BEIJING, February 23, 2006 - Today, the World Bank and its partners opened a unique marketplace of development ideas in Beijing. The China Development Marketplace exhibition will be open to the public Thursday (2:30pm-5pm) and Friday (9am-3:30pm) at the Beijing International Cultural Center, No.8, Beichen Donglu, Chaoyang District.
“The basic idea of a development marketplace is very simple: to make a market between social entrepreneurs with good ideas to address pressing social issues and organizations or individuals who have funds that they are willing to contribute to support these projects,” explains David Dollar, the China Country Director of the World Bank. One of the primary objectives of creating this marketplace is to promote and support the growth of civil society organizations (CSOs) in China.
“Social participation in poverty reduction has been successful in China, and today this approach holds potential for an even greater role. But there is a lack of policy support and incentives to facilitate this,” said Mr. Wu Zhong,Director-General of the External Cooperation Department, State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development at the Opening Ceremonies. “China Development Marketplace has explored a valuable means of mobilizing social capital and attracting CSOs and their knowledge to help reduce poverty. It has also provided a good channel and vehicle for the private sector to put their ideas for social responsibility into practice. So the CDM has deep significance for promoting innovation in poverty reduction and healthy growth of CSOs.”
Mr. Li Yong, Deputy Director-General of the Department of NGO Administration, Ministry of Civil Affairs added, “China Development Marketplace is a valuable experiment providing a bridge between interested capital and good projects. This strengthens the capacity of CSOs and gives them a larger role in development. It is a worthwhile approach that should be promoted.”
The China Development Marketplace call for proposals received almost 1,000 proposal ideas for its theme, “Supporting Innovations for Scaling-Up Services that Reach the Poor.” These proposals were reviewed by over 70 assessors both inside and outside of the World Bank, hailing from the development sector, the private sector, academia, and government. The top 100 projects selected as finalists have now been invited to present their ideas and compete for grant funding at the two-day Marketplace event.
Finalists have proposed ideas in 28 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions of China. In addition to a grant competition, these two days include a Knowledge Forum to build the capacity of these growing CSOs and facilitate connections among them.
On Friday, February 24, an eminent panel of jurors will interview the finalists and select the winners—to be announced at the Award Ceremony afterwards. Many of the judges come from China Development Marketplace partner organizations, including government agencies, academia, the NGO community, media, Chinese corporations, multinational corporations, and the international donor community.
Financial sponsors include the Chinese private sector, such as Red Avenue Chemical Company, Ltd. and XinAo Group; multinational corporations, such as Areva and Intel; and international donors, such as Asian Development Bank, Ford Foundation, and the governments of Norway, Australia, Canada, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Other partners have contributed in-kind, such as the China NPO Network, China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation and China Enterprise Confederation. These and others also participated as members of a Project Management Committee, offering ideas and support.