Online Program

China Worker Wellness Project: Participatory Design to Improve the Lives of Chinese Migrant Workers in Urban Economic Zones

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Winston Tseng, PhD, Health Research for Action, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Linda Neuhauser, DrPH, Health Research for Action, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Eve Wen-Jing Lee, Pathfinder International, Piedmont, CA
Xiaoming Sun, MD, MS, Institute of Population and Health, Nanjing College of Population Program Management, Nanjing, China
Migrant workers are one of the most vulnerable populations in China. Migrant workers in China report a number of health concerns related to sexual and reproductive health, mental health, occupational safety, and other issues – a poor health profile that has resulted in high rates of absenteeism and workplace injuries within these factory zones, as well as a worker turnover rate of as high as 50 percent a month. In an initiative to improve the health and well-being of young migrant workers in China, researchers at UC Berkeley have brought a community-based participatory research model pioneered at Berkeley to the factories of the Changzhou Xinbei Development Zone in Jiangsu Province. The researchers are working in partnership with the Chinese government, community organizations and international foundations. Together, we launched the China Worker Wellness Project—a participatory program that engages workers, factory owners, government officials, and health service providers in a collaborative process to identify and address the health and social needs of the workers. In 2011, the partners began planning a pilot project. UC Berkeley experts and other partners conducted onsite trainings in 2011-12 about participatory design and the Berkeley Wellness Model and developed a mixed methods intervention-control research study. The Nanjing College of Population Management conducted 11 baseline focus groups with workers and managers, and a survey with a total of 1,114 workers in intervention and control groups. Research domains included a broad range of worker health, social, educational and employment issues, and the impact of project activities on these factors. Preliminary findings suggest that most workers felt very positive about the Wellness Model and that the Model fits well with the holistic focus of traditional Chinese medicine. Next steps in 2014 include follow-up focus groups and interviews with intervention and control groups. In sum, we believe we have a win-win model: “The workers win and the factory-owners and managers get happier, healthier, more effective workers. We have the potential to improve the lives of millions of workers and improve the Chinese economy at the same time.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the health and social concerns of migrant workers in China. Discuss main components of participatory design and research. Explain the key considerations for cultivating public-private partnerships in China.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Research Sociologist on the China Worker Wellness Project at UC Berkeley School of Public Health and have extensive research experience in participatory research and Asian migrant health issues.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.