Bilateral (Hong Kong): Poverty and Social Exclusion in Hong Kong

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Sch for Policy Studies

Abstract

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Publications

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Chow Nelson W. S. (2015) My Experience Researching Poverty over the Past 35 Years in CHINA REVIEW-AN INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL ON GREATER CHINA

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Chung Roger Y. (2015) Health Inequality in Hong Kong in CHINA REVIEW-AN INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL ON GREATER CHINA

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Fong Florence Meng-Soi (2015) Setting the Poverty Line: Policy Implications for Squaring the Welfare Circle in Hong Kong in CHINA REVIEW-AN INTERDISCIPLINARY JOURNAL ON GREATER CHINA

 
Description The primary aim of this UK-HK collaborative research project was to advance the theory and practice of poverty and social exclusion measurement in HK by building on recent scientific advances in the UK and EU and adapting them to an urban Chinese context.

A survey questionnaire was developed using rigorous methods which included; systematic literature reviews (in English and Chinese), expert review by the academic and the NGO practitioner advisory boards and the thematic analyses of seven focus groups. The PSEHK survey interviews were collected between Dec. 2012 and Jun. 2013. The PSEHK survey was a follow-up to the HKCSS survey and this allowed for some longitudinal analyses. This low cost, proof of concept survey achieved its targets and interviews were conducted with 604 households, including 1,616 adults and 239 children. The results show that:

1. One in five (21%) people in Hong Kong live in poverty - they have both a low income and a low standard of living.

2. This means that they are going without items and activities regarded as customary by Hong Kong society. For example, 240,000 adults (4% of adults) cannot afford three meals a day, meat/fish (fresh/frozen)/vegetarian equivalent every other day, or fresh fruit or vegetables every day.

3. 1.2 million adults (20%) go without at least one necessary social and family activity such as holding celebrations (e.g. at Chinese New Year).

4. Child poverty is a serious problem in Hong Kong: more than one in four children (27% of all children) live in poverty according to today's standards.

5. 16,000 children live in families who cannot afford to feed them properly.

6. 126,000 children (12% of children) do not have at least one school learning-related item or activity, such as a computer with internet connection at home; participation in extra-curricular activities (e.g. sports, music); and tutorial lessons after school.

7. More than 50% of households report problems with their accommodation. Seven percent of households report 5 or more problems. The most frequently reported problem is damp walls, ceilings and floors (60%), followed by a shortage of space (41%), and an inability to maintain an adequate temperature throughout the year (29%).

8. More than a million adults (19% of all adults) felt that their health had an impact on their financial situation in the previous year.

9. Financial insecurity is a widespread problem in Hong Kong. The survey found that 880,000 households (37%) cannot afford an unexpected expense of HK$8,500 (e.g. for dental surgery, mending a broken television, etc.).

10. Social exclusion is also widespread. For example, more than 430,000 households (18% of all households) use Accident & Emergency services for primary care but consider the service poor. A further 240,000 households (10% of all households) are excluded from the service because of unavailability, inadequacy or affordability.

11. Significant numbers of the adult population are experiencing limited social contact with either friends or family. For example, 2.2 million adults (37% of adults) meet up with friends and family just monthly or less often.
Exploitation Route This joint ESRC/RGC funded project formed the basis for a successful Strategic Public Policy Research Funding bid (SPPR) - Trends and Implications of Poverty and Social Disadvantages in Hong Kong: A Multi-disciplinary and Longitudinal Study (2012-2017) (Circa HK$ 3.25 million).

This new multi-disciplinary, collaborative research involves colleagues working in the Social Work, Public Health and Geographical Sciences departments at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). This SPPR project will re-interview the PSEHK survey respondents in 2015 and 2016, along with a much larger new sample of respondents. This will represent the first ever large scale longitudinal survey of poverty and social disadvantage in Hong Kong and will result in the first studies of poverty dynamics in HK. It has been funded by the HK government as these issues are of considerable interest to policy makers, NGO's and the general public. The PSEHK website (www.poverty.hk) will be used to disseminate these new results.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice

URL http://www.poverty.hk/
 
Description In HK the voluntary sector is large, dynamic and plays the main role in the delivery of social services to poor and vulnerable groups. The Hong Kong Council of Social Services (HKCSS) is a federation of non-government social service agencies. It was established in 1947 and its 400 members now provide over 90% of the social welfare service in Hong Kong, through their 3,000 operating units. It is therefore of crucial importance to engage the HKCSS and its key member organisations in order to influence practice and service delivery in Hong Kong. We worked closely with the HKCSS throughout the research project and used a 2011 HKCSS survey to recruit respondents for our PSEHK survey. We also recruited an active NGO advisory group who have helped to disseminate our research findings to their clients and staff and we also recruited our focus group participants with the help of voluntary sector organisations (for details see http://www.poverty.hk/index.php/about-us). Specifically, the following NGO's directly made use of our findings to assist them with a range of their activities including, informing the public and their clients, fund raising activities and soliciting donations, lobbying activities with the Commission on Poverty members (see http://www.povertyrelief.gov.hk/eng/welcome.html), lobbying activities with HK SAR government policy makers and members of the Legislative Council 1. Hong Kong Council of Social Services (HKCSS) 2. Alliance for Children Development Rights 3. Neighbourhood & Worker's Service Centre 4. Tonggen 5. Windshield Charitable Foundation ?????? 6. The Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions ??????? 7. Christian Family Service Center ????????? 8. The Salvation Army ??? 9. Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children ??????? 10. Oxfam HK 11. ???????????Teen ? 12. Hong Kong Christian Service The Hong Kong Jockey Club Community Project Grant: Integrated Service Centre for Local South Asians ???????????????????-???? (????) 13. ???????????????????-???? 14. Concerning CSSA Review Alliance 15. Society for Community Organization ???????? 16. Hong Kong Christian Service Shamshuipo East Happy Teens Clubs ???????????Teen ? 17. The Salvation Army Chai Wan Integrated Service for Young People ????????????
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Societal

 
Description State-of-the-Art Measurement of Poverty and Social Exclusion: Comparison of UK and Japan 
Organisation National Institute of Population and Social Security Research (NIPSSR) Tokyo
Country Japan 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution ESRC-JSPS Collaborative seminars 2011-2013 Poverty and Social Exclusion in Hong Kong ESRC & RGC (Hong Kong) Bilateral Collaborative Grant, with the Hong Kong Institute of Education
Start Year 2010
 
Description Trends and Implications of Poverty and Social Disadvantages in Hong Kong 
Organisation University of Hong Kong
Country Hong Kong 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Bilateral ESRC-funded project; a multi-disciplinary, longitudinal study (c.5mHK$ Strategic Public Policy Research Funding (SPPR) application)
Start Year 2011
 
Description Poverty and Social Exclusion in Hong Kong 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Invited lecture at the 10th EASP (East Asian Social Policy Research Network) Conference, Beijing, 11-12July 2013

This was an invited lecture at the 10th EASP (East Asian Social Policy Research Network) Conference, Beijing, 11-12July 2013
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.welfareasia.org/
 
Description Poverty and Social Exclusion in Hong Kong amongst Children and their Families 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Poverty and Social Exclusion in Hong Kong amongst Children and their Families. Conference paper presented at the 4th International Conference of the International Society for Child Indicators at the Seoul National University, Korea 29-31 May 2013

The advancement of knowledge
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://isci.chapinhall.org/
 
Description Public Perceptions of Standards of Living and Social Exclusion in Hong Kong 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact "Public Perceptions of Standards of Living and Social Exclusion in Hong Kong: Preliminary Findings of the Focus Groups" - conference paper presented at Joint East Asian Social Policy Research Network and United Kingdom Social Policy Association Annual Conference 16-18 Jul 2012, York

Advancement of knowledge
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.social-policy.org.uk/
 
Description http://www.poverty.hk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Website for the research project- Poverty and Social Exclusion in Hong Kong

Section not completed
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL http://www.poverty.hk