Project Factsheet
Tools for » The China Culture and Development Partnership Framework
Project ID:00067155Description:MDGF-1692-G-CHN Culture and De
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 5 Nov 2007
MDGF Culture & Development
End Date*: 3 Mar 2012
Country: China Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple


The JP integrated culture into development specifically for China’s ethnic minority population (120 million, or 8% of the population), through a framework with two outcomes that are based on six main issues. The issues are: 1) strengthen government capacity and awareness at all levels to be sensitive to needs of ethnic minorities and recognize the importance of cultural diversity; 2) promote and make possible quality and culturally sensitive education for ethnic minority children; 3) support the creation of linguistically and culturally appropriate Mother and Child Health Care (MCH); 4) foster improved access to labour market; 5) strengthen the capacity of ethnic minorities to protect and use their cultural resources; 6) promote culturally-based economic growth, including tourism and ethnic crafts. The programme had a very broad scope ranging from governance to education, health, economic empowerment and preservation of the cultural heritage. The nexus was the preservation of culture in the context of sustainable economic development – or using culture as a tool to further the development process.

The programme has been able to reach the expected outcomes (in some cases in excess of the target indicators). Chief of these are the improvement of the inclusion of ethnic minorities through the capacity development of government officials and community leaders, but also through an educational component that promoted cultural sensitivity in schools, affecting teachers and students (and their families) alike. This has the potential to influence policies regarding minority education. Ethnic minorities also gained improved access to Maternal and Child Health Care services (MCH), and under this component matching funds were obtained from national partners.

Three mutually supportive components targeted the unequal access to employment for ethnic minorities. The JP included a range of services such as intensive training (for example in cultural tourism with 1,562 persons versus a target of 120), through the development of initiatives that used cultural traditions as a tool for improving income generation, or through the methodology of Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) training that was rolled out in the crafts sector at the local level in two target areas and led to an increase in the job creation of 52%, with 63% for women.


Outcome 1:

The inclusion of ethnic minorities in cultural, socio-economic and political life strengthened through improved public policies and services.

Outcome achievements:

  •  Good governance (Output 1.1) targeted government representatives, civil society actors, and local community leaders, through training (864 out of a targeted 200 government officials, local People’s Congress officials, community leaders and civil society representatives) in culturally sensitive policy approaches towards ethnic minorities and has sought to formulate policy recommendations and create exchange platforms between and among local development stakeholders.  According to the final evaluation, community associations and platforms for exchange established have come to be highly regarded by both local government and communities. Important policy recommendations on culturally inclusive development for ethnic minorities have been formulated, and key messages integrated into development policy-making processes.
  • The Basic Education component (Output 1.2) aimed at introducing culturally sensitive approaches and materials for ethnic minority primary schoolchildren. All formal targets had been exceeded (100% compared to targeted 60%) in terms of ethnic minority children, teachers, principals, local and national policy makers benefited by child-sensitive school awareness programmes and culturally sensitive educational approaches. According to the final evaluation, major documentary results of this output are likely to have sustainable and long-term effects in affecting general policies towards minority education.
  • The strategy of the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) component (1.3) was to augment the existing work of UN agencies and the Ministry of Health (MoH) in improving overall access of ethnic minorities to MCH services, and generate new culture-based packages and models to impact health programmes. The strong national ownership generally demonstrated by the joint programme was well exemplified in this component through matching funds supplied by partner agencies and local uptake of project models and good practices. Among the achievements of was an overall increase in hospital delivery rates and in regular antenatal care in programme sites. Other and sustainable results were a generally improved capacity of a substantial proportion of MCH providers, Family Planning (FP) workers and village doctors in all the project sites; the training of village doctors, township MCH providers, and trainers; and the testing and validation and uptake of routine MCH indicators. Minority cultural media were also employed to transmit MCH messages.


Outcome 2:

Ethnic minorities empowered in the management of cultural resources and benefiting from cultural-based economic development.

Outcome achievements:

  • Cultural Heritage Protection succeeded in contributing to a new awareness of the importance of cultural heritage at the local level and the ways in which it can be dynamically conserved. The component produced results in the form of newspaper articles, films, and reports of all kinds.  The component exceeded its publication targets and also its training targets, training more than two hundred local stakeholders in conservation and development methods under the agro-culture element, for instance, which also established the local ecosystem as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS).
  • Three separate Outputs (1.4, 2.2 and 2.3) addressed issues of unequal access in Employment for ethnic minorities and the creation of new culture-based employment opportunities in the fields of tourism, and minority arts and crafts. Training targets and targets for the dissemination of training materials were well exceeded. This output combined training with research in a way that seems to have had a quite major impact on thinking and attitudes among local labour bureau and other officials concerned with ethnic minority employment issues.
  • Under the Cultural Tourism component (Output 2.2), coupled with 1.1, extensive training in community-based tourism development and resource management was given to local government officials, community leaders and civil society representatives (1,562 of a targeted 120). Local culture-based tourism associations were established and strengthened. Villagers saw this as a new way to make a livelihood while preserving aspects of their traditional culture.
  • Platforms for exchange with government and civil society organizations were developed and it was encouraging that the community associations and platforms for exchange which were developed appeared to have a good standing according to both the local government and the communities.
  • Under the Crafts Sector Development component (Output 2.3), local artisans and entrepreneurs received Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) training in marketing skills and techniques of improving their products, which took place from 2009 onwards in Leishan and Longchuan. Altogether more than sixty-five new product designs were created, and over sixty artisans or small business owners were trained in SIYB aspects of business development including marketing quality and business management. 100 local stakeholders and ethnic minority crafts workers were trained in product development, emphasizing a balance between criteria of authenticity, innovation, marketing, product quality and artisan well being. The number of jobs was reported to have increased by 52.3% in enterprises supported by the programme while women’s employment rates in those enterprises had increased by 63%.


Best practices:

  • Joint implementation had a multiplier effect and therefore resulted in indicator benchmarks and targets being exceeded.


Lessons learned:

  • Limit the number of participating UN agencies to 2-4 as larger numbers make programme coordination exceedingly difficult and time-consuming and as receptivity to the JP modality is often directly related to Agency’s budget share.
  • Establish procedures to identify and agree upon common pilot sites which are crucial for effective joint programming.
  • Ensure strong integration of different programme interventions during the design phase to facilitate subsequent joint implementation.
  • Further harmonize Agency administrative procedures and budgeting systems.
  • Convening capacity and commitment of lead Government Agency crucial for JP success.
  • Integrate communication strategies into programme strategies and budgets.
  • Regarding outcome indicators, more qualitative indicators would have better captured progress towards results. Also, policy recommendations and capacity-building interventions require a longer period of time than the joint programme cycle to identify induced changes.


More details can be found in the final project report:

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