China, People's Republic of : National Strategy and Policy Framework on Adapting to the Aging Population

Sovereign Project | 55025-001

The knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) will help the Government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) respond to rapid population aging by undertaking research and developing national policy tools and action plans related to aging and elderly care. The proposed TA is aligned with strategic priority 3 (aging society and health security) of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) country partnership strategy for the PRC, 2021-2025, which aims to address key challenges in adapting to an aging society.

Project Details

  • Project Officer
    Habib, Najibullah
    Sectors Group
    Request for information
  • Country/Economy
    China, People's Republic of
  • Sector
    • Health
Project Name
National Strategy and Policy Framework on Adapting to the Aging Population
Project Number
Country / Economy
  • China, People's Republic of
Project Status
Project Type / Modality of Assistance
  • Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 6862-PRC: National Strategy and Policy Framework on Adapting to the Aging Population
Source Amount
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 280,000.00
Operational Priorities
  • OP1: Addressing remaining poverty and reducing inequalities
  • OP2: Accelerating progress in gender equality
  • OP6: Strengthening governance and institutional capacity
Sector / Subsector
  • Finance / Inclusive finance

  • Health / Health system development

  • Information and communication technology / ICT strategy and policy, and capacity development

  • Public sector management / Social protection initiatives

Some gender elements
The knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) will help the Government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) respond to rapid population aging by undertaking research and developing national policy tools and action plans related to aging and elderly care. The proposed TA is aligned with strategic priority 3 (aging society and health security) of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) country partnership strategy for the PRC, 2021-2025, which aims to address key challenges in adapting to an aging society.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The number and proportion of older people as a share of the population in the PRC is rapidly growing. Demographic estimates indicate that the country will move from an aging to aged society by 2027, and the proportion of people aged 60 and above is expected to increase from 18.7% in 2020 to 35.0% by 2050-turning the population into one of the oldest in the world at a fast pace. A falling fertility rate, smaller families, and longer life expectancy have decreased the proportion of young people and increased the proportion of older people. These demographic changes will have major economic and social impacts on the country's labor force, health care, elderly care, and pension systems. At the same time, aging provides opportunities for economic development. Rising disposable income and assets among the older population will create demand for goods and services and will catalyze growth in pension and insurance funds. Older people have substantial potential to contribute to sustainable economic growth as part of a multigenerational workforce, which will require development of age-friendly and healthy aging policies, including more flexible work and retirement options; age-friendly workplaces; and retraining, reskilling, and upskilling. These policies will help ensure that older workers can fully participate in the PRC's economic activities.

Aging well is a lifelong process that can be supported by advancements in public health and elderly care services and systems (ECSS), better financial services, use of innovative technologies, and the development of healthy and age-friendly living conditions. Older people represent an increasingly important consumer force, but they have specific needs for financial services and face various challenges in accessing and using financial services and systems. Policymakers must consider these needs to achieve sustainable financial inclusion that is supported by financial protection and education, and responsive financial services and products. Financial inclusion will contribute to greater financial system stability, reduce pressure on public pension schemes, reduce old-age poverty, and improve intergenerational equality. There is a need to develop policies and guides for financial institutions that will help them strengthen financial and digital literacy, support lifetime financial planning, harness inclusive technologies, and encourage multisector participation to address the needs of older people.

Family support in the PRC has traditionally played a major role in providing care for the elderly, but families are increasingly unable to meet the basic needs of older people. The development of an efficient national elderly care system is a key priority. Investing in better ECSS will help the government increase the quantity and improve the quality of ECSS. To achieve these goals, there is a need to (i) assess the challenges to improving the elderly care system, including updating the national elderly care guidelines, improving system quality, and integrating elderly care services; (ii) estimate the required investments in land, labor, capital, technology, and information systems for elderly care; and (iii) develop the government investment program and recommendations for improving the quality of ECSS.

Innovative technologies have the potential to improve well-being, health care, and elderly care support. The emerging technologies range from assistive robots, artificial intelligence-enabled health monitoring smart applications, sensors and wearables, new pharmaceutical drug release mechanisms, portable diagnostics systems, voice-activated devices, intelligent homes, and many other technological solutions to provide support and services for older people. At the same time, digital inclusiveness and closing the digital divide for older people have become critical challenges to address. Developing modern and comprehensive national policy tools and strategies on aging requires in-depth analysis of the extent and impact of digital exclusion and options to improve digital inclusion.

Urbanization is a global trend that has rapidly expanded in the PRC. As the cities are growing, their share of population above 60 years is also increasing. Age-friendly urban development and age-friendly cities are important to tap the potential of older people. There is a need to (i) analyze the development trends and regional distribution of the working-age and older populations in the cities to meet the needs of the various age groups; (ii) develop guidance for and monitor the development of a conducive environment for healthy aging, and other aspects of age-friendly cities; (iii) carry out nationwide evaluation and develop a system to evaluate a city's age-friendliness; and (iv) assess the scale of investments and government fiscal expenditures required for the development of age-friendly cities.

On average, women have lower lifetime earnings, are less digitally and financially literate, use fewer formal financial services including bank accounts, and live longer than men. They often receive smaller pension payments than men, partly because women get paid less during their working years and lose compensation when they leave the labor force for caring duties such as raising children. Therefore, when women reach old age, they are poorer, less educated, more financially and digitally excluded, and are more likely to have unmet care needs than men. The TA will focus on the needs of older women, who have lower lifetime earnings, have higher levels of digital and financial exclusion, yet are also more likely to have unmet care needs, while simultaneously acting as the primary caregivers in the family.

The Government of the PRC has been responding to these challenges by developing national policies and programs to address aging. The PRC's Fourteenth Five-Year Plan, 2021-2025 aims to address population aging and promote long-term balanced population development. The plan calls for implementation of the national strategy to improve welfare policies, develop elderly care services, and raise the statutory retirement age. The General Office of the State Council issued guidelines on elderly care services that call for strengthening elderly care policies, developing urban and rural elderly care systems, improving elderly care services, and integrating health care and elderly care services. The government developed the Healthy China 2030 Action Plan and the National Plan for Actively Responding to Population Aging in the Medium and Long Term. The plans lay out five areas of action: (i) improving the national income distribution system, steadily increasing pension reserves, and increasing the sustainability of the social security system; (ii) improving effective labor supply by developing a lifelong learning system for senior citizens and striving to achieve fuller employment while creating better quality jobs; (iii) improving the quality of the health care system, including health education, disease prevention, nursing, and hospice care; (iv) refocusing scientific and technological development to address population aging issues; and (v) improving legal frameworks to protect the rights and interests of older people.

The TA will build on ADB's aging-related projects, experiences, lessons learned, and ongoing cooperation with various agencies in the PRC. The lessons from the aging-related projects financed by ADB and other international organizations highlight the importance of focusing on community and home-based elderly care services; improving coordination and cooperation of government agencies in charge of the elderly care policies, systems and services; promoting close cooperation between the social and healthcare institutions; and investing in developing human resources capacity and knowledge. The TA will add value by helping the government develop and implement a national policy framework for aging-related sectors that will enhance the support from ADB and other donors to the development of the PRC's ECSS. The TA will support Strategy 2030's operational priority 1 (addressing remaining poverty and reducing inequalities), operational priority 2 (accelerating progress in gender equality), and operational priority 6 (strengthening governance and institutional capacity).


National services and systems for the aging population improved

Project Outcome

Description of Outcome

Policies and road map to strengthen the aging policy framework improved

Progress Toward Outcome
Progress will be assessed in 2024.

Implementation Progress

Description of Project Outputs

Policy advice on strengthening aging-related services and systems developed

Policymakers'' knowledge and capacity on aging-related policies and issues enhanced

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
Of the consultants who will undertake research and analysis and help the executing agency develop policy tools, action plans, cost estimates, and conduct capacity strengthening, the national consulting firm was engaged in August 2022, while recruitment of the international individual consultants is ongoing.
Geographical Location

Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects

Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples

Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation

During Project Design
During Project Implementation
The TA will hold a series of workshops, trainings, and seminars, including presentations on knowledge products to relevant government staff, policymakers, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders based on the research and cost analysis carried out under the TA's output 1. The TA will develop the capacity of policymakers by training stakeholders from the agencies involved in adapting to aging population.

Business Opportunities

Consulting Services
ADB will engage a consulting firm in consultation with the executing agency following the ADB Procurement Policy (2017, as amended from time to time) and its associated procurement staff instructions. The national consulting firm will have 45 person-months of total inputs and will be recruited using consultants' qualifications selection method.


Responsible ADB Officer
Habib, Najibullah
Responsible ADB Department
Sectors Group
Responsible ADB Division
Human and Social Development Sector Office (SG-HSD)
Executing Agencies
National Development and Reform Commission


Concept Clearance
28 Oct 2021
Fact Finding
02 Nov 2021 to 03 Nov 2021
09 Dec 2021
Last Review Mission
Last PDS Update
14 Sep 2022


TA 6862-PRC

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
09 Dec 2021 13 Dec 2021 13 Dec 2021 31 Dec 2023 31 Dec 2024 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
280,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 280,000.00
Cumulative Disbursements
Date Amount
20 Mar 2024 78,000.00

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.

The Access to Information Policy (AIP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.

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.

Title Document Type Document Date
National Strategy and Policy Framework on Adapting to the Aging Population: Technical Assistance Report Technical Assistance Reports Dec 2021

Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

None currently available.

Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.

Related Publications

None currently available.

The Access to Information Policy (AIP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.

Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.


Tender Title Type Status Posting Date Deadline
Consulting Firm Firm - Consulting Closed

Contracts Awarded

Contract Title Approval Number Contract Date Contractor | Address Executing Agency Total Contract Amount (US$) Contract Amount Financed by ADB (US$)
Policy and Advisory Technical Assistance Technical Assistance 6862 16 Aug 2022 STATE INFORMATION CENTER (P.R.C.) | NO. 58 SANLIHE ROAD, XICHENG DISTRICT 100045 BEIJING, PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA National Development and Reform Commission 262,988.00

Procurement Plan

None currently available.