China and SDG1: Efforts to alleviate poverty – a case study

The Source
By: Guest contributor, Wed Nov 29 2023

Author: Guest contributor

Professor Xiaolin Wang, dean and professor at Fudan University, explores how China can be used as a case study for poverty alleviation efforts elsewhere and working towards achieving the aims of SDG1.

Could you share a brief overview of your book series? What were you hoping to achieve?

After attending the Rio+20 Conference (refer to United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development) in 2012, I realized there were still various challenges that need to be overcome before achieving the Millennium Development Goals, and that poverty and inequality continue to be the main issues developing countries need and have to face. Although the development experience from developed countries is precious, the new challenges of the current era caused by climate change, new technological revolution etc., are tremendous. Thus, it is difficult to solve the poverty problem in developing countries by following the experience of developed countries. China, as the largest developing country in the world, has made many new attempts and strategies in poverty reduction. Hopefully, these practical experiences could add value to other developing countries on poverty reduction.

How have you worked directly to address SDG1: No Poverty and how do this series contribute to this goal? 

I believe that the quality of a country’s economic growth is one of the most crucial things for addressing SDG1. That’s why the theme of the first book of this series is about the quality of the economic growth and poverty reduction of China. 

In my perspective, in fact, there are three pillars to promote poverty reduction in one country: the pro-poor economic growth, the inclusiveness of social development and multidimensional poverty alleviation and development. Relying only on income support plans cannot achieve the goal of poverty eradication. The public policy should promote this kind of growth, this is first pillar. The impoverished population benefits from economic growth above the average level of society, which is known as pro-poor economic growth. Meanwhile, poor people have more equitable access to public services, such as, education, health, and employment. The second pillar therefore, is inclusive social development. The third pillar is the delivery of multi-dimension targeted poverty alleviation.  

The framework for integrating this book series is based on the above three pillars of public policies for poverty reduction. Under this framework, this book series includes the practice of targeted poverty alleviation in China. 

I hope this book series could pass on a relatively logical and theoretical framework of the poverty governance knowledge system, which have been tested practically in China.

What is your motivation to focus your research and edit a book series on this particular topic? Is there a personal or professional reason that raised your interest? 

This book series reflects my working experience for the last 25 years. The first time I realized a huge knowledge gap in poverty alleviation was at the age of 28 when I took charge of the investment estimation work for Western China’s poverty alleviation project by the World Bank. At that time, I was keen on finding well-edited poverty reduction books that combined theories, methods and practical operations. Unfortunately, there were minimal materials that could fit my requirements. Thus, I started to think about why I did not do poverty reduction-related research by myself and then edited such a book.

When the time came to 2006, I joined the Social Policy Division of UNICEF China Office and started researching child development and the national financial budget. In 2009, I went on a research visit on multidimensional poverty measure approach to the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), where I read a lot of poverty related literature,  including professor Amartya Sen’s great works, whose theory of welfare economics greatly expanded my understanding of poverty. Between 2009 to 2017, I worked at the International Poverty Reduction Center in China (IPRCC) and the State Council Poverty Alleviation and Development Office of China for 8 years, participating in the formulation of some poverty reduction policies by the Chinese government.

Could you share your thoughts on the future of poverty reduction efforts both in China and on a global scale? What trends or developments do you anticipate in this field in the coming years?

China has worked hard to alleviate absolute poverty and aims to alleviate relative poverty and narrow the uneven development by implementing national rural revitalization and regional balanced development strategies. There are of course numerous challenges we have to face in alleviating poverty globally, with conflict, the digital divide, platform monopoly, climate change, etc., which may lead to large-scale poverty returning for human society.

In your perspective, how can we contribute to addressing real-world issues like poverty in the Global South, and how has your series and its books aimed to bridge the gap between research and practical solutions?

To address real-world issues and achieve the goals of SDGs, there are three necessary things that need to be done. First, governments should consolidate consensus on addressing global poverty and other development goals of SDGs. Secondly, it should establish more inclusive partnerships and thus raise funds for the development goal. Lastly, guiding digital technology and digital platforms to become more inclusive and encouraging the digital technology to promote inclusive solutions. 

It is essential for the Global South to build unique knowledge systems based on their national conditions and international development experience. Secondly, it is necessary for countries belonging to the Global South to strengthen their relationship by sharing experience and knowledge, especially on the aspect of poverty reduction and development. Last but not least, as this book series is an open series, we hope it could include more research and information on poverty reduction from Africa, South Asia, Latin America etc., in the near future. 

Why did you choose to publish this book series with Springer Nature? What did you enjoy the most when you work with Springer Nature? 

The main reason for choosing Springer is due to its power of international influence and communication. This book series focuses on global poverty reduction, so I hope it could be shared in various countries worldwide. I believe this book series could be helpful for government officers, NGOs, universities and research institutions in low and middle-income countries. 

About the author
Dr WANG Xiaolin © Springer Nature 2023

Dr WANG Xiaolin is the Deputy Dean and professor of the Institute for Six-sector Economy, Fudan University, professor of the School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University. He is the Executive Director of Shanghai (Fudan University) Institute for Cooperation and Development, a member of the Shanghai Municipal Government Cooperation and Exchange Expert Committee, Deputy Secretary-General of the China Soft Science Research Association, executive director of China Rural Development Research Association, and special expert of Shaanxi Province. He also serves as an advisory expert for the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation, the United Nations World Food Programme and other international organizations. He was a former member of the Expert Advisory Committee of the Leading Group on Poverty Alleviation and Development of the State Council, P. R. China.


Author: Guest contributor

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