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Innovations in Rural Chinese Poverty Alleviation Policymaking: Applying the Multiple Streams Frame


Case Study, Text analysis, Interviews, Observations


October 2021 - present


Policy Entrepreneurs, Poverty Alleviation Policy, Community-Driven Development (CDD), Farmers' Cooperatives, Collective Economy, Tourism


Guizhou Province, Sichuan Province, Hebei Province, Beijing City

This paper examines the case of the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA), a government-organized non-governmental organization (GONGO) that has experimented with distinctive approaches to poverty alleviation involving various local actors, particularly through the Bonavilla (BV) project. BV is a community-based rural tourism development project which ran from 2000 to 2022, across two significant phases: policy formation (2000-2012) and policy adoption and implementation (2013-2022). BV represents a paradigm shift towards community-driven development and grassroots participation, serving as a model for participatory and community-based programs in rural areas (Liu, 2021).

We employ the Multiple Streams Framework (MSF, Kingdon, 2014) to analyze policy-making in authoritarian China. While the MSF was developed to study policy making in democratic countries, recent studies have shown its applicability in authoritarian states under certain conditions (van den Dool, 2023). The framework has hardly been used to analyze poverty alleviation policies in China. Our analysis draws from diverse data sources such as interviews, site visits, and public documents, allowing a deep exploration of BV and policy processes.

The paper aims to address three key questions: 1) How does a GONGO act as a policy entrepreneur in China? 2) How do grassroots and central agencies influence policy innovation within BV? 3) What lessons can be extracted from BV's processes for understanding and adjusting MSF in autocracies?

This examination of the BV project sheds light on policy entrepreneurs and grassroots participation in shaping policy outcomes in authoritarian contexts, enriching the discourse on poverty alleviation strategies.

*This paper is a collaboration with my Ph.D. supervisor Prof. dr. Wil Hout

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