China’s NGOs Learn to Stand Alone – Evelyn Iritani

From The LA Times:

Wang Xingzui is trying to take the go out of his gongo.

Step by methodical step, the executive director of the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation is weaning it from the things that have made his group an oxymoron: a government-organized nongovernmental organization, or gongo.

The foundation, one of China’s leading anti-poverty groups, has removed all but two of the government representatives on its 21-member board. It has stepped up fundraising efforts, though it still depends on government support. And it has revamped its micro-credit program, establishing independent loan offices to replace branches co-managed by provincial officials.

The group’s attempt to assert its independence marks an important step forward in a country where the government has long been fearful of the kind of grass-roots revolution that toppled Communist regimes across Eastern Europe. [Full Text]

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