March 5, 2008, Beijing – Today the World Bank announced 100 finalists for the 2nd China Development Marketplace. Development Marketplace (DM) is an initiative of the World Bank aiming to identify and support innovative bottom-up development ideas that deliver results, which can then be expanded or replicated in the country. The China DM is co-sponsored by the World Bank, Ministry of Civil Affairs and State Council Leading Group Office for Poverty Alleviation to support grassroots innovations by civil society organizations (CSO) for a harmonious society.
The 100 finalists have been selected out of 385 concept proposals received from CSOs all over China, through a carefully-designed assessment process. The finalists represent 26 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. The selected proposals focus on such issues as rural development, energy and environment, resources management, migrant workers and their children, HIV/AIDS and health, women's development, traditional skills preservation of ethnic minority groups, and disability. "These innovative, grassroots projects can help china meet its objective of harmonious society", said Mr. David Dollar, World Bank Country Director for China.
To ensure an impartial and fair assessment of the proposals, the World Bank invited 30 assessors for the process. They mostly came from partner organizations but also include experienced specialists from the World Bank. Each proposal was reviewed first by individual assessors and then ranked by a team of three assessors on a consensus basis, following the criteria of innovativeness, expected results, feasibility, sustainability and replicability.
Blogging and online voting were also applied for the selection of the finalists. Partnering with Sina, applicants were offered an opportunity to open blogs to promote their projects online and rival for a pass to enter the final competition. 89 projects have opened blogs and two of the projects with the largest number of votes (excluding one already selected through the regular assessment process) joined the rank of finalists.
The list of finalists is available on the China DM website: http://www.developmentmarketplace.org.cn. The finalists are required to provide full proposals by mid-April for the final competition.
The final events of the 2nd China DM will be held in early June. The finalists will be invited to Beijing to present their projects and be interviewed by a jury composed of the sponsors, donors and other partners. 40-50 winners will be selected by the jury for funding at a grand award ceremony attended by government officials, donors, media and CSO representatives.
Chinese and international private sector companies such as Red Avenue and KPMG are among committed donors of the 2nd China DM. Other donors and partners include corporate foundations such as Narada Foundation and China Social Entrepreneur Foundation, and international donors including the Norwegian Embassy, Department for International Development of U.K., Swedish Embassy, and Ford Foundation.