--September 27, 2010
On Sept. 13, 2010, Hans Zerr from Global Development Gateway arrived in Beijing and met with the CnDG team.
During Hans' one week visit to CnDG, he exchanged views and experiences on the promotion and marketing of CnDG and other country gateways with the CnDG team. Both sides considered that to be more focused on development and self-sustainability is very important for the survival of the country gateway organizations. Yuming Liu, the vice-director of CnDG, discussed the efforts that the team had made on development issues, such as poverty alleviation, since CnDG began in 2002. Hans appreciated what the team had done and said that CnDG should cooperate more closely with the Global Development Gateway and other country gateways to implement CnDG's oath of "serving international cooperation."
On Sept. 15, Hans and the CnDG team held a video conference call over Skype with Travis Harvey, the Asia Pacific Programs and Global Country Gateways Manager. Travis discussed the present development of the Global Development Gateway and the Aid Management Platform, a set of software used for tracking and analyzing projects funded with Official Development Assistance (ODA) in line with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. The software has been implemented in 16 countries around the world, including Laos and Nepal, and has proven effective in improving coordination and decision-making between key development stakeholders.
Hans also introduced some useful traffic-tracking tools to the CnDG team, which enriched the data sources for the team to optimize the website. Besides, he taught the team about his own experience in marketing websites.
Hans impressed the team with his knowledge and generosity during his one-week visit to Beijing. The team also benefited a lot and believes that CnDG will become better and stronger with close cooperation with the Global Development Gateway and other country gateways.
(China Development Gateway by Li Liangying September 27, 2010)
--August 15, 2010
On April 12, 2010, I was lucky enough to begin working for China Internet Information Center, joining the China Development Gateway team. Having just returned to China after roaming Africa for more than two years, I was excited to be back home and sitting in an office where more than 300 colleagues were seated. Colleagues on the CnDG team were also kind, making me feel at home.
As soon as I joined the team, I took part in revising the CnDG website, which was really a challenge for me with my lack of experience in website operations. I must thank my warm-hearted colleagues who taught me necessary skills generously and patiently, helping to familiarize me with the job and make progress quickly. I am also glad that my marketing experience was helpful during the course of making our revision plan. I adopted a SWOT analysis to help analyze the niche that CnDG should focus on and the marketing strategies for CnDG.
In June, CnDG worked with two American interns, Annie and Peter, from Appalachian State University. Respectively majoring in marketing and financing, Annie and Peter gave CnDG many suggestions during the two months of their internship and some of them were greatly valuable to the revision of the CnDG website. I really appreciated their ideas, which inspired me in making the revision plan.
Some say that freshman will bring fresh ideas. And new ideas are the power source of pushing a business forward and achieving success. I have followed this belief and have managed to make CnDG website more appealing and more self-sustainable. And I will continue to make it better with the joint efforts of all the colleagues in the team.
(China Development Gateway by Li Liangying August 15, 2010)
--November 4, 2009
My colleague Sun Wan, China Development Gateway's English editor and I went to a bar in Sanlitun, downtown Beijing, where about 40 people who were keen on charity and environmental protection gathered and shared their opinions Tuesday night.
The activity was co-organized by an international NGO, Roots & Shoots, and Wokai, a non-profit organization that focuses on microfinance services to Chinese farmers.
First, Erika Helms, executive director of the Jane Goodall Institute of China, gave a brief introduction about the Roots & Shoots (R&S) organization. The Roots & Shoots China Program cares and concerns for the environment, human community and animal welfare. Right now, there are over 400 R&S groups across China inspiring young people to build awareness and change their behaviors toward an environmental friendly lifestyle.
Then, a volunteer working for Wokai delivered a speech to explain how their website, wokai.org, works and their efforts to nurture rural micro-entrepreneurs in China.
In China, there are approximately 23 million people in extreme poverty, with family annual incomes less than 683 yuan (about US$100). In addition, microfinance services in rural China lag behind those in more developed areas. Many rural residents who want to start their own businesses are unable to get small loans.
Based in Oakland, California, Wokai ("I start" in Chinese) enables Chinese people to lift themselves from poverty. Their website focuses on helping Chinese rural residents receive microfinance services, with the goal to help them become self-reliant and rid themselves of poverty. At present, Wokai has raised US$103,827 in donations from 646 contributors worldwide.
I believe this is an ingenious pattern that Wokai has created. From this website, lenders from all over the world are able see the profile of every recipient and choose one to fund. Then, they can track the recipient's progress and repayments through updates from Wokai. After that, the repaid funds will go to helping someone new. Of course, the recipients have to pay some interest, which will defray various costs, including Wokai's employees and rent.
Thus, when the fund is big enough, a virtuous cycle will be built. With more and more people contributing to the fund, more and more recipients will get help.
(China Development Gateway by Jiao Meng November 4, 2009)
--August 18, 2009
How time flies! A whole month has passed since I arrived at China Development Gateway (CnDG).
I have learned so much from my warm and genuine colleagues. They treat me as if they were my elder brothers and sisters. "You and me, heart to heart, we are one family." Although I can still hardly accept that I am no longer a student, I must face reality and the future courageously.
Both the work and the working environment really suit me. Our office in the Foreign Language Mansion is quite near where I live. We have the latest office equipment, the air conditioning works well, and the staff canteen is very nice.
My colleagues; Chief Liu Yuming, Xu Lin, Sun Wan and Jiao Meng, have helped me a lot and I want to express my sincere gratitude to them. They taught me basic working procedures and regulations, helped me install my telephone, lamp and computer, and taught me the complex process of editing and uploading the latest news. Now I can edit and upload 25 items of photo news or topic news a day. But more haste, less speed. At first, I made mistakes such as missing out letters, uploading over-sized photos or translating out-of-date versions of stories. My colleges patiently pointed out my errors, so I was able to learn from them.
Last week I attended a training course where managers and colleagues taught us more about staff regulations and job requirements. I learned that we need to show a keen interest in national affairs and develop a good command of the Internet and technical skills. I still have a long way to go, and need my talented colleagues to continue to help me improve my English and professional techniques.
(China Development Gateway by Heng Fei, August 18, 2009)