Multilevel monitoring system prevents residents from lapsing into poverty by Huang Sicheng, July 29, 2021
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Sixty-eight-year-old resident Guo Mingcheng in Fengjiaping village, Bailingou town, Guangyuan city, Sichuan province, lived in poverty with his daughter until they began receiving assistance from the government and she began working outside the hamlet in 2017. The family’s total income fell by more than half when the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, however, which caused the two to backslide to the edge of poverty.

The alteration of Guo’s family’s financial situation triggered an alert on a special monitoring system that Zhaohua developed to prevent residents who have escaped from poverty from falling back into it. The government delivered over 100 baby chicks to the household in October 2020, which resulted in more than 8,000 yuan (US$1,229) of income when they were sold as adult chickens at the end of the year, and helped his daughter find a new job.

The Zhaohua government developed and implemented its comprehensive anti-poverty reversion observation system in 2018. Fourteen supporting policies were issued by the end of the year, and more than 2.11 million yuan (US$324,096) of poverty alleviation funding has been allocated to the cause as of late 2020. The efforts have played a key role in preventing 382 people in 109 households from returning to poverty as a result of natural disasters, serious diseases, or education expenses as of November 2020.

The Zhaohua government incorporated integrated village-,township-, and district-level verification protocols into the monitoring system in order to correctly identify households that are no longer impoverished but may be at risk of falling back into poverty in an accurate manner.

“Simply put, we examine every case individually in order to prevent fraud,” Zhang Sihai, director of the Zhaohua District Bureau of Poverty Alleviation and Development, noted in late 2020.

Members of village Party branches, committees, and poverty reduction teams visit households that have escaped from poverty every two weeks in accordance with the regulations that Zhaohua has devised. Village generals also conduct thorough investigations, adhere to verification procedures, and examine various trends with township officials at monthly meetings.

“Our system made it possible for us to determine that Guo’s household was at risk of sliding back into poverty at the beginning of 2020,” explained Xue Jiannan, deputy secretary of Bailingou’s Party committee.

The official also mentioned that villages publish preliminary lists of families with problems that have not been able to be solved and descriptions of the situations that they are in at the village level and that these lists will be submitted to the townships or sub-districts that they are part of if no objections have been raised within five days.

Xue stated that townsand sub-districts review and publish the lists that they receive and that problems that cannot be solved at these levels are submitted to the Zhaohua District Bureau of Poverty Alleviation and Development, where they are examined and measures are formulated to solve them.

“Our observation system made it possible for us to become aware of Guo’s family’s situation,” Zhang said.“It allows us to observe people who may be susceptible to sliding back into poverty and identify those who are in an accurate manner.”

The Zhaohua District Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development holds meetings with other bureaus that engage in poverty eradication work when a household that has emerged from poverty is found to be at risk of falling back into it in order to address the problem in accordance with the protocols that the district designed for its monitoring system.

“We task various departments with assisting households that may regress into poverty at meetings that are generally held every two months,” Zhang remarked. “They devise plans to assist these households and determine how much they will cost. Funding is then allocated, and the plans are implemented.”

Zhang also noted that the system is like placing a custom order – various people are responsible for fulfilling different aspects of it and their performance is evaluated.

Bainiu village, Zhaohua district, resident Wang Jianheng lived in poverty with his family until they emerged from itwith the help of the local government in 2019. The laborer broke his leg in a work-related accident in December of that year, however, and the medical expenses that he incurred and reduced income that his household was bringing in put the family at risk of lapsing back into poverty.

“Our observation system made it possible for us to notify township- and district-level offices about the alteration that occurred in Wang’s family’s status in a timely manner and for measures to be taken to keep the household from lapsing into poverty,” Deng Jun, first secretary of Bainiu’s Party committee, explained.

Offices such as the Zhaohua District Civil Affairs Bureau and the administrative area’s forestry department collaborated on the case, which led to the creation of a public service job for Wang in Bainiu and his family receiving chicks toraise.