News Details | 23-Nov-2011

Xiamen comes up tops in NTU study of the top 10 Chinese cities in the 2011 Lien Service-Oriented Government Index

The index tracks citizens and businesses’ satisfaction towards public service in 32 Chinese cities.

Xiamen has emerged top in Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) Lien Service-Oriented Government Index of 32 major Chinese cities.

For its array of policies and efforts to improve the lives of its citizens, Xiamen came out as the overall best city in terms of citizen and business satisfaction with service-oriented government. The index also ranked, in order, Qingdao, Hangzhou, Jinan, Ningbo, Suzhou, Hefei, Changchun, Shanghai, Chengdu and Nanjing in the top 10 (Chengdu and Nanjing share 10th position).

The results were announced today at a media conference in Shanghai held jointly by NTU’s Nanyang Centre for Public Administration (NCPA), and the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU).

Commissioned by Singapore’s philanthropic house, Lien Foundation, the 2011 Index is a continuation and refinement of the 2010 Lien Chinese Cities Public Service Excellence Index. Based on the original evaluation of citizens and businesses’ satisfaction towards public service, five new dimensions such as transparency, trust in government, government efficiency and effectiveness, citizen and business participation in the policy-making and implementation process, and information service provided by government are introduced. This has resulted in a more comprehensive and scientific index to evaluate the efforts and progress of the various Chinese cities in developing into a service-oriented government.

From April to June 2011, the Nanyang Centre for Public Administration collaborated with the School of International and Public Affairs at Shanghai Jiao Tong University to conduct a nationwide telephone survey in 32 major Chinese cities, completing a total of 25,222 citizen surveys and 3,203 samples for enterprises. This has ensured that the survey is highly representative and a true reflection of the general condition in each city.

Based on the total score of the citizen and business perspectives and the general public dimension, the top 10 Chinese cities of 2011 Lien Service-oriented government are Xiamen, Qingdao, Hangzhou, Jinan, Ningbo, Suzhou, Hefei, Changchun, Shanghai with Chengdu and Nanjing sharing the 10th position.

The research team defines a service-oriented government index as one that embodies key indicators such as being corruption-free, efficiency, transparency and democracy to reflect the work and achievement of the government at every administrative level.

In the past decades, the Xiamen government has proactively implemented varying public policies to establish a functioning service-oriented government. It is the first city in China to implement a minimum wage line, a city subsistence living protection line, rural cooperative health insurance, medical relief scheme for serious illnesses and pensions for peasants whose land had been taken away. Other initiatives that had earned recognition from the Chinese central government and became models for other cities include its social security public housing to provide low-cost housing for the urban poor and the Bus Rapid Transit system which has dedicated elevated roadways for public buses to ease the rush hour crunch and earned Xiamen a reputation as China’s top transportation city with 30% of trips taken by public transport.

Professor Er Meng Hwa, NTU Vice President (International Affairs) said, “The New Silk Road is one of NTU’s Five Peaks of Excellence  that leverages on NTU’s rich heritage and Singapore’s position in Asia, The objective of the New Silk Road is to position NTU as a knowledge hub that combines the best of the East and the West. The Lien Chinese Cities Service-Oriented Government Index provides an added dimension in the New Silk Road vision that sees NTU playing a contributing role in the ongoing modernisation of China.”

Dr Wu Wei, Director of Nanyang Centre for Public Administration , said, “We hope that the survey can recommend the model cities and help to further build up service-oriented governments in China.”

Dr Hu Wei, Director of School of International and Public Affairs at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, added: “Collecting the opinion of the masses is an indispensable way of effective governing. The significance of the project lies in the effective embodiment of the citizens’ feedback to improve the government’s public service performance. Our next step is to create a ranking in the satisfactory level of the Chinese cities’ public service in order to promote reform and innovation through the index’s social influence.”

Mr Lee Poh Wah, CEO of Lien Foundation, Singapore said, “We hope this report can be a good resource to help Chinese cities build up service-oriented governments as well as to help cultivate its next generation of leaders”

Dr Hu Wei pointed out that collecting public opinion through mass observation is an indispensable way in effective governing. The significance of the project lies in the effective embodiment of evaluation right of citizens to improve the performance and public service of the government. Our next step is to create a ranking in the satisfactory level of public service of Chinese cities in order to create social influence to promote reform and innovation in government by outer force.

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1. About Lien Service-oriented Government Index for Chinese Cities

In 2011, with the development of China economy and administrative system reform, a government’s management ability and China’s effort and achievement in building up a service-oriented government cannot be fully reflected by the level and quality of a city’s public service.

Absorbing the latest research results and practice from domestic and overseas, and the relevant discussions of building up a service-oriented government in the 12th Five-Year Plan and Chinese government leaders, Nanyang Centre for Public Administration created the Lien Service-oriented Government Index for Chinese Cities from the basis of Lien Public Service Excellence Index for Chinese Cities in 2010. The indexevaluates the process of building up a service-oriented government in 32 major Chinese cities (Municipalities, provincial capital cities, planned cities and some key cities).

The evaluation not only examined the internal and external effectiveness of the index system, but also investigated the process of building up a service-oriented government in China.

2. About Lien Foundation (

The Lien Foundation was created in 1980 by Dr Lien Ying Chow, an eminent business leader, banker and hotelier. His influence extended beyond the private sector and Singapore, as a community leader, diplomat and philanthropist. Noted for its model of radical philanthropy, the Singapore philanthropic house seeks to enhance educational opportunities for the disadvantaged, excellence in eldercare and environmental sustainability in water and sanitation.

Environmental sustainability in water and sanitation
Lien Foundation envisions a better Asia where clean water and sanitation form a keystone of its progress. Together with the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), it has formed an international arm for development called Lien Aid, to focus on tackling the water and sanitation crisis in Asia’s developing countries.

The Singapore-based Foundation draws from the country’s strategic position and resources as a water hub, as well as NTU’s strong base of research and innovation to develop creative solutions to advance water and sanitation. It also pursues this cause through alliances with local governments and their communities, the private sector, philanthropists, institutes of higher learning and other NGOs. Lien Aid has offices in China, Cambodia and Vietnam.

3. About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. In 2013, NTU will enrol the first batch of students at its new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, which is set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to four world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.

Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north, and is setting up a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

4. About Nanyang Centre for Public Administration (

Nanyang Centre for Public Administration (NCPA) was set up in December 2009 under NTU’s College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. The Centre offers two Master’s programmes targeted at Chinese government officials, namely the Master of Science in Managerial Economics and the Master of Public Administration programmes, which are commonly known as “The Mayors’ Class”. To date, more than 1,000 local and international government leaders from China have graduated from both master’s programmes.  Many of these graduates have been promoted from mayor to governor or from deputy heads to heads of their organisations.

NCPA also offers short-term executive training programmes in public administration, economic management, urban planning, human resource management and community management. Over the last 18 years, more than 10,000 officials have been trained.

In addition to offering courses, the centre conducts and facilitates interdisciplinary research focusing on China’s public administration, economic policies, environmental issues, health care and social welfare policies, economic development and new media politics.

5. About the SJTU School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA)

The SJTU School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), established in 2003 and located in the heart of downtown Shanghai, has developed into one of the most influential and international schools in political science and public administration in China.
SIPA consists of four departments: the Department of Comparative Politics, the Department of Public Administration, the Department of International Relations, and the Department of Public Economics & Social Policy. The Dean of the school is Professor HU Wei, a prominent Chinese political scientist, and the Honorary Dean is General XIONG Guangkai, a well-known retired general in the Chinese military.

The school offers both academic and professional degrees in political science and public administration, including one doctoral degree program, six master’s degree programs, and one MPA program (Master of Public Administration). The MPA program at SIPA, one of the first of its kind among Chinese universities, is well-known for its mid-career education with the largest number of highly qualified MPA students in China. Currently, over 1,500 students from across the world are studying at SIPA. In addition, the school also trains public officials, including many mayors and local leaders.

SIPA has the most international and sophisticated faculty in political science and public administration in Mainland China. Nearly half of the SIPA’s 50 faculty members obtained Ph.D. from leading universities overseas, some of whom hold tenure professorship at prominent American or European universities. In the wake of internationalization of education, the school has attracted more and more international students to further their academic careers.

The school’s ongoing research programs focus on following areas: comparative democratization and China’s political change, political parties and the development of the Chinese Communist Party, Chinese public policy analysis, urban public services, the Third Sector development, Taiwan issues, East Asian political economy, international relation theories, as well as public opinion survey and methodology.

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