Three elements drive our approach and can be credited with grantee success to date:
1. Expert Chinese staff
2. International credibility
3. Access to China’s top decision-makers
CSEP has a Beijing office of a dozen native Chinese energy policy experts. The staff serves as a bridge between China’s energy policy decision-makers and international “best practice” policy experts. We fund government-affiliated research institutes, who support government ministry staff, to co-develop, with international policy experts, best practice policies that shift investment into modern, energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. As a result, many grants to date have supported new policy rules and regulations at the central, provincial, and local levels.
Our typical approach includes a three-step process.
First, we form a steering committee overseeing each policy initiative. The steering committee is typically chaired by one or more of our Senior Policy Advisory Council (PAC, minister level) or Dialog Partner (DP, ministry directors-general level) members; other steering committee members include the main decision-makers across China’s central agencies. We then fund teams of Chinese research institutes, NGOs, and international experts to co-develop policy recommendations for steering committee review. Steering committee members then “feed” grantee policy recommendations through decision-making channels, for consideration.
Second, if the government approves, we typically are asked to demonstrate the policies in 2-3 provincial pilots. This entails training local officials in the policy recommendations, developing local implementation plans, and carrying out 2-3 year pilots with formal evaluations for each. So far, all local pilots—and nearly 60 are underway—are going better than anticipated, largely due to the direct attention from high-level officials in Beijing.
Third, once a policy is successfully demonstrated, the central government may order it replicated nationally.