Innovative Social Governance: Successes and Challenges of RSSWDC in Hainan

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China Development Brief (CDB) is recently interviewing Mr. Chen Yang, the founder of the Rising Sun Social ork Development Centre (RSSWDC) in Hainan Province. With a background in the International Plan organization, Mr. Chen was inspired by the concept of “Childhood Space” to establish the “Child-Friendly Space” public welfare project. Throughout its development, the project has received invaluable experience and technical support from the International Plan, benefiting from systematic expert training and supervision. To ensure the project meets professional standards and local service needs, its “Child-Friendly Space” textbook was compiled with technical assistance from UNICEF and Save the Children.

CDB: Can you provide an overview of Rising Sun Social Work Development Centre’s mission and the key areas of social work development it focuses on?

Chen Yang: The Rising Sun Social Work Development Centre (RSSWDC) in Hainan is a platform-based, supportive social service organization registered with the Hainan Provincial Civil Affairs Department. It holds non-profit tax-exempt status and was rated as a 5A social organization by the Hainan Provincial Civil Affairs Department in 2022. Leveraging professional theories from higher education institutions and integrating extensive project service experiences from international, Beijing, and Shanghai regions, RSSWDC consolidates various social resources to promote the development of social organizations and professional social work in Hainan Province. Its mission is to create a platform for social governance innovation, improve the social governance ecosystem, and support the construction of the Hainan Free Trade Port from the social sector. RSSWDC operates from headquarters in Haikou and Sanya, with multiple project offices in various cities and counties across Hainan Province. Its main projects include social organization incubation and cultivation, creation of community public spaces, child development, elderly care services, social organization evaluation, and social worker training. RSSWDC’s mission is to serve as a Social Governance Accelerator, with a vision for Family Harmony, Community Harmony, and Social Harmony. Its core values include Working Together and Advancing Together for the Common Good.

CDB: How has RSSWDC collaborated with universities and international development organizations to pilot projects and integrate social resources?

Chen Yang: RSSWDC collaborates with local colleges to provide professional practice opportunities and employment positions for students. It has established a social work talent practice base to help students master practical skills and enhance their competitiveness. The organization also partners with international development organizations to introduce new ideas and broaden the development space for social work. The “Child-Friendly Space” project, inspired by the International Plan, has received technical support from UNICEF and Save the Children to meet professional standards and local service needs.

CDB: Can you share some success stories or notable achievements of RSSWDC in promoting social organizations, professional skills, and policy development in Hainan province?

Chen Yang: The Rising Sun Social Work Development Centre, a platform-based and supportive social service organization, has consistently worked towards its mission of being a social governance accelerator through its project branding. It has successfully established four key brand projects:

  1. Child-Friendly Spaces: Focuses on children’s protection, development, and participation, with demonstration stations in Danzhou, Haikou, and Sanya. The Danzhou City Chengbei Community Demonstration Site was honored as a “National Family Education Innovation Practice Base.”
  2. Sunlight Public Spaces: Created in various cities to meet residents’ personalized service needs. For example, the Chengbei Community Comprehensive Service Center in Danzhou became the first provincial-level demonstration site operated by a social organization in Hainan, benefiting over 50,000 residents. RSSWDC also participated in constructing and operating public spaces like the Malin Daycare Center in Yalong Bay Science and Technology New City, the Sunshine Coast Comprehensive Service Center, and the Ancient City Community Daycare Center.
  3. Incubator for Rising Sun: Provides social organization incubation and cultivation services in Shanghai, Hainan, and other locations, cultivating “professional philanthropy managers” and “social entrepreneurs.” Projects in Hainan include the Hainan Social Organization Incubation Base, Danzhou Social Organization Incubation Base, Sanya Tianya District Social Organization Incubation Base, Yalong Bay Science and Technology City Community Comprehensive Service Center Social Organization Cultivation Center, and Yazhou District Social Organization Incubation Base, among others.
  4. Sunlight Social Work Online School: Aims to cultivate more certified social workers through online and offline professional social work training. It enhances the strategic planning, project planning and execution, fund-raising, and brand-building abilities of social organizations, serving over 3,000 individuals.

CDB: What are some challenges that RSSWDC has faced in its work, and how have you overcome them?

Chen Yang: The Rising Sun Social Work Development Centre in Hainan has encountered various challenges at different stages of its work. Currently, it faces issues related to safeguarding employee interests, enhancing labor efficiency, and promoting the mutual development of the organization and its employees. To adress these challenges, the Centre plans to strengthen overall team building and optimize talent outcomes through three key principles:

  1. Upholding a unified front: Focus on both positions and projects, strengthen practical control, and control core resources.
  2. Upholding systematic coordination: Reduce internal losses, enhance overall work efficiency, and increase the initiative of the organization.
  3. Upholding the concept of mutual growth: Encourage mutual development and prosperity, turning passive acceptance into active participation and concerted efforts.

CDB: How do you envision the future of RSSWDC and its impact on social work development in Hainan province or in China?

Chen Yang: The Rising Sun Social Work Development Centre (RSSWDC) envisions building and optimizing the branding of its social work projects. The organization has always placed great importance on brand building and optimization. While several brand projects have begun to take shape, they are still in the development stage. Creating a comprehensive process from project initiation, implementation, operation, promotion, to optimization will require more time, manpower, and resources. RSSWDC aims to strengthen the development of non-governmental resources and enhance the ability of non-profit organizations to operate commercially and in a market-oriented manner. Faced with the challenge of social work organizations heavily relying on government funds and experiencing dual pressures from inadequate government support and social donation failures, there is a need to broaden resource channels, enhance organizational independence, and achieve healthy and sustainable development. RSSWDC believes that preparing for challenges in times of peace is crucial. Exploring diversified funding support channels, strengthening organizational vitality, and avoiding dependence on single funding sources are key objectives. The Centre is exploring commercial means to transform the organization and develop social enterprises. This includes adopting a model of “free service + low-paid service + paid service” and exploring the commercialization and market-oriented operation of social work organizations. Accumulating experience through participation in revenue-generating activities can open up new pathways for the organization’s development.


In conclusion, the Rising Sun Social Work Development Centre’s innovative projects and commitment to professional standards have made a significant impact on social work development in Hainan province. Through collaborations with universities and international organizations, RSSWDC has been able to pilot projects, integrate social resources, and enhance professional skills in the region. Despite facing challenges, RSSWDC remains dedicated to its mission of being a social governance accelerator and aims to continue its positive impact on social work development in Hainan province and beyond.


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