception of activities. Rules of Procedures adopted by the IMC govern the management of project operations.

Standard operating procedures

  • 2.2 PAC meetings

The overall supervision and support on project implementation and the coordination among key Chinese stakeholders of the three project components are ensured by a Project Advisory Committee (PAC).

The PAC is co-chaired by a representative of the MoFCOM (Ministry of Commerce) of the People Republic of China and a representative of the EU Delegation in Beijing. Members of the PAC include representatives of each Chinese partner institution NDRC, MOF, and MOCA - and representatives of other relevant Chinese Government agencies (MOHRSS, ACWF, ACFTU, LOSC, CPDRC). The representatives of the implementing Consortium will be invited to participate as observers. The team of EU Resident experts and Team Leader, skilled on technical aspects of the main themes of the project, will attend the PAC meeting and act as Secretariat. The PAC tasks include reviewing past project activities, and approving, subject to amendments, future programmes of activities.

The PAC met on the following occasions:

  • 2.3 Project coordination meetings

On Project coordination meetings, representatives of the 3 components meet with EU representatives to exchange views on their respective experiences and ensure overall project coherence for future activities.

Two project coordination meetings were held in Beijing, in 2016 and 2017 respectively. In December 2017, a coordination meeting was held in Rome gathering component representatives and consortium members to prepare for possible project extension.

1st Coordination meeting, 11 July 2016
2nd Coordination meeting, 12 January 2017
Rome Coordination meeting, 1 December 2017

  • 2.4 Project website

The bilingual project website is accessible publicly, at the address http://www.euchinasprp.eu . Originally designed by SISPI in collaboration with the project office in Beijing, its responsibility was subsequently transferred to China where the website is hosted and updated by flow.asia digital agenc

  • 2.5 Project visibility

As Secretariat in charge of project horizontal activities, SISPI takes care of ensuring that project visibility actions meet agreed upon standards and quality requirements (badges, banners, stationary, accessories, website, publications ...)

  • 2.6 Meetings with member States

Three meetings were arranged in Beijing to ensure that Member States representatives are adequately briefed by Resident experts on project development and goals.

Those meetings were held on 23 June 2015, 8 June 2017 and 9 February 2018. The briefing meeting in June 2017 was held jointly by the EUD, the project team and the Chinese stakeholders.

  • 2.7 Project Newsletter

The project issued 4 Newsletters that supplemented Component-based quarterly publications. The Project Newsletters were posted on the project website and circulated on the occasion of major project events.

  • 2.8 Project Office

The Project office was established in Beijing in February 2015. Headed by the Team leader, also Resident expert for component 2, it was composed of an Office manager (only for the year 2015), a financial/administrative assistant, one interpreter and 3 part-time component assistants (from 2016 onwards). The assistant for component 2 also acted as a part-time assistant to the team leader.

The Project office covers all demands common to all three components of the project, it interacts directly with the Project leader office, and the secretariat for horizontal activities.

List of Project Office members

  • 2.9 Gantt Chart

The Gantt Chart was the format adopted to show the Project overall work plan. The Gantt was revised annually, and its updated version included in the relevant Aide-Memoire. For component-based activities, the Gantt distinguishes between the project 3 phases (identification phase, analysis phase and follow up phase).

GANTT updated November 2017

  • 2.10 Coherence and Synergies

During its meeting on 6 February 2018, the Project Advisory Committee expressed the desire that project activities be better coordinated among components, so as to ensure internal coherence and identify the potential for synergies. The Project leader therefore decided to establish within the project office in Beijing a Task Force on Technical Coherence and Synergies, which took effect on 20 April 2018 after being approved by the EUD. The Task Force contributes to Result R1 of the project intervention logic, with the following indicator attached: A Task Force to ensure coherence and synergies in project intervention is established, which contributes to enhancing the level of policy dialogue on social protection reform between the EU and China.

  • 2.10.1 The Task Force (ToR, Plan of action)

The task force terms of reference were approved in March 2018. Its initial Plan of action covered 6 items, namely to ensure that the Project provides appropriate responses to the main problems and needs of the Chinese social protection system identified in the Grant application form, that it addresses the recognized cross-cutting issues, that activities conducted under one Component benefit to and from inputs by other interested components (cross-fertilization), reviews respective findings and recommendations of the project components on similar or connected issues, with a view to ensure their internal coherence, produces its own analytical works and publications on issues it considers of relevance for project coherence and quest for synergies, looks after the compilation, analysis and publication of statistical and other data and materials supporting project coherence and synergies, proposes and implements appropriate action and activities to promote its overall coherence and synergies, and that it ensures that compatible formats are used for similar outputs from the various components (including Technical notes).

Task Force Terms of Reference

Task Force Plan of Action

  • 2.10.2 Problems and Needs

The Grant application form had identified (pp.             7 & 8) seven areas for problems and needs encountered by the Chinese social protection system through its development process. The three components have evidenced, for each of these problem areas, the response provided through their respective programmes of activities.

Responses to Problem areas

  • 2.10.3 Cross-cutting issues

The Grant application form identified (page 9) four cross cutting issues that permeate the various aspects of social protection reform in China. Those are gender equality concerns; issues related to disability; good governance; and, human rights issues. They were addressed through a variety of project works, and a technical note dealing specifically with disability issues.

Addressing cross-cutting issues

  • 2.10.4 List of References

Most of the project assessment and other research reports come with bibliographical lists and references that could prove to be quite useful for future works and researchers. At the suggestion of the team leader, the Task Force therefore decided to explore the possibility to compile those bibliographical references into one single electronic publication, to be made accessible to all interested parties.

(Work in progress)

Joint list of references (sample )

  • 2.10.5 Statistics

The Task Force considered that the pilot publication on statistics produced by the team leader in 2017 was quite useful for both Chinese and foreign researchers. The Task Force therefore decided to encourage the team leader to produce more of these pamphlets, to which he agreed. It was proposed that the next two statistical bulletins of the project deal with the Belt and Road initiative, and Gender issues respectively.

Bulletin 0 - Economic growth and demographic trends - a province perspective

The Belt and Road Initiative (first draft)

  • 2.10.6 Technical Notes

As initially requested by the EU Delegation in Beijing, the idea of producing technical notes is to provide a clear, simple message about the most topical issues under discussion (relevance for China and EU experience). They do not necessarily address primarily Chinese readership but people from other Asian countries or indeed other Regions where the social protection process is still lagging behind.

(Work in progress)

Technical Notes produced by Component 1
Technical Notes produced by Component 3

  • 2.10.7 Comparison across recommendations

Some similar issues were dealt with, albeit from different angles, under more than one component of the project. It was therefore considered as appropriate to monitor the recommendations emerging from those various approaches of similar topics, to ensure that they do not contradict each other, and indeed are compatible if not mutually supportive.

(Work in progress)

Interaction among components

Comparison among component recommendations:

Component 1 /Component 2 / Component 3

Component 1 / Component 2

Component 1 / Component 3

Component 2 / Component 3

3. Component-based Activities

The overall scope of the SPRP project is to further develop social equity and inclusiveness of economic development throughout Chinese society. To better describe the specific objectives both problems/needs and cross cutting issues have been analysed in order to define the three different Components of the SPRP project. For each Component specific Chinese government entities have also been identified. The three Components are the following:

Component 1- Consolidation of institutional capacity for social protection policy development and reforms in collaboration with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China's ministry and comprehensive policy making agency, responsible for strategic overview of the national social and economic development of China.

Component 2 - Enhancing of institutional capacity for financial management and supervision concerning social security funds in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance (MoF), responsible for China's economic and public finance policy, the central government's annual budget and for public finance legislations.

Component 3 - Improving of legal framework and policy for social assistance in collaboration with the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MoCA), responsible for policy development in the area of social assistance and the operation of the social assistance/welfare system

3.1 Component One

Component One was in charge of pursuing 4 of the 11 results assigned to the project. Its activities focused on three main areas: inserting social protection in the overall national context five-year plans, monitoring and evaluation, income redistribution, governance considerations; contributing to the pension reform; monitoring the interaction between employment promotion and social protection policies.

Activities conducted in-country and abroad consisted mainly of research, training, policy dialogue and development of pilot schemes at the decentralised level.

3.1.1 Who is Who in Component One

The main Chinese stakeholder for Component One activities is the Department of Employment and Income Distribution within the NDRC. The NDRC Centre for International Cooperation is in charge of practical operations within China. On behalf of the Consortium, Expertise France acts as co-ordinator. The Component secretariat is also handled by Expertise France.

The project team in Beijing consisted of a Resident Expert, a component assistant and 2 main Chinese experts in charge of, respectively, Research and Operations.

Who is Who in Component One

3.1.2 Results pursued

Component 1 was in charge of pursuing project results R.2 to R.5. It did so focusing of the main related challenges affecting the China social protection system, for which it formulated a number of policy recommendations, drawing inspiration from in-depth national analysis of the situation and relevant European experience.

Component 1  Results pursued

3.1.3 Baseline Data

The project component 1 produced two reports summarising the overall situation concerning the pension system in China and its need for reform, which were the main focus of its activities. The first report (2015) presented a global picture, while the second one (2017) insisted on the specificities of the system.

Baseline data of the Chinese pension system
Some striking features of the Chinese pension system

3.1.4 Audience of Project results

The realm of Component 1 project beneficiaries includes beyond the main Chinese stakeholders, the National Development and Reform Commission, a wide array of ministerial bodies and nation-wide NGOs. The final beneficiaries are indeed workers and employers of China, as well as generally speaking the Chinese people themselves.

Audience of Project results (Component 1)

3.1.5 List of Topics

Under each of the Results assigned to the project, the Grant application form foresaw that a list of topics would be explored, that were deemed to concur best to the pursuance of said results. The list was to be revised and adjusted to better reflect the priorities of the Government and the evolution in the prevailing economic and social context. As far as Component One was concerned, the initial list of 18 topics was amended on a yearly basis, to cover all relevant aspects of reform in social protection policy and employment promotion.

Final list of topics

3.1.6 List of Experts

C1 Activities facilitated contact between Chinese and European Experts on 140 opportunities. This involved 126 EU experts (1/3 female, 2/3 male) from 17 countries and 3 international organizations ILO, the WB, OECD.

High level Chinese specialists involved in C1 project activities numbered 36, contributing to national researches conducted on 16 technical topics.

(work in progress)

List of EU Experts

List of Chinese Experts

3.1.7 List of countries visited

Overseas activities conducted under Component One programme of Activities included High-Level training (4), Policy dialogue (3), International Workshops (3 , one more was organized in China), Study visits (4) and pilot Provincial contacts (2).

(work in progress)

Countries visited

3.1.8 Work Summary

Summary of works conducted by respective components was included in half-yearly Component reports and submitted to the EU as evidence of tasks accomplished under yearly Interim reports.

Furthermore, overviews of activities conducted were produced every year, accessible to a more general public.

3.1.8.0 The 2016 High Level Event HLE

The project Grant Application Form provided for the organization of high profile international Conferences in order to set up the conditions for activating and cultivating a close cooperation with all the actors of the SPRP project (Result R.1). Such events were expected to be organized yearly from 2015. The HLE assigned to Component 1 took place in Beijing on 28 and 29 September 2016. It gathered over a hundred participants, at parity between Chinese and European specialists coming from 11 countries and international organizations, to exchange over the Perspectives of Employment Policy and Social Security Reform in China and in Europe between 2016 and 2020. This period corresponds to that of the Chinese XIIIth five-year Plan, and to the horizon chosen for the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. In total, some 20 communications were made by renowned Chinese and European experts and decision-makers over five sessions co-chaired by high level Chinese and European personalities.

The proceedings of the 2016 HLE were published in three-volume publications in English and in Chinese.

Volume 1 - Conference Report
Volume 2 - Assessment reports
Volume 3 - National monographs

3.1.8.1 Policy recommendations

One of the major aims of the Project was to draft selective recommendations for future reform proposals in the realm of social protection, for the consideration of competent Government organs, and primarily of the respective project partners.

Policy recommendations emanating from works conducted under Component One programmes of activities were first discussed under ad hoc internal project fora (panel discussions and workshops) and subsequently identified under yearly volumes (in English and Chinese languages). They were publicly accessible from the Project website to render continued broad discussion possible in all interested circles. In 2018, a specific proposal on the structure of the pension system for urban employees was elaborated by the EU C1 Resident experts, submitted to peer review and presented during national meetings.

(work in progress)

2015 Reform Proposals - THE PENSION SYSTEM
2016 Reform Proposals - PENSION SYSTEM (SUSTAINABILITY)
2017 Reform Proposals - PENSION SYSTEM (RELEVANCE AND SOCIAL EFFICIENCY)
2018 Reform Proposals - UPHOLDING SOCIETAL CHANGES THROUGH SOCIAL PROTECTION REFORM

3.1.8.2 Assessment and other reports

Research work conducted under the framework of Component One programmes of activities materialized in Assessment reports produced by Chinese Experts on envisaged topics, backed by reports on European situation in corresponding sector, the latter being either compendia of best practices, comparative studies or national reports. Over the existence of the project, a golden thread framed the choice of topics for any given year, as follows:

2015 - Fundamentals of Pension schemes
2016 - Sustainability of a Reformed pension scheme
2017 - Relevance and Efficiency of a Reformed pension system
2018 - The Role of Social protection in Upholding Societal changes

 

3.1.8.3 Workshops and other meetings

Findings from research works were discussed first so-called panel discussion meetings, in fact peer reviews where researchers (Chinese and some European) could submit their preliminary findings to NDRC, the project office and EUD representatives and International workshops where refined conclusions and recommendations were submitted to a broader audience, including representatives from most relevant international organizations. The 2016 High Level Event is to be considered as a particularly important International Workshop. Other smaller events also happened, like round table discussions or seminars.

(work in progress)

Panel discussion meetings
International Workshops
Other meetings

3.1.8.4 Dialogue and Study visits

One of the important goals of the EU-China SPRP being to facilitate interaction and mutual understanding among European and Chinese decision makers in the areas of employment and social protection, Component One yearly programme of activities included Dialogue and Study visits organised abroad for NDRC high-level officials at the central level. Those focused on themes related to the topics under review for any given year, the choice of host countries also being specific to the said topics. As part of the programme of activities for Pilot sites ad hoc Dialogue and study visits abroad were included under 2016 and 2018 programmes of activities.

(work in progress)

2015 Dialogue and Study Visit (Migrant Workers)
2016 Provincial Dialogue and Study Visits (Managerial issues)
2016 Dialogue and Study Visit (Employment and Social security)
2017 Dialogue and Study Visit (Income Redistribution)
2018 Dialogue and Study Visit (Active labour market policies)

3.1.8.5 Training activities

Yearly programmes of activities of Component One all included high-level training organised overseas for some 20 to 25 NDRC cadres, from central or provincial levels. Each training was conducted over two weeks time in one country, around one of the topics selected for review in that given year. Sessions were a mixed of class-room and on-the-spot training, with theoretical courses delivered by experienced experts from both the host country and other European countries. Training materials were compiled and published in English and Chinese language, from dissemination by NDRC and use in its own internal capacity-building activities. Participants in overseas training activities showed a high level of satisfaction for these exercises, as per the evaluation systematically conducted at the end of the activities. In 2016, an ad hoc training on administration of social security protection for migrant workers was held in Guangdong province for NDRC and other Government representatives from Component One pilot sites.

(work in progress)

2015  Training in France (Paris and Lyon) on Multitier pension systems
2016  Training in Spain (Madrid and Valladolid) on Demographic Ageing
2017  Training in Germany (Mainz and Berlin) on Evaluation of Social protection
2018 Training in Italy (Rome and Milan) on Effects of and Trends in Income Redistribution Policy

2016  Pilot sites training in Foshan (Guangdong Province) on Administration of Migrant workers social security protection

3.1.8.6 Pilot sites

The Grant application form provided that, during the inception phase, the Consortium will identify pilot sites if requested by the Chinese stakeholders. Concerning C1 component, pilot sites were identified and endorsed by the PAC meeting with the following specific attributes.

Ageing                                                 Shanghai

Rural-Urban Integration              Sichuan province, cities of Luzhou and Zigong

Migrant Workers                            Guangdong province, city of Huizhou ; Sichuan Province

Activities involving Pilot sites were manifold. Conducted since September 2015, Field visits allowed the EUD, the project team, NDRC and consortium members to get better acquainted with the reality and expectations of concerned local authorities. Representatives of pilot regions were whenever feasible and appropriate invited to take part in activities organised in Beijing - in particular the High Level Event of 2016; a training course on portability of migrant workers' pension rights was organised for senior officials from Guangdong and Sichuan Province, also in 2016 a specific dialogue and study visit for Guangdong and Sichuan delegation was organised to France and the Czech Republic around Social security managerial issues, with particular reference to migrant workers. A visit for Shanghai delegates on Demographic ageing was organised to France and Spain late in 2018.

In March 2017, a joint Consortium / NDRC / Project team mission was further organised in Shanghai and Guangdong Province to identify the possibilities to respond to most present needs from local authorities according to the Project means of action and fields of competence. Expertise France acted as secretariat for this mission. The identified areas for cooperation were not limited to project duration but paved the way for extended bilateral cooperation. Within project life, bilateral activities were designed and sponsored by Component One for implementation in Guangdong Province, concerning both the use of statistical tool for improving governance in social security (Provincial level), and the design of a social protection awareness-raising programme at the local level.

In December 2018 a joint technical mission to Guangdong province (Guangzhou and Huizhou cities) fielded a team of 4 European experts to discuss social security gobernance and social protection awaeness raising issues.

Guangdong December 2018 mission

(work in progress)

3.1.8.7 Newsletters

Component one published one newsletter for the all year 2015, followed by quarterly bilingual issues. Component 1 Newsletters were printed and mailed quarterly. Electronic version was dispatched to some 200 addressees in China and abroad. The Newsletters were also accessible from the project website.

Component One Newsletters

(work in progress)                                                                                         

3.1.8.8 Publications

While the products of Component One activities were systematically posted on the Project website whenever available in both English and Chinese languages, the Component team and its partners from NDRC still felt it important to physically publish and dispatch on a regular basis the results of their most important works. The Component notably published yearly volumes of its Assessment reports, which are a compilation of topical researches on social security and employment policies. NDRC also produced printed volumes reproducing training materials used on the occasion of yearly overseas training.

3.1. 9 National partners (MoHRSS, ACFTU, CASS, Renmin etc.)            

Component 1 of the project entertained privileged relations with entities and individuals interested in project works, outside the circle of NDRC. The component has developed working relations with several international organizations based in Beijing, such as the ILO, the World Bank, the UNDP, the British Council, and the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation FES. Visiting European Experts and the Resident Expert for Component 1 have taken part in a number of meetings organized by institutions outside the project where they contributed technical papers and made the project works under Component One known by other interested circles.

(work in progress)

Outside events with Component One participation

3.1.10 Memoranda of Understanding

Under its Result R.3 related to NDRC capacity building in policy development, the project Component One was notably to ensure that Memoranda of understanding or equivalent instruments (be) discussed and concluded between NDRC and European partners, to use as a basis for continued cooperation in social protection. Under project activities, limited support was therefore provided to the negotiation of such instruments with Spain, France and the European Commission, through facilitating high level high level bilateral contacts between NDRC and its institutional competent partners.

A MoU focussing on the consequences of population ageing for socialprotection and employment was signed on 29 November 2018 between NDRC and the Spanish Minsitry for Labour, Migration and Social security.

As already mentioned, the proposed Cooperation programme with pilot sites elaborated by Expertise France also represented an instrument for continued cooperation, beyond project life.

(work in progress)

3.2 Component Two

Component Two was in charge of pursuing 3 of the 11 results assigned to the project. Its activities focused on three main areas: financial management and supervision of central and local social security system; top-level design ability in the basic pension insurance; and management of social insurance funds.
Activities conducted in-country and abroad consisted mainly of research, training and policy dialogue activities.

 

3.2.1 Who is Who (Counterparts, Coordinator, Project Team, MoF, Secretariat)

The main Chinese stakeholder for Component Two activities is the Department of Social Security within the MoF. On behalf of the Consortium, the Italian Institute of Social Protection acts as coordinator. The Component secretariat is handled by Italia Previdenza SISPI S.p.A., wholly subsidiary of INPS.
The project team in Beijing consisted of a Resident Expert, a component assistant and a main Chinese expert in charge of research (2015-2017).
Who is Who in Component Two

 

3.2.2 Results pursued

Component 2 was in charge of pursuing project results R.6 to R.8. It did so focusing of the main related challenges affecting the China social protection system, for which it formulated a number of policy recommendations, drawing inspiration from in-depth national analysis of the situation and relevant European experience.
Component 2 Results pursued

3.2.3 Baseline Data

The project component 2 produced a report summarizing the overall situation concerning China Pension and Health Insurance System and its need for reform. The baseline report (2015) presented the status quo, achievements and challenges of the Chinese pension and health insurance system.
Diagnosis & Baseline Data

3.2.4 Audience of Project results

Among the target groups, five are expected to be concerned with project results at all levels of their respective structure, namely high level officials, managers and staff.
The Ministry of Finance- MoF is the main stakeholder and beneficiary for Component 2 of the project as it plays a key role in financing social protection. The Department of Social Security is responsible for the central social security budgets and sectional budgets of Ministry of Human resources and Social security (MoHRSS), Ministry of Civil Affairs (MoCA) and the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC); budget auditing of national social insurance funds; allocation of social assistance fund and the relevant financial policies as well as the fiscal expenditures of social security, employment and medical care. Beyond MoF, C2 beneficiaries include a wide array of ministerial bodies and social organizations. The final beneficiaries are unemployed, workers, employers, and elderly of China, as well as the general public.
Audience of Project results (Component 2)

3.2.5 List of Topics

Under each of the Results assigned to the project, the Grant application form foresaw that a list of topics would be explored, that were deemed to concur best to the pursuance of said results. The list was to be revised and adjusted to better reflect the priorities of the Government and the evolution in the prevailing economic and social context. For C2, the list of 10 topics was amended on a yearly basis, to cover the aspects of reform in social protection policy relevant to the Ministry of Finance.

Final list of topics

3.2.6 List of Experts

 

C2 activities facilitated contact between Chinese and European Experts on 130 opportunities. This involved 106 EU experts from 8 countries.

High level Chinese specialists involved in C2 project activities numbered 11, contributing to national researches conducted on 10 technical topics.

List of EU Experts

List of Chinese Experts

3.2.7 List of countries visited

Overseas activities conducted under Component Two programme of Activities included three overseas Training courses.

Countries visited

3.2.8 Work Summary

 

Summary of works conducted by respective components was included in half-yearly Component reports and submitted to the EU as evidence of tasks accomplished under yearly Interim reports.

Further, yearly Summaries of works were produced in an easy to read format.

3.2.8.0 The 2018 Special Event on Ageing

The project Grant Application Form provided for the organization of high profile international Conferences in order to set up the conditions for activating and cultivating a close cooperation with all the actors of the SPRP project (Result R.1). Such events were expected to be organized yearly from 2015. On this regard, C2 in September 2018 organized the Conference Population Ageing in China: Impact and Policy Scenarios. The conference was organized on the occasion of the 2018 International Day of Older Persons, which is commemorated annually on 1st October, to highlight the important role that older persons play in society and raise awareness of the issues and challenges of ageing, which are common both to China and Europe.

Mr. Chris Wood, Minister and Deputy Head of Delegation of the European Union to China, Mr. Dang Junwu, Deputy Director of the China Center for Scientific Research on Ageing, and Prof. Michele Bruni, Team Leader of the EU-China SPRP opened the conference. Over 60 participants attended the event, representing Chinese government agencies - National Development Reform Commission, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Civil affairs, China Social Insurance Association, China Population and Development Research Center -, as well a civil society, international organizations, EU member state embassies and academia. Among the speakers, renowned experts such as Prof. Zheng Bingwen (CASS), Mr. Wang Dewen (World Bank), Prof. Asghar Zaidi (Seoul National University, London School of Economics) and many others discussed a series of topics and research results obtained by the EU-China SPRP, including: evaluations of the ageing process and its economic impact; the sustainability of the Chinese pension system and the role of the enterprise annuity funds in creating a multi-pillar system; how to improve elderly care services and education and vocational training implications created by the fast expansion of the long-term care system.

The Conference also produced a set of policy suggestions that attracted the attention of institutions and media present at the event.
Conference Report Population Ageing in China: Impact and Policy Scenarios

3.2.8.1 Policy recommendations

 

One of the major aims of the Project was to draft selective recommendations for future reform proposals in the realm of social protection, for the consideration of competent Government organs, and primarily of the respective project partners.

Component two contributed to the elaboration of a set of policy recommendations on all the topics attributed to C2. The policy suggestions were presented and discussed with MoF and experts, in ad hoc internal and external project meetings. They were publicly available on the project website.            

2015-2016 Reform Proposals

2017 Reform Proposals

2018 Reform Proposals (work in progress)

 

 

3.2.8.2 Assessment and other reports

 

The research work conducted under the framework of Component Two was periodically published in yearly volumes, including assessment reports made by Chinese Experts on selected topics, backed by reports on European situation in corresponding sector.

2015  2016 Volume

2017  Volumes

2018  Volumes (work in progress)

3.2.8.3 Workshops and other meetings

 

Findings from research works were discussed first so-called panel discussion meetings, in fact peer reviews where researchers (Chinese and some European) could submit their preliminary findings to MoF, the project office and EUD representatives and workshops where refined conclusions and recommendations were submitted to a broader audience.

Panel discussion meetings 

Workshops

Other meetings (WORK IN PROGRESS)

 

3.2.8.4 Training activities

 

Starting from 2016, the C2 organized in Europe a training course per year for 15 to 18 MoF central and local officials. Each training was conducted over two weeks time in one country, around one of the topics selected for review in that given year. Sessions were a mixed of class-room and field visits, with theoretical courses delivered by experienced experts from both the host country and other European countries. Training materials were compiled and published in English and Chinese language, from dissemination by MoF and use in its own internal capacity-building activities. Participants in overseas training activities showed a high level of satisfaction for these exercises, as per the evaluation systematically conducted at the end of the activities.

2016 Training in Italy (Rome and Florence) European Practices for a Fair and Sustainable Social Security System. Governance, Long term Strategies and Financial Management

2017 Training in France (Paris and Marseille) Social Security in an Ageing Society: EU Practices Responding to the Demographic Challenge

2018 Training in Italy (Rome and Milan) Financing the social security system in an ageing society: the role of public finance and private supplementary funds

3.2.8.5 Pilot sites

 

Pilot Sites were not originally contemplated for C2, as the Ministry of Finance focus more attention on central-level policy analysis and did not request local level activities. In 2018 C2 in cooperation with MoF agreed to carry out up to two provincial level studies to deepen the research work at a local level and learn from new experiences.

(work in progress)

3.2.8.6 Newsletters

 

Component two published quarterly bilingual Newsletters. Component 1 Newsletters were printed and mailed quarterly. Electronic version was dispatched in China and abroad. The Newsletters were also accessible from the project website.

Component Two Newsletters

(work in progress)

 

3.2.8.7 Publications

Component Two outputs of activities were systematically posted on the Project website whenever available in both English and Chinese languages, as well as published in printed form and dispatched on a regular basis.

More specifically, C2 published yearly volumes of its Assessment reports, which are a compilation of research on a set of topics within social security

 

3.2.9 National Partners

Besides MoF, C2 main stakeholder, Component 2 had constant dialogue and relations with entities and individuals interested in project works.

The component has actively participated in a series of meetings and exchanges with several national and international institutions based in Beijing, such as

the Chinese Academy of Social Siences; Renmin University; Beijing Normal University; Beijing Women Federation; China Center for International and Economic Exchanges; Chinese Academy of Governance; China Population and Development Research Center; Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security; Italian Embassy; British Embassy; SOAS.

(work in progress)

Outside events with Component Two participation

3.2.10 Memoranda of Understanding

C2 has worked to support the signature of Memoranda of understanding or equivalent instruments between MoF and European partners, to use as a basis for continued and sustained cooperation in the area of social protection.            

It is wished that by the closure of project activities MoF can establish such cooperation instruments with EU partners.

(work in progress)

3.3 Component Three

Component Three was in charge of pursuing 3 of the 11 results assigned to the project. Its activities focused on three main areas: Promulgating and enforcing the Social Assistance Law and the regulations on rural and urban minimum standards of living; Developing of legal framework on unified standards for defining social assistance benefits, target groups, low income families; and, Improving care for poor rural people and disabled people as well public information and transparency on social assistance policy.

Activities conducted in-country and abroad consisted mainly of research, technical visits, training, policy dialogue and development of pilot schemes at the city and county level.

 

3.3.1 Who is Who in Component Three

The main Chinese stakeholder for Component Three activities is the Department of Social Assistance within the MoCA. The Center of Monitoring and Verification for Low Income Families of MoCA under the leadership of Department of Social Assistance is in charge of practical operations within China.  On behalf of the Consortium, Ministry of Family, Labour and Social policy of Poland acts as Component 3 coordinator. The Component secretariat is handled by Expertise France.

The project team in Beijing consisted of a Resident Expert, a component assistant and short-term Chinese experts.

Who is Who in Component Three

3.3.2 Results pursued

Component 3 was in charge of pursuing project results R.9 to R.11. It did so focusing of the main related challenges affecting the China social assistance system, for which it formulated a number of policy recommendations, drawing inspiration from in-depth national analysis of the situation and relevant European experience.

Component 3 Results pursued

 

3.3.3 Baseline Data

The project component 3 produced two reports summarising the overall situation concerning the pension system in China and its need for reform, which were the main focus of its activities. The first report (2015) presented a global picture, while the second one (2017) insisted on the specificities of the system.

Baseline data on the social assistance system

3.3.4 Audience of Project results

The realm of Component 3 project beneficiaries includes beyond the main Chinese stakeholders, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, a wide array of ministerial bodies and nation-wide NGOs. The final beneficiaries are indeed vulnerable groups of China (elderly, disabled, children, women, etc.).

Audience of Project results (Component 3)

3.3.5 List of Topics

Under each of the Results assigned to the project, the Grant application form foresaw that a list of topics would be explored, that were deemed to concur best to the pursuance of said results. The list was to be revised and adjusted to better reflect the priorities of the Government and the evolution in the prevailing economic and social context. As far as Component Three was concerned, the initial list of 18 topics was amended on a yearly basis, to cover all relevant aspects of reform in social protection policy and employment promotion.

Final list of topics

3.3.6 List of Experts

C3 Activities facilitated contact between Chinese and European Experts on 140 opportunities. This involved 126 EU experts (1/3 female, 2/3 male) from 7 countries and 6 international organizations the WB, European Social Network, ADB, ect.

High level Chinese specialists involved in C3 project activities numbered 34, contributing to national researches conducted on 11 technical topics.

(work in progress)

List of EU Experts

List of Chinese Experts

3.3.7 List of countries visited

Overseas activities conducted under Component three programme of Activities included Policy dialogue -ministerial level visits (3), high level study visits (5) and training (1)

(work in progress)

Countries visited

3.3.8 Work Summary

Summary of works conducted by respective components was included in half-yearly Component status reports and submitted to the EU as evidence of tasks accomplished under yearly Interim reports.
Further, yearly Summaries of works were produced in an easy to read format.

(work in progress)

3.3.8.0 The 2015 High Level Event

The project Grant Application Form provided for the organization of high profile international Conferences in order to set up the conditions for activating and cultivating a close cooperation with all the actors of the SPRP project (Result R.1). Such events were expected to be organized yearly from 2015. The HLE assigned to Component 3 took place in Beijing on 15 and 16 September 2015. It gathered over a hundred twenty participants, including 4 EU MS ministerial level and 2 ministerial level from China as well the Ambassador of the EU in China. Among participants (speakers and panelist) were Chinese and European specialists coming from 11 countries and international organizations, to exchange over legal framework of social assistance (benefits and services) and in Europe. Some 30 communications were made by renowned Chinese (12) and European (15) experts and decision-makers over five sessions co-chaired by high level Chinese and European personalities.

The proceedings of the 2015 HLE were published in Conference report volume publications in English and in Chinese.

HLE conference report

3.3.8.1 Policy recommendations

One of the major aims of the Project was to draft selective recommendations for future reform proposals in the realm of social protection, for the consideration of competent Government organs, and primarily of the respective project partners.

Policy recommendations emanating from works conducted under Component three programmes of activities were first discussed in panel discussions and within workshops and subsequently identified under yearly volumes (in English and Chinese languages). They were publicly accessible from the Project website to render continued broad discussion possible in all interested circles

(work in progress)

Reform Proposals 2015
Reform Proposals 2016
Reform Proposals 2017
Reform Proposals 2018

3.3.8.2 Assessment and other reports

Research work conducted under the framework of Component Three programmes of activities materialized in Assessment reports produced by Chinese Experts on envisaged topics, backed by reports on European situation in corresponding sector. The latter being either compendia of best practices, comparative studies and policy recommendations. Over the existence of the project, a golden thread framed the choice of topics for any given year, as follows:

2015 - Volume
2016 - Volume
2017 - Volume
2018 - Volume

3.3.8.3 Workshops and other meetings

Findings from research works were discussed first so-called panel discussion and workshops meetings, in fact peer reviews where researchers (Chinese and some European) could submit their preliminary findings to MoCA, the project office and EUD representatives and where refined conclusions and recommendations were submitted to a broader audience. The 2015 High Level Event  is to be considered as a particularly important International Workshop.

(work in progress)

Panel discussion meetings
Workshop meetings
Other meetings

 

3.3.8.4 Dialogue and Study visits

One of the important goals of the EU-China SPRP being to facilitate interaction and mutual understanding among European and Chinese decision makers in the areas of employment and social protection, Component Three yearly programme of activities included Dialogue and Study visits organised abroad for MoCA high-level officials from the central and provincial level. Those focused on themes related to the topics under review for any given year, the choice of host countries also being specific to the said topics. As part of the programme of activities for Pilot sites  were included under 2018 programmes of activities.

2016

Ministerial visit to Poland & Spain, April 2016

Study visit on the framework of social assistance - legal framework; minimum standards of living; services for specific vulnerable groups, Romania, Czech Republic & Poland, June 2016

2017

Ministerial visit to Italy, May 2017

Study visit on social assistance support for vulnerable groups standards and accessibility of benefits, monitoring and key challenges, Romania & Poland, September 13th-20th, 2017

Study visit on social assistance: means testing; policy implementation and monitoring, Italy & Belgium, November 30th-December 7th, 2017 (Jointly with the Coordination Meeting in Rome)

2018

Study visit on social assistance legal framework; overall resources social assistance benefits: targeting and development of social services, Lithuania & Sweden, May 27th -June 3rd, 2018

Study visit on social assistance and social services for vulnerable groups : standards; targeting; administration and stakeholders, Slovenia & Czech, October 21st-28th, 2018

Ministerial visit to Poland & Belgium, December 2018

3.3.8.5 Training activities

Component Three activities included high-level training organised overseas for some 15 MoCA cadres, from central or provincial levels. Training was conducted within two weeks time in one country, around few topics selected for review. Sessions were a mixed of class-room and on-the-spot training, with theoretical courses delivered by experienced experts from both the host country and other European countries. Training materials were compiled and published in English and Chinese language. Participants in overseas training activities showed a high level of satisfaction for these exercises, as per the evaluation systematically conducted at the end of the activities. In 2018, an ad hoc training on standards in the social assistance benefits and social services was held in Beijing for MoCA and other Government representatives from Component Three pilot sites.

(work in progress)

2016 training France

3.3.8.6 Pilot sites

The Grant application form provided that, during the inception phase, the Consortium will identify pilot sites if requested by the Chinese stakeholders. Concerning C3 component, pilot sites were identified and endorsed by the PAC meeting with the following specific attributes.

  • - Component 3 Pilot - Rural Comprehensive Reforms - On-demand Assistance Pilot Venue Work Program of Daan City, Jilin Province
  • - Component 3 Pilot - Comprehensive Reforms Targeted Social Assistance Integration Work Program for Dachuan Pilot Area, Dachuan District, Sichuan Province
  • - Component 3 Pilot - Comprehensive Reforms on Social Assistance - Simplifying Administration and Delegating Powers, Exercising Fair Supervision, and Improving Service Efficiency Pilot Venue Work Program of Xincheng District, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia
  • - Component 3 Pilot - Comprehensive Reforms on Massive Assistance - Helping the Weak Pilot Venue Work Program of Zhangjiagang City, Jiangsu Province

Activities involving Pilot sites were manifold. Conducted since March 2018, Field visits allowed the EUD, the project team, MoCA and consortium members to get better acquainted with the reality and expectations of concerned local authorities. Representatives of pilot regions were whenever feasible and appropriate invited to take part in activities organised in Beijing - in particular the kick off meeting, workshops, training sessions, and panel discussions; an exchange session was organised in Hohhot Inner Mongolia autonomous region and Dachuan in Sichuan Province.

In September 2018 a joint technical mission to Hohhot fielded a team of 4 European experts to discuss social assistance benefits and services scheme including governance and non-public actors as social services providers.

(work in progress)

3.3.8.7 Newsletters

Component three starting from 2016 published quarterly bilingual Newsletter. Component 3 Newsletters were printed and mailed quarterly. Electronic version was dispatched to some 200 addressees in China and abroad. The Newsletters were also accessible from the project website.

Component Three Newsletters

(work in progress)

3.3.8.8 Publications

While the products of Component Three activities were systematically posted on the Project website  whenever available in both English and Chinese languages, the Component team and its partners from MoCA still felt it important to physically publish and dispatch on a regular basis the results of their most important works. The Component notably published yearly volumes of its research topics Volumes, which are a compilation of topical researches on social assistance system.

3.3.9 National Partners

Component 3 of the project entertained privileged relations with entities and individuals interested in project works, outside the circle of MoCA. The component has developed working relations with several international organizations based in Beijing, such as the the World Bank, the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation FES, ADB, BWF. Visiting European Experts and the Resident Expert for Component 3 have taken part in a number of meetings organized by institutions outside the project where they contributed technical papers and made the project works under Component Three known by other interested circles.

(work in progress)

Outside events with Component Three participation

3.3.10 Memoranda of Understanding

Under its Result R.1 related to MoCA capacity building in policy development, the project Component Three was notably to ensure that Memoranda of understanding or equivalent instruments (be) discussed and concluded between MoCA and European partners, to use as a basis for continued cooperation in social assistance. Under project activities, limited support was therefore provided to the negotiation of such instruments with Poland, Italy and Belgium, through facilitating high level high level (ministerial) bilateral contacts between MoCA and its institutional competent partners.

A MoU focusing on the social assistance legal framework was signed on 4th December 2018 between MoCA and the Polish Ministry for Family, Labour and Social Policy.