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What Advances Effective Community-Driven Development? A Cultural Perspective of Gender Mainstreaming and Self-Organization in Rural China

Xie, Huiping (2009) What Advances Effective Community-Driven Development? A Cultural Perspective of Gender Mainstreaming and Self-Organization in Rural China. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The international development agencies and the Chinese government have become increasingly more aware of the importance of bottom-up community-driven development. Some scholars argue that the problems for community-driven development in China are mainly because of the lack of favorable policy environment and effective monitoring mechanisms. The research in this dissertation does not intend to deny the importance of those factors. The goal of this work, however, is to offer perspectives that can help organizations at all levels and of different sectors to understand the importance of embracing and integrating the local culture into development policy making and program designing. To achieve effective community-driven development, the policy makers and practitioners should first understand and respect the culture and interests of the beneficiaries. Instead of addressing institutaional and structural development issues as "hardware", this research takes a cultural perspective as "software" to contribute to the existing literature of this field. To achieve effective community-driven development in China, partnership and cooperation between different players is crucial. Culture, both as means and ends of development, is an important factor that bonds them together. Emphasizing the significnace of gender roles and responsibilities, a gendered perspective of community development in China is presented in this research. This research also refers to theories of Complex Adaptive Systems and Self-organization mechanisms, which explain how complex, adaptive macro behavior emerges from simple, local micro decisions and how simple agents collectively solve difficult problems. The roles of community, government, and NGOs [domestic and international] in this development process will be addressed here. During the author's field study in the rural areas of China in the summer of 2007, data was collected through participatory observation, interviews, and focus groups with multiple stakeholders involved in the community-driven development programs in China. This work highlights the opportunities and challenges for effective community-driven development in China. Based upon the analysis, this research also offers policy implications for different stakeholders.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Xie, Huipinghux5@pitt.eduHUX5
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPicard, Louis Apicard@pitt.eduPICARD
Committee MemberNelson, Paulpjnelson@pitt.eduPJNELSON
Committee MemberCoontz, Phyllispcoontz@gspia.pitt.eduPCOONTZ
Committee MemberTang,
Date: 26 June 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 21 January 2009
Approval Date: 26 June 2009
Submission Date: 14 April 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public and International Affairs > Public and International Affairs
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: China; Community-Driven Development; Culture; Gender; NGO; Self-Organization
Other ID:, etd-04142009-132209
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:37
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:40


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