China, People's Republic of : Social Work Services Policy and Delivery Modes for the Elderly with Special Difficulties
The Ministry of Civil Affairs (MOCA) has submitted a project proposal to ADB through the Ministry of Finance to provide technical assistance (TA) to better understand international and national trends in professionalizing social work, especially to provide services to the elderly and provide tools to MOCA to standardize, monitor, and evaluate social work services for the elderly with special difficulties. This will contribute to improving the education and practical experience of social workers and social organizations caring for the elderly with special needs, and provide more effective and relevant social support and delivery modes. The TA findings will potentially be replicable nationwide.
East Asia Department
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China, People's Republic of
|Project Name||Social Work Services Policy and Delivery Modes for the Elderly with Special Difficulties|
|Country / Economy||China, People's Republic of
|Project Type / Modality of Assistance||Technical Assistance
|Source of Funding / Amount||
|Strategic Agendas||Inclusive economic growth
|Drivers of Change||Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
|Sector / Subsector||
Education / Education sector development - social protection initiatives
Health / Health insurance and subsidized health programs
Public sector management / Social protection initiatives
|Gender||Effective gender mainstreaming|
|Description||The Ministry of Civil Affairs (MOCA) has submitted a project proposal to ADB through the Ministry of Finance to provide technical assistance (TA) to better understand international and national trends in professionalizing social work, especially to provide services to the elderly and provide tools to MOCA to standardize, monitor, and evaluate social work services for the elderly with special difficulties. This will contribute to improving the education and practical experience of social workers and social organizations caring for the elderly with special needs, and provide more effective and relevant social support and delivery modes. The TA findings will potentially be replicable nationwide.|
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy||
The main demographic challenges facing the People's Republic of China (PRC) in this century are the dramatic aging of its population, scale of internal migration largely driven by urbanization, and new social and economic vulnerabilities arising from these changes. The elderly with special physical, psychological, and/or financial difficulties now have more diverse and individualized needs. They require a combination of targeted poverty-reduction measures and affordable medical and social services. Data on the elderly with special difficulties show that the PRC has 100 million living in empty-nest households, 100 million with chronic illnesses, 50 million left behind in the countryside alone, 38 million unable to perform daily activities, 23 million stricken in poverty or with low income, and 10 million who have lost their only child. The number of elderly aged 80 years and above has reached about 22.7 million. A range of gender-related disparities include women's poorer health status, lower cognitive performance, and poorer financial security than men of similar age.
The PRC has responded to overall elderly care needs with new policy and legal initiatives, including the Twelfth Five-Year Plan for the Development of Social Care Services for the Elderly, 2011-2015, and the revised Law on the Protection of the Rights and Interests of the Elderly, 2013. Both documents call for developing social services for the elderly, including through (i) expansion and professionalization of elderly care social workers, social work standards, and the social work sector; and (ii) encouragement for government agencies and social organizations to engage in delivery of outsourced elderly care social services. These documents have been supported by guidance on implementation modalities, including Opinions on Strengthening the Development of Professional Social Workers, jointly issued by 19 ministries; the Medium- and Long-Term Development Plan for the Development of Social Work Forces, 2011-2020; and the Guidelines for Government Purchase of Social Work Services, including the use of state lottery funds toward the procurement of elderly care services by social organizations. The reform agenda of the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party in November 2013 calls for an acceleration of reforms to improve and expand the provision of social servicessuch as education, health, elderly care, and social protectionallowing more benefits from development to be more equally shared by all.
The TA is aligned with ADB''s country partnership strategy, 2011-2015 for the PRC, promoting basic social services; and ADB''s Midterm Review of Strategy 2020, with renewed emphasis on health and education as part of ADB''s inclusive growth agenda. The TA is also part of a new area of strategic thrusts in ADB''s operations in the PRC to develop services for an aging society, as reflected in the country operations business plan, 2015-2017. ADB has provided several TA projects in the PRC for consolidation of the social assistance (dibao) system, including the ongoing TA on improving efficiency in public service procurement and delivery. Aging will be a critical challenge for sustaining growth, making it more inclusive, and providing social protection in the region, as this demographic shift has started in most developing economies in Asia. The aging population represents an important opportunity for ADB to provide TA and lending in the coming years. It will also build on findings from ADB''s TA for Promoting Market Innovation in Developing Social Infrastructure: Old Age Caring; TA for Strategic Elderly Care Services Development in Yichang, on local planning for elderly care in Yichang; TA for Strategies for Involving Social Workers in Social Assistance, on strengthening social workers to support social assistance recipients in their transition to the labor market; and TA for Strengthening Government and Social Organization Cooperation for Rural Poverty Reduction, on outsourcing and social organizations.
Several key issues require urgent action to promote both professional and community-based social work and outsourcing of social services focused on the elderly with special difficulties. First, a strong policy framework and guidelines for care of the elderly with special difficulties are needed. Second, a rewarding career path for social workers needs to be developed, starting with appropriate education and training, and decent pay and working conditions. Third, improved government procurement mechanisms, including volunteer incentive mechanisms, for services provided to the elderly with special difficulties by social organizations engaged in elderly care, community development, or poverty reduction need to be developed, particularly in remote or difficult-to-access conditions.
A strengthened policy environment for social work for the elderly, primarily for those with special difficulties
|Description of Outcome||
Policy recommendations on strengthening social work services for the elderly with special difficulties
|Progress Toward Outcome||
1. Policy recommendations were submitted to MOCA at the Project Completion Workshop.
2. Government is planning to develop new guidelines in this area.
|Description of Project Outputs||
1. Study report on national and international experience on social work services for the elderly with special difficulties
2. Guidelines and broad implementation framework for social work service standards for the elderly with special difficulties
3. Indicator system for monitoring and evaluation of social work services for the elderly with special difficulties
4. Dissemination of findings
|Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)||
An inception mission was held on 24-26 September 2015 to meet with (i) MOCA authorities to confirm the content of the TA, and (ii) TA consultants to discuss their assignments and plan the implementation of the project.
The inception report was discussed during the inception workshop. International and PRC experiences and best practices in caring for the elderly with special needs were identified in preparation for the study tour.
An indicator system for monitoring and evaluation system on social work services for elderly with special difficulties will be focused on government procurement and social organization outsourcing users.
Fieldwork has been completed in several cities and provinces of the eastern and western PRC. Initial fieldwork findings, analysis, and a draft indicator system have been documented. Final consultants reports were submitted and accepted by ADB and EA.
The TA midterm review workshop was convened on 23-24 September 2016 and consultant reports were discussed by a panel of three national specialists. The consultant study report on international experiences on social work services for the elderly in special need was also peer-reviewed by two international scholars and their recommendations addressed. All four consultants presented draft project findings and provided training in their proposed guideline and indicator methodologies at a 10-12 November 2016 project training workshop in Beijing. The 27 participating trainees from MOCA and local government agencies, social work service centers, aged care homes, and applied research institutes came from 16 national level cities, provinces, and ethnic autonomous regions in the eastern, central, and western PRC. Training feedback was incorporated into the final draft consultant reports, including the guidelines and implementation framework and monitoring and evaluation indicator system, which were presented and reviewed by leaders from MOCA departments at the 6 December 2016 project completion workshop. All consultant reports were then finalized and accepted by MOCA. The two consultant reports on national and international experience on social work services for the elderly in special need will be posted on the MOCA website. In addition, 1,000 Chinese and English copies of these reports will be circulated by MOCA to relevant institutions at national and local levels.
The TA was physically completed on 31 December 2016 and financially closed on 16 March 2017.
|Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects|
|Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation|
|During Project Design||Consultation with central and local government staff, professional social workers, other carers, and a diverse range of relevant community and social organizations.|
|During Project Implementation||Consultation with central and local government staff, professional social workers, other carers, and a diverse range of relevant community and social organizations. Dissemination of TA findings and policy recommendations through a study report (to public and private stakeholders, and social organizations), and workshops and conference (with the participation of central and provincial officials, the private sector, and civil society stakeholders).|
|Consulting Services||In dialogue with MOCA, ADB has engaged an international and four national consultants, who will report to MOCA and ADB. Consultants were hired on an individual basis in accordance with ADB''s Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2013, as amended from time to time).|
|Responsible ADB Officer||Wu, Aihua|
|Responsible ADB Department||East Asia Department|
|Responsible ADB Division||PRC Resident Mission (PRCM)|
Ministry of Civil Affairs
|Concept Clearance||19 Mar 2015|
|Fact Finding||12 Jan 2015 to 16 Jan 2015|
|Approval||03 Jun 2015|
|Last Review Mission||-|
|Last PDS Update||31 Mar 2017|
|Approval||Signing Date||Effectivity Date||Closing|
|03 Jun 2015||26 Jun 2015||26 Jun 2015||31 Dec 2016||-||16 Mar 2017|
|Financing Plan/TA Utilization||Cumulative Disbursements|
|400,000.00||0.00||100,000.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||500,000.00||17 Jun 2022||221,172.72|
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|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Social Work Services Policy and Delivery Modes for the Elderly with Special Difficulties: Technical Assistance Completion Report||TA Completion Reports||Jul 2018|
|Social Work Services Policy and Delivery Modes for the Elderly with Special Difficulties: International Experience on Social Work Services Final Report||Consultants' Reports||Dec 2016|
|Social Work Services Policy and Delivery Modes for the Elderly with Special Difficulties: Guidelines and Implementation Framework for Social Work Service Standards Final Report||Consultants' Reports||Dec 2016|
|Social Work Services Policy and Delivery Modes for the Elderly with Special Difficulties: Technical Assistance Report||Technical Assistance Reports||Jun 2015|
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