New research from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in China indicates Beijing is starting to be more open about its international aid programs. If so, this would mark a significant change from the past where the Chinese government was often criticized for its lack of transparency in how it disperses overseas development assistance.
The UNDP’s findings were published this month in a report on “Demand-Driven Data: How Partner Countries are Gathering Chinese Development Cooperation Information.” Beijing’s apparent willingness to be more open about its expanding aid agenda comes as other major donors are also increasing their development assistance, particularly in Africa, following a sharp downturn in response to the 2008 financial crisis.
The UNDP’s Head of Policy and Partnerships in Beijing, Hannah Ryder, joins Eric & Cobus to discuss her team’s new report and the politics of Chinese foreign aid.
Ryder leads a group of national and international experts in UNDP to support China to cooperate practically and effectively with other countries and develop its positions on various key international issues – including the post-2015 development agenda, China’s climate change policy, and China’s development cooperation. The group also provides analysis on China’s key domestic policies, and publishes the China-specific Human Development Report biennially. Prior to her assignment in Beijing for the UNDP, Ryder worked in the United Kingdom’s Department For International Development in London where she specialized in climate change issues among other fields. She is a native of Kenya and holds degrees from both the University of London and the University of Sussex.