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XU-Civil society organizations as catalysts in disaster response process-ID1261-IDRC2014_b

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5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice 24-28 August 2014 in Davos, Switzerland

5th International Disaster and Risk Conference IDRC 2014 Integrative Risk Management - The role of science, technology & practice 24-28 August 2014 in Davos, Switzerland


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  • At first, it is necessary to define the word, civil society, because the meaning of this word is contested. Someone use this word to against the power of state, and someone use it to represent a spirit. In my research, I would like to define this word as the public sphere of voluntary organizations, distinguished from the activities of government, and from the private activities of markets.
  • Civil society organization is the most important component of civil society. We have many kinds of CSOs like NGO, NPO, or the public service organization. I would like to use one word, CSO to represent them all. For those organizations which are self-governing, not profit distributing, and formed voluntarily by members. In China, CSOs can be divided into social groups, foundations, international organiztions and so on.
  • CSO development in China has been quick. Before the economic reforms in 1978, all of the resources were controlled by government and the party, there was no living space for autonomous organizations. Since 1980s, the government set up GONGOs to address social and environmental problems. At the same time, international NGOs began to enter China. The economic growth also led to the emergence of middle class with higher education level. They became the first generation organizing grassroots NGOs in a bottom-up way since 1990s. At the end of 2007, China had almost 380,000 CSOs. Another investigation form the NGO research center shows that there were more than 2 millions CSOs in China until the end of 2008.
  • However, although the number is so huge, only few GONGOs and INGOs had participated in disaster relief before 2008. There are many factors contribute to the absence of grassroots organizations.
  • Previous studies have already suggested that disaster may bring changes to society such as Japan, Turkey, Taiwan and India. For example, the year of 1995 was considered as the first year of civil society or volunteer in Japan after the Kobe EQ.
  • The situation in China is similar. 5 years ago, EQ attacked West China , killed nearly 70,000 people. Here are some pictures to show the situation after the disaster.
  • The earthquake is misery. However, it also brought millions of volunteers. They suddenly flushed into the disaster region, which is never happened before this earthquake. According to the official data, there are more than 3 millions volunteers worked in disaster areas until the end of 2008.
  • Their participation changed the disaster relief mode of China, which used to be monopolized by government.
  • Another important change after this disaster is that CSOs stated to cooperate with each other, when they recognized their limitation to dress such a devasting disaster. A survey indicates that more than 50% of the respondents belong to an alliance. We can see that in 2006, nearly nobody thought they cooperate well before 2006.
  • A number of CSOs were established after 2008 EQ. The leader or the sponsor of the CSOs are the volunteers worked in Affected areas. And They played their important roles during the past 5 years. In my paper, I descried the growth of one case , one foundation, to describe the growth of China’s CSO, because of the time limitation.
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    • 1. Civil Society Organizations as Catalysts in Disaster Response Progress: A Conceptual Framework based on Chinese Experience Xiaoge XU, Osamu KOIDEi, and Takaaki KATO The University of Tokyo, Japan xuxiaoge@city.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp August 2014, IDRC, Davos
    • 2. CONCEPT: Civil Society Aristotle “Politick Koinonia” Adam Ferguson “Society reality- State Reality” Marcus Tullius Cicero “Civil Society” Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel “Civil-reality vs Politics-reality” Karl Max “Bourgeoisie” Antonio Gramsic “Civil Society Organizations” Juergrm Habermas “Public Sphere” Polis~17th Century 17th~18th Century Contemporary Civil Society in this paper: the sphere of voluntary associations in which individuals engage in activities of public consequence, distinguished from the public activities of government, and from the private activities of markets.
    • 3. CONCEPT: Civil Society Organization  NGO, NPO, The Third Sector, Voluntary Organization, Public Service Organization, Chartable Organization… For Those organization that are self-governing, non profit distributing, and formed voluntarily by members.  ⇒CSO CSOs in China CSOs in China (中国における市民社会組織) (中国における市民社会組織) Mass Organization (人民団体: 共青団、婦女連盟等、対象外) Mass Organization (人民団体: 共青団、婦女連盟等、対象外) Registered Organizations (登録組織・法人格あり) Registered Organizations (登録組織・法人格あり) Private non-enterprise Units SSoocciiaall GGrroouuppss ((社社会会団団体体)) Private non-enterprise Units (民間非企業単位) FFoouunnddaattiioonnss ((基基金金会会)) (民間非企業単位) Unregistered Organizations Unregistered Organizations (未登録組織) (未登録組織) Grassroots Organization Grassroots Organization (一部の草根組織) (一部の草根組織) Some International NGOs Some International NGOs (一部の国際非政府組織) (一部の国際非政府組織)
    • 4. CSOs in China  Before 1978 Economic Reform (like the 1986 doi moi Reform in Vietnam), no living space for autonomous organiztions.  GONGOs and International NGOs since 1980s  Grassroots NGOs (bottom-up) since 1990s Table 1.1.1  Number of Registered CSOs in China 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Social Groups (in thousand) 171 192 212 230 239 245 255 271 Private non-enterprise Units (in thousand) 148 161 174 182 190 198 204 225 Foundations 975 1144 1340 1597 1843 2200 3514 3029 At the end of 2007, Official Data: Almost 387,000 CSOs registered. Academic View: more than 2,000,000 CSOs. (Tsinghua NGO Research Center, 2008)
    • 5. Table 1 CSOs involving disaster response in China before 2008 Type Name Founded Time* Time into DR field INGO Oxfam (UK, Hongkong) 1991 1991 Tzuchi Foundation ( Taiwan) 1987 1991 GO-NGO Agency Red Cross Society of China 1950 1987 China Charity Foundation 1994 1998 Public foundation China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation 1989 2002 * For INGOs, the time indicates they began their activities in China Mainland. (1)Insufficient priority (mountainous problems… DR is not the first thing) (2)Shortage of funds. Only RCSC and CCF had been permitted to receive donations and relief materials. (3) Political pressure. DR is “unified led by the Party and government, divided responded by each department, and managed at different administrative levels”. It is the responsibility of government. The participation of other organizations outside the state system would disturb the social order. In summary, before 2008 earthquake, the disaster response used to be monopolized by the state in China.
    • 6. Disaster and Social Change  Japan: 1995 Kobe EQ (Shaw and Goda, 2004; Yatsuzuka, 2007) → The first year of civil society (volunteer)     First NPO Law “Act on Promotion of Specified Non-profit Activities” in 1995  Similar Cases: 1999 Taiwan EQ, 1999 Turkey EQ ... (Jalali, 2002; Kubicek, 2002) Involvement of CSOs
    • 7. 2008 Sichuan EQ, China  May 12th, 2008  Death: 69,227
    • 8. Unprecedented Participation of CSOs and Volunteers From the Official Data  More than 3,000,000 volunteers ( only registered ) went to disaster affected areas until the end of 2008.  The first time that Individual > Enterprise Donations . From the Media and Newspaper  “Tens of Thousands of Volunteers suddenly flushed into the disaster region.”(Times,2009) From the Volunteer Themselves  “I am lucky enough. We victims should help each other.”  “I heard the word civil society and citizen awareness before. But it is not my business. I just do what I should do.”
    • 9. Participation of CSOs in 2008 EQ  The nationwide participation ignited CSOs’ enthusiasm. 北京 60家 上海 14家 四川 55家 地域による 广东 20家 贵州 18家 陕西 14家 重庆 10家 甘肃 7家 福建 8家 云南 6家 广西 6家 河南 5家 湖南 3家 河北 2家 安徽 2家 其它各1家的省区(山西、江苏、湖北、天津 共4家) more than 264 CSOs have taken actions in disaster relief and reconstruction. “the first exposition of the Chinese CSO sector” by a CSO leader. Classification by location of CSOs
    • 10. Large-scale cooperation of CSOs  Legislative restrictions in China  Report from NGO Research Center (2006): 6% : were active in sharing information amongst each other; 40% : had few or none cooperation with one another; nearly NOBODY thought they cooperate well before 2006.  After 2008 EQ…  Devastating EQ made Most of the CSOs began to recognize their limitation and choose cooperation  On May 13, a joint declaration called on CSOs to unite to response disaster attracted 164 CSOs nationwide.  A survey of 70 CSOs indicates that 58.6% of the respondents belong to an alliance with 3 or more than 3 CSOs (Wang, 2009).
    • 11. CSOs began to involve disaster response after 2008 EQ Type Name Founde d Time* Time into DR field INGO Save the Children 1989 2008 Mercy Corps 2001 2008 GO-NGO Public foundation China Charities Aid Foundation for Children 1981 2008 China Youth Development Foundation 1989 2008 Grass-roots CSO One Foundation 2007 2008 Private foundation China Social Entrepreneur Foundation 2007 2008 Narada Foundation 2007 2008 National organization Huaxia Commenweal Service Center 2010 2010 Regional organization NDPC 2008 2008 Yixing Team 2008 2008 Will Gathering Disaster Mitigation Center 2008 2008 Beichuan China Heart 2008 2008 Association * For INGOs, the time indicates they began their activities in China Mainland.
    • 12. How to study the role of these CSOs? Previous Research to define the role of CSO Fowler(1991): links to foreign funds Salamon (1992) : a pipeline between society and the state Sumifuji(2005): junction points Kawamoto(2007): motivator, networker, mission articulator, facilitator, presentator, coordinator, and supporter in different stages. Features: Outsider; dynamic; impact on other elements, and receive sth. From other elements; Bidirectional reaction (positive or negative); Promote new organization; sensitive to the environment… CATALYST
    • 13. Why CATALYST? A case from disaster-affected area: CS O Enterprise A Enterprise B Enterprise C 60% funIdnadequate financial allocation 40% fund Local Government Disaster HospitLailvelihood Disaster-affected Community Local CSO
    • 14. Why CATALYST? Process Dynamic Process Endless (if ideal) Elements (enterprises, local government, local community, CSOs…) Multiple actors as elements Elements new added and exited elements are changing
    • 15. Framework built based on the concept of CATALYST Identity Boundary Link Penetration Auto-Catalysis B ? A ? ? ? C D
    • 16. Boundary  RANGE # boundary of one element #Identity: the things elements can do. Boundary: the thins elements cannot do.  JUNCTION # boundary of 2 elements or more # The number of junctions on the boundary is an indicator to assess the extent of interaction between two elements.
    • 17. Conclusions & Prospects  This research sorts out the development of Chinese CSOs in disaster response field, and concludes the characteristics of these newly emerging DR-related CSOs.  In order to analyze the role of CSO in disaster response, the Framework of Catalyst is proposed. In theory, the framework provide an approach for researchers; in the practice, it can be used as a toolkit for the CSO project staffs.  Prospect: the author believes that the framework of catalyst can also be used in other areas, to identify the main factors which may stimulate the reconstruction process in local context.