China: The China Culture and Development Partnership Framework

China has the world’s biggest ethnic minority population, and this population is disproportionately poor, including 56% of all Chinese people living in extreme poverty. China owes much of its cultural wealth to the unique diversity of its minority groups, yet these minorities risk becoming increasingly vulnerable without the capacity and opportunities to access the benefits of China’s overall development. The Joint Programme supported China in designing and implementing policies that promote the rights of its 106 million ethnic minority citizens in the five provinces in which they are concentrated: Tibet, Qinghai, Xinjiang, Yunnan and Guizhou. 

This was achieved by building government capacity to undertake rights and culture-based development, and by empowering ethnic minority groups to better manage their cultural resources and thus to benefit from culture-based economic development. The programme also supported the pro-poor development of culture-based tourism and the arts and crafts and creative industries sectors.

Main achievements included:

  • Translation of UNESCO’s Cultural Diversity Programming Lens Toolkit and its testing, adaptation and transmission through local training workshops. Local government officials, political and community leaders and civil society representatives were trained in inclusive governance processes. Minority community organizations were strengthened through national training workshops and on-site capacity building.
  • Developing culturally sensitive educational curricula, training ethnic minority teachers and principals in culturally sensitive approaches, and enabling counties to develop scaling up plans. The programme undertook a major policy analysis review of ethnic minority education.
  • Researching the relationship between culture and health targets and formulating new culture-based models to improve overall access of ethnic minorities to health services. As a result of the programme, hospital delivery rates increased 32% and regular antenatal care coverage grew by 21%.
  • Cultural Heritage Protection has been the most innovative and creative part of this programme and has succeeded in contributing to a new awareness of the importance of preserving cultural heritage at the local level. The programme produced newspaper articles, films, and reports and trained more than two hundred local stakeholders in conservation and development methods. 
  • Researching and addressing the employment situation of ethnic minorities and the cultural and linguistic obstacles they face. Non-discrimination in employment was promoted through development of a training manual and workshops for labour officials.
  • Empowering ethnic minorities in the management of cultural resources through cultural mapping, artisan associations and strengthening of entrepreneurs and craft-producers.  The Dong minority’s duck-fish-rice agricultural practice was recognized as a pilot site for an FAO Globally Important Agricultural System. New culture-based employment opportunities were created in the fields of tourism and minority arts and crafts, and tourism facilities and infrastructure were developed in seven villages.  


Click for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in China.


The Joint Programme in action


Programme Dates 31 Oct 2008 - 03 Mar 2012
Net funded amount $5,996,140
National partners Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center (CHP); China Arts and Crafts Association (CA&CA); China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchange (CICETE); China National Museum of Ethnology (CNME); Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS); Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IGSNRR); Ministry of Agriculture (MOA); Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM); Ministry of Education (MOE)/National Commission for UNESCO; Ministry of Health (MOH); Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS); National Population & Family Planning Commission (NPFPC); State Administration of Cultural Heritage (SACH); State Ethnic Affairs Commission (SEAC)
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