Project Data Sheet

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program: Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

PDS Creation Date
PDS Updated as of 04 Jun 2014

Project Name Strategies for Involving Social Workers in Social Assistance
Country China, People's Republic of
Project/Program Number 47033-001
Status Approved
Geographical Location
In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.
Sector Health and social protection
Subsector Social Protection
Strategic Agendas
Drivers of Change
Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Categories


Type/Modality of Assistance Approval Number Source of Funding Approved Amount (thousand)
Technical Assistance8447Technical Assistance Special Fund400
Counterpart 50

Summary of Environmental and Social Issues

Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples

Stakeholder Communication, Participation and Consultation

During Project Design
The proposed TA is included in the 2013- 2015 pipeline in the country operations business plan and has been identified and conceptualized through the domestic processing procedure of the PRC Government and through direct discussions with MOCA and relevant stakeholders. During the pre-reconnaissance mission, the following stakeholders were consulted for their advice regarding the conceptualization of this TA concept: China Youth Development Foundation, World Bank, UNICEF, Beijing Social Work Development Center for Facilitators, and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
During Project Implementation
Participatory consultation, through a TA working group will be incorporated during TA implementation.


The TA aims to contribute to the improvement of social assistance through the introduction of social work services into social assistance. Specifically, the TA is intended to achieve the following goals: (i) identify areas for involving social workers in social assistance through the assessment of gaps in the needs of poor households and creation of services to support of the transition from welfare to work; and (ii) develop strategies and instruments for introducing social work services and accredited social worker skills into social assistance.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The social assistance systems established in the People s Republic of China (PRC), including the minimum living standard guarantee scheme (dibao), aim to protect the fundamental living rights and interests of vulnerable groups by focusing on areas such as family care, childhood education and health, family livelihood strategy, and mental health of family members. While common in social assistance programs in many countries, the concept of "social workers" is relatively new in the PRC, which currently covers a very broad area of activities ranging from payments specialists, community workers, and counselors, among others. Growing areas are medical social workers who facilitate patients access to, and use of medical facilities, as well as follow-up. Unlike the medical patients, beneficiaries of dibao have no such case workers helping them to access other services, benefits, nor work programs. This lack of personalized assistance from social workers has been identified by the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MOCA) as one of the inhibiting factors for graduation from dibao for beneficiaries who are able to work. To bridge this gap between welfare and work, and ensure better care for vulnerable groups unable to work, MOCA intends to introduce and expand the role for social workers in social assistance. Defining the role and qualifications necessary for social workers in social assistance for MOCA is the focus of the proposed TA activities. Based on international and domestic experience, introducing professional social work services into social assistance is of great value in enhancing the employment awareness of assistance beneficiaries, increasing their social inclusion, protecting them from being rejected by the society, and improving assistance service quality. The goal of building a cadre of professional social workers in social assistance is supported by the National Development Plan for Social Work, which calls for an increase in the number of social workers in the PRC to 2 million by 2015 and 3 million by 2020. At present, approximately 80,000 people have passed the accreditation test for professional social workers in the PRC. Despite the major efforts at increasing the numbers of social workers undertaken to date, challenges remain in enhancing social work services into social assistance, including: (i) The field of social work in the People s Republic of China remains poorly defined. The job area is poorly defined due to a wide range of activities that are undertaken by social workers, and the varying levels of professional training available for each of those roles (professional social workers, para-professional social workers, etc.). This TA provides an opportunity to help define the role of social workers for MOCA in social assistance and more broadly. (ii) Gap between academic training and practice. There is a significant gap between the academic training and practice of social work in the PRC. There are currently more than 220 university majors in the PRC dedicated to social work, and this number is growing. Despite this, the majority of program graduates do not pursue work in the field, and those that do face many challenges due to lack of practical training, internships, and occupational and social recognition. Considering the growing demand for social workers within government, other service providers, and community-based groups, this TA comes at an opportune moment to engage with academia on applied research on qualifications, practical training, and emerging models (i.e. Chinese Academy of Social Sciences). (iii) Lack of social workers trained to provide services for work promotion and related services for dibao recipients and their families. Although social workers in many countries support the transition from welfare to work, social workers in the PRC have limited training in social assistance tasks, such as services to recipients to find jobs and transition off from welfare. Institutionally, the role of social workers in this area is yet to be defined by MOCA and the TA findings will play a significant role in providing the evidence and experience through pilot studies to fill this gap. (iv) Need for greater integration between government and civil-society-led social work activities. While there is a wide range of activities in the PRC, which are supported by social workers through civil society organizations (CSOs) such as migrant worker services, disaster relief, youth development, elderly care, and health, current legislation and funding modalities can prevent CSOs from playing a greater role in government-led or contracted social work initiatives. This gap prevents CSOs from providing this service to government in social assistance, and also contributes to a lack of institutional support for social workers in the field.

Development Impact

Improved service delivery of social workers in government social assistance programs.

Project Outcome

Description of Outcome
Better knowledge and information with MOCA for enhancement of the service delivery of social workers in social assistance and adoption of professional guidelines.
Progress Towards Outcome
Ongoing consultant recruitment for the project.

Outputs and Implementation Progress

Description of Project Outputs
Gap analysis/ needs assessment of social workers involvement in social assistance. International study tour exploring institutional arrangements and work flows at professional social work institutions. Pilot studies on the introduction of social workers into social assistance.
Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
TA activities will be initiated once all consultants are engaged.
Status of Development Objectives
Material Changes

Business Opportunities

Date of First Listing 2013 Jun 26
Consulting Services
total of 25 person-months of consulting services (two international consultants totaling 2 person-months and two national consultants for a total of 23 person-months) will be required. Consultants will have expertise in (i) the design of social work programs and policies, particularly in support of the transition of welfare to work; (ii) in-depth knowledge of existing social assistance and social work programs in the PRC, institutional frameworks, and monitoring and evaluation systems; and (iii) human resources in social assistance and social work programs in the PRC. A national consultant will serve as the team leader. The consultants will be responsible for producing the TA s outputs and deliverables effectively and on time, as well as organizing and carrying out all TA activities, including the analyses, study tour, pilots, symposiums and workshops, and policy note and knowledge product.
Procurement and Consulting Notices


Concept Clearance 21 Jun 2013
Fact-finding 22 Apr 2013 to 23 Apr 2013
Management Review Meeting
Approval 05 Sep 2013
Last Review Mission


Approval No. Approval Signing Effectivity Closing
Original Revised Actual
Technical Assistance 8447 05 Sep 2013 08 Oct 2013 08 Oct 2013 15 Nov 2015


Date Approval Number ADB (US$ thousand) Others (US$ thousand) Net Percentage
Cumulative Contract Awards
Cumulative Disbursements

TA Amount (US$ thousand)

Approval Number Approved Amount Revised Amount Total Commitment Uncommitted Balance Total Disbursement Undisbursed Balance
Technical Assistance 8447 400 400 181 219 9 391

Contacts and Update Details

Responsible ADB Officer Kristina Noel Katich (
Responsible ADB Department East Asia Department
Responsible ADB Divisions Urban and Social Sectors Division, EARD
Executing Agencies


Project Website
List of Project Documents