EVENT Summary | Chinese NGOs "Going Global"

OITE releases a new report with a special expert panel event!

EVENT Summary | Chinese NGOs “Going Global”

BEIJING (Feb. 27, 2017) – In recent years, China has achieved great progress in the development of domestic NGOs and some Chinese NGOs started “going global.” However, to these NGOs, the way to the international stage is met with many challenges.

On February, 27th, Global Environmental Institute (GEI) held a panel event: “Chinese NGOs ‘Going Global’: Identifying Challenges & Opportunities”, and invited our friends from Ford Foundation, Institute of International Development Cooperation, and Syntao Co. to discuss the situation and challenges of Chinese NGOs “going global,” share their international experience, and analyze future trends for this space.

The event shed light on the latest publication from GEI “Chinese NGOs Going Global: Challenges and Opportunities,” which analyzes the potential role that domestic Chinese NGOs can play in promoting sustainable investments and development overseas.

(pictured from left) Siran Huang, Elizabeth Knup, Jingwei Zhang, and Yiyi Fan – GEI 2017

Jingwei Zhang, Overseas Investment, Trade and the Environment Program Officer from GEI and the author of Chinese NGOs “Going Global”, hosted this all-female panel.

The panel is underway! (pictured from left) Jingwei Zhang, Yiyi Fan, Siran Huang and Elizabeth Knup – GEI 2017

“Should Chinese NGOs go global?” Answers from the experts

NGOs should  “go global,” if it is the right fit for them.

Elizabeth Knup, the Chief Representative of Ford Foundation China, said that there is a need for Chinese NGOs to work overseas. Elizabeth explained that China’s great economic development has created opportunities for Chinese NGOs to further facilitate this transition. want to work internationally, they should first assess their capacity and then identify the roles they can play.

NGOs should “go global,” if they are realistic about overseas operations.

As a Research Fellow in Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, Yiyi Fan shared her experience of participating in a special project in Myanmar. From a government perspective, Yiyi offered rationale for why Chinese NGOs should work overseas and introduced her “Three-Step Process”: to identify and respond to opportunities to work overseas; to transfer staff to the host country; and to establish an international office.

NGOs should “go global,” if they have established strong relations and communication channels with stakeholders.

Siran Huang, researcher from Syntao Co. discussed the relationship among Chinese NGOs, Chinese government, business companies, and the government and local NGOs of the host countries. Siran emphasized the importance of establishing communication channel among all parties. Further elaborating her point, she explained that information and trust were two key points among all parties served as precursors to Chinese NGOs considering work abroad. She pointed out that NGOs should aim to develop good relations with the governments of host countries.

Recommendations for NGOs

So while the future of NGOs going abroad is exciting, there are several pre-requisites – recommended by each panelist – that can mobilize NGOs overseas and ensure stronger international operations:

  • communication channels;
  • project opportunities;
  • multi-stakeholder relations;
  • information transparency;
  • capacity building.

Learn more!

 To download and read the report- please see our Publications page!

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