rockefellerAuthor of the report, Alison Gordon, IIPC Rockefeller Foundation Fellow 2013, has this to say about the report:The economic, social, health and environmental challenges facing Asia in the next few decades will be huge. While Asia now generates one-third of the world’s GDP, two-thirds of the world’s poor – 1.7 billion people – live in Asia. Creating innovative and sustainable organizational and funding models for the social sector, and supportive public policy frameworks to enable them, will be critical to tackle these challenges and ensure the region’s future prosperity.As a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow, I have spent the last year conducting research into the strengths and weaknesses of the policy structure and management of Hong Kong Government Social Funds – a select group of government funding programs whose total spending committed to date has reached HK$24.35 billion (US$3.14 billion), and which were set up to provide grants to NGOs delivering local social services. The value of the research is that it presents in microcosm one Asian perspective on the response of government to address deep social welfare challenges.  For while Hong Kong is a city of substantial wealth – in 2012-13 the city-state generated a HK$64.9 billion surplus while maintaining one of the lowest tax rates in the world, it is also a city of substantial poverty – Hong Kong boasts the eleventh highest Gini coefficient in the world and 1.2 million of its 7 million inhabitants – 1 in 6 – are living below the national poverty line.The report makes three key findings on the development and operation of Hong Kong Government Social Funds, which have been distilled from 38 in-depth interviews conducted with experts across the social sector, supplemented by comprehensive desk-based research. The report also makes 6 core recommendations on developing a more sound policy framework around HK Government Social Funds and steps that need to be taken to strengthen the efficacy of both the implementation and impact of these Funds.The HKSAR Government launched its new Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship Development Fund on 28th September 2013. As it awards the first tranche of funds this quarter or early next, let us hope it can avoid some of the earlier mistakes in fund implementation and adopt some of the best practice examples cited in this report, drawn from both regional and international organizations.Click here to read the full report.