Xinhua – Wang Zhenyao: What should a "charity supervision organization" do?

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Red Cross Social Supervision Committee Member Wang Zhenyao: What should a charity supervision organization do?

Xinhua (新華網), July 10, 2013

As a member of the Chinese Red Cross’s Social Supervision Committee, Wang Zhenyao attempts to clear up some misconceptions about the committee that led to public opprobrium of the group, particularly the notion that the committee is responsible for “PR” for the Red Cross. The establishment of the Social Supervision Committee, along with the recently-founded Guangzhou Charity Supervision Committee, has led many to wonder about the purpose and goals of this type of organization. Wang, who is runs the Beijing Normal University China Philanthropy Research Institute, explained that when he was first asked to join the committee, he was also under the misconception that the purpose of the committee was to represent the decisions of the Red Cross to the public. Since he began to participate in the committee, he has learned that on the contrary, the committee is responsible for representing the public in overseeing the activities of the Red Cross. He also warns that, if adopting this type of title, as an “independent third sector supervision institution,” the organization must be registered, with definite funding, and must have independent employees, office space, and finances. As the result of a meeting held in early June to discuss the purpose of the committee, Wang explains that the committee should be “a platform and a bridge, on the one hand representing society’s suggestions to the Red Cross, and on the other hand, using the committee members’ resources to build a larger network that will enable more members of the public to participate.” Right now, Wang says, the Red Cross primarily states to the public that “we are not corrupt.” But this standard is too low, according to Wang. What’s important, Wang explains, is to grasp “What does society want this organization to do? What can we bring to the public?”

Summary by Amanda Brown-Inz. See Article for full text. (Chinese)

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