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Promoting the Post-disaster Reconstruction of Impoverished Villages through Participatory Poverty Reduction - Practices of Douzuizi Village, Sichuan Province

Promoting the Post-disaster Reconstruction of Impoverished Villages through Participatory Poverty Reduction - Practices of Douzuizi Village, Sichuan Province

Cover and Title Page Catalogue and Summary Main Body

Title : Promoting the Post-disaster Reconstruction of Impoverished Villages through Participatory Poverty Reduction - Practices of Douzuizi Village, Sichuan Province

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Implementing Agencies : local government

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Abstract Summary :

1 Introduction 308 1.1 Pre-earthquake situation of Douzuizi Village 308 1.2 Post-earthquake situation of Douzuizi Village 308 2 Implementation process 309 2.1Post-disaster reconstruction plan 309 2.2Post-disaster reconstruction process 310 3 Implementation Effect 313 3.1 Restoration of villagers’ daily life 313 3.2 Improvement of the village’s infrastructure 313 3.3 Improvement of the village’s environment and health 313 3.4 Stronger confidence in post-disaster reconstruction 313 3.5 Stronger ability of the community for participation 314 3.6 Villagers’ stronger risk awareness 314 4 Existing Problems 314 4.1 Deepened vulnerability of some poor villagers 315 4.2 External supporting mechanisms needs to be further improved 315 4.3 Impact of uncontrollable factors in the village’s reconstruction and development 315 5 Basic Experience 316 5.1 Village construction with natural resources of local area 316 5.2 Community participatory development planning 316 5.3 Pay equal attention to village renovation and upgrading in the post-disaster reconstruction 316 5.4 Integration of policy incentives and local participation 317 6 Promotion value 317 6.1 Participatory development model for post-disaster reconstruction 317 6.2 Reconstruction concept of sustainable development 318 6.3 Cooperation mode of pro-poor policies and disaster mitigation policies 318 6.4 Pay equal attention to disaster mitigation practices and disaster prevention capacity building 319 7 References 320 As an impoverished village in Youxian District of Mianyang City, Sichuan Province, Douzuizi Village has poor infrastructure and a low level of farmers’ income. on May 12th, 2008, it was hit by a sudden earthquake and suffered serious losses in the disaster. It was difficult to do the reconstruction work and took a long time to restore during the post-earthquake construction due to the lack of natural resources. So the post-disaster reconstruction of the impoverished village could only be completed with the assistance of external fund and technology based on active participation of the masses in the reconstruction. The post-disaster reconstruction of Douzuizi Village included post-disaster reconstruction planning and post-disaster reconstruction process. Among that, the post-disaster reconstruction planning was composed of two parts: identifying reconstruction content and developing the reconstruction plan; the post-disaster reconstruction process contained the restoration and reconstruction of rural houses, the restoration and reconstruction of infrastructure, energy transformation, environmental protection, and farmers’ livelihood and development. The post-disaster reconstruction of Douzuizi Village achieved good results, including the restoration of the villagers’ daily life, the improvement of the village’s infrastructure, the improvement of the village’s environment and health situation, stronger confidence in post-disaster reconstruction, community’s stronger ability for participation in the post-disaster construction and the villagers’ stronger risk awareness. From the experience of Douzuizi Village, we can see that villages’ sustainable development requires the fundamental assurance of local participation, the incentive condition of external policies and assistance, and organic integration of the development objectives and villagers’ development capacity for reconstruction to ensure the smooth reconstruction of the village and achieve the sustainable and sound development of the village when the external policy support and other assistance are reduced gradually. The participatory development mode of the post-disaster reconstruction, the reconstruction concept of sustainable development, the collaboration and exchange mode of poverty reduction and disaster alleviation policies and the disaster-resisting capacity building of impoverished villages are of great promotion value.
1 Introduction 308 1.1 Pre-earthquake situation of Douzuizi Village 308 1.2 Post-earthquake situation of Douzuizi Village 308 2 Implementation process 309 2.1Post-disaster reconstruction plan 309 2.2Post-disaster reconstruction process 310 3 Implementation Effect 313 3.1 Restoration of villagers’ daily life 313 3.2 Improvement of the village’s infrastructure 313 3.3 Improvement of the village’s environment and health 313 3.4 Stronger confidence in post-disaster reconstruction 313 3.5 Stronger ability of the community for participation 314 3.6 Villagers’ stronger risk awareness 314 4 Existing Problems 314 4.1 Deepened vulnerability of some poor villagers 315 4.2 External supporting mechanisms needs to be further improved 315 4.3 Impact of uncontrollable factors in the village’s reconstruction and development 315 5 Basic Experience 316 5.1 Village construction with natural resources of local area 316 5.2 Community participatory development planning 316 5.3 Pay equal attention to village renovation and upgrading in the post-disaster reconstruction 316 5.4 Integration of policy incentives and local participation 317 6 Promotion value 317 6.1 Participatory development model for post-disaster reconstruction 317 6.2 Reconstruction concept of sustainable development 318 6.3 Cooperation mode of pro-poor policies and disaster mitigation policies 318 6.4 Pay equal attention to disaster mitigation practices and disaster prevention capacity building 319 7 References 320 As an impoverished village in Youxian District of Mianyang City, Sichuan Province, Douzuizi Village has poor infrastructure and a low level of farmers’ income. on May 12th, 2008, it was hit by a sudden earthquake and suffered serious losses in the disaster. It was difficult to do the reconstruction work and took a long time to restore during the post-earthquake construction due to the lack of natural resources. So the post-disaster reconstruction of the impoverished village could only be completed with the assistance of external fund and technology based on active participation of the masses in the reconstruction. The post-disaster reconstruction of Douzuizi Village included post-disaster reconstruction planning and post-disaster reconstruction process. Among that, the post-disaster reconstruction planning was composed of two parts: identifying reconstruction content and developing the reconstruction plan; the post-disaster reconstruction process contained the restoration and reconstruction of rural houses, the restoration and reconstruction of infrastructure, energy transformation, environmental protection, and farmers’ livelihood and development. The post-disaster reconstruction of Douzuizi Village achieved good results, including the restoration of the villagers’ daily life, the improvement of the village’s infrastructure, the improvement of the village’s environment and health situation, stronger confidence in post-disaster reconstruction, community’s stronger ability for participation in the post-disaster construction and the villagers’ stronger risk awareness. From the experience of Douzuizi Village, we can see that villages’ sustainable development requires the fundamental assurance of local participation, the incentive condition of external policies and assistance, and organic integration of the development objectives and villagers’ development capacity for reconstruction to ensure the smooth reconstruction of the village and achieve the sustainable and sound development of the village when the external policy support and other assistance are reduced gradually. The participatory development mode of the post-disaster reconstruction, the reconstruction concept of sustainable development, the collaboration and exchange mode of poverty reduction and disaster alleviation policies and the disaster-resisting capacity building of impoverished villages are of great promotion value.

Introduction :

 As one of the eight villages in Baichan Town of Youxian District, Mianyang City, Sichuan Province, Douzuizi Village had poor infrastructure, a low level of farmers’ income, poor environment and poor housing conditions before the earthquake. On December 12th, 2008, impoverished Douzuizi Village was hit by an earthquake and suffered a lot in the disaster. Due to the lack of natural resources, great difficulty in reconstruction and long reconstruction and restoration period, the post-earthquake reconstruction and sustainable development of Douzuizi Village required the combination of policy support and local participation.

1.1Pre-earthquake situation of Douzuizi Village

  Located in the northwest of Baichan Township and close to Baichanxiangchang Town, Douzuizi Village covers a land area of 2794 mu and an arable land area of 815 mu, and has 7 villager teams, 239 households and 740 people. The arable land area per capita is 1.1 mu, below the national average of 1.39 mu. The main crops grown in Douzuizi Village are rape, wheat, rice, corn and so on. Traditional food crop could not bring monetary income to the farmers, so young farmers turned to primary industry and tertiary industry outside the village. In addition, Douzuizi Village has a long history of sericulture, and most villagers income from the sericulture is the second highest economic income following wage income. Because of the traffic inconvenience in Douzuizi Village, the masses always had to walk on the muddy roads, increasing the difficulty in going out and agricultural and sideline products could not enter the market. The farmers income of Douzuizi Village was always lower than the towns average. In 2007, Baichan Townships per capita net income was 4567 yuan, but this figure of Douzuizi Village was only 3467 yuan.

   The development of Douzuizi Village was restricted by many factors. Firstly, the contradiction between population and land resources; secondly, obvious inadequate investment in infrastructure construction in the village; thirdly, low quality of labor force: 348 illiterates and people with primary school education level, accounting for 47% of the total population; fourthly, the lack of sustainable village ecological industry. The four factors influenced and interacted with each other.

1.2 Post-earthquake situation of Douzuizi Village

As an 8.0-magnitude earthquake took place on May 12th 2008, the disaster areas were divided into the severest disaster area, the seriously-affected area and general disaster area, and Youxian District of Mianyang City where Douzuizi Village is located was a severest disaster area. After the earthquake, the villages 4000 km of roads, 130 artificial wells, 2km of filed ditches, 9 mountain plateau ponds, one Shiheyan and one irrigation station were damaged, the village office, clinics, family planning office and activity room had been badly destroyed and could no longer be used. 2510 households of 239 families were damaged to varying degrees.

Due to the infrastructure and rural house reconstruction and poor families high debts, many migrant workers went back home to build houses and there were no houses to breed silkworm which severely impacted their wage income and sericulture income; per capita income of farmers fell to 2638 yuan (2009) and 139 households returned to poverty because of the earthquake. In addition, the consequences of the earthquake had a great negative impact on disadvantaged groups like women, the aged, children and the disabled, which was manifested in the difficulties which the disadvantaged groups faced in life, housing and post-earthquake production restoration.

The earthquake could cause many secondary disasters like fire, explosion, gas or other harmful gas leak, radioactive contamination, epidemic disease, floods, slide and landslide. For Douzuizi Village, except for aftershocks and the situation mentioned above, it could have weak resistance ability against floods, landslide and rainy season due to the damage of houses and infrastructure caused by the earthquake.


Content :

2 Implementation process

2.1 Post-disaster reconstruction plan

2.1.1 Determine the reconstruction contents

This is the first stage of the formulation of the post-disaster reconstruction plan, mainly defining restoration and reconstruction details and the sequence issue of reconstruction. Like all the other post-disaster villages which need to be reconstructed, we must take into account the farmers’ wishes for reconstruction and take it as the core of the reconstruction content. There are three steps to determine the post-disaster reconstruction details, i.e. early-stage preparation, community survey and farmers’ discussion; the panels get the basic information through the discussion as professionals and define the reconstruction details according to the villagers’ rebuilding-will.

2.1.2 Formulate reconstruction programs

The content of post-disaster reconstruction of the impoverished village was determined mainly by the village planning team with support from the village committee and full respect for the villagers’ rebuilding-will. The formulation of the reconstruction plan has two steps, namely to the project framework building and the project fund estimation. Figure 1 shows the post-disaster reconstruction project planning process of Douzuizi Village.

2.2 Post-disaster reconstruction process

2.2.1 Rural housing repair and reconstruction

Rural housing renovation and reconstruction is an important part of the post-disaster reconstruction because housing is the most important property of the villagers who are affected deeply by farming culture.

 

2.2.1.1 Housing renovation

 

The rural household whose housing was renovated fall into two categories: First, the rural households that had built brick houses before the earthquake but the houses were damaged in the disaster. These people only spent 2000-5000 yuan on house renovation, focusing on door and window repair; the government provided reinforcement subsidy of 2000 yuan per household for them and the remaining was issued by the farmers themselves; technical requirement was not high, and the farmers usually got involved in the housing renovation jointly with the bricklayers. Second, the rural households who did not build brick houses before the earthquake and their adobe houses can be used after simple reinforcement. Usually 2000 yuan was needed and the technical requirement was not high. Most of the farmers could complete the house renovation by themselves.

2.2.1.2 Housing reconstruction

Farmers’ housing restoration was a comprehensive project, because from the

perspective of engineering technology, housing restoration was related to technology, material, fund and human coordination; from the perspective of social relations of the village, housing restoration also required the farmers to coordinate interpersonal relationship. In the post-disaster housing restoration, the government funded the farmers and played a key role in the whole process though the capital subsidy did not have a high proportion. In regards to housing restoration, Douzuizi Village created multi-household building mode, including mutual aid between the farmers and complementary advantages, which also solved the problems of the lack of labor resources and technology resources during the housing restoration.  

2.2.2 Infrastructure renovation and construction

By August 2010, Douzuizi Village achieved good results in infrastructure construction . In regards to constructing roads, 3.3km cement roads and 2km roads which led to the households had been built; small water conservancy had been built and transformed; public service facilities had been built. The government invested 2.015million in total; UNDP invested 0.405 million in total; and the masses raised 0.75 million by themselves.

2.2.2.1 Integration of village road building and farmhouse reconstruction

The restoration and construction of village’s infrastructure had a positive impact on the village. Firstly, provide convenient traffic for farmers’ housing reconstruction and reduce extra transportation problems caused by the bad roads; secondly, ensure timely agricultural production and production capacity recovery. Roads construction had a positive impact on farmhouses reconstruction and villagers’ daily life, but the basic experience was that infrastructure construction and housing reconstruction needed integrated planning.

2.2.2.2 Fund integration in public construction

Because the external project fund could not fully meet the demand of project completion, the project fund needed to be integrated in a bundling way and combine the labor resources and self-collected fund to construct the roads. During the implementation of infrastructure projects, the local township government set up a special organization to ensure the smooth implementation of the project and conduct supervision and inspection of the project quality.

2.2.2.3 Work relief in public construction

In regards to project implementation, the public facilities construction was not

completed fully in a work relief way, but it achieved positive effects; it not only took advantage of the labor force of the village, but also saved project construction cost in terms of labor force.

2.2.2.4 Financing method of water conservancy facilities restoration and construction

After the earthquake, the village built 4.5km of field ditch, 4 ponds, 2 wells, increased a water storage volume of 50,000 cubic meters; built 3.3km of irrigation canals and ditches and 500mu of summer wet field, repaired 2km of ditches, 9 mountain plateau pond and one Shiheyan. The fund of water conservancy facilities came from government, UNDP, farmers and work relief.

2.2.3 Energy transformation and environmental protection

2.2.3.1 Living facilities renovation project

   The living facilities renovation was combined with the poor households reconstruction assistance program of UNDP. 2000 yuan per household was provided for 40 poor households to renovate the houses and methane tank, helping the poor households change living conditions and develop breeding industry. 50 poor households of Douzuizi Village benefited from the project, covering an area of 1500 square meters.

2.2.3.2 “Five renovations, three constructions and two improvements”

“Five renovations”: renovation of water supply facilities, roads, kitchens, toilets and pens; “three construction”: construction of ponds, homes and parks; “two improvements”: Improve the village’s fighting capacity and improve the rural level of civilization. 50 poor households of the village benefitted from the program, 2000 yuan per household. In addition, UNDP provided project subsidy funds of 100,000 yuan for pen renovation, aiming to help the farmers improve local environment and develop aquaculture.

2.2.3.3 Use of clean energy

Methane was used by the villagers in Douzuizi Village before the earthquake; after the earthquake, the methane tank was put into the housing restoration and repair plan by the households. But the villagers’ will to build the methane tank ranked back, with intensive capital investment for the post-disaster reconstruction, farmers preferred to use traditional firewood rather methane. So there were some points worth learning: firstly, with impoverished villagers’ limited fund, there were no fund for new construction after completing basic post-disaster recovery; during post-disaster reconstruction, fund subsidy and technology support should be provided for the construction project which was not included before the disaster. Secondly, new post-disaster reconstruction concept would be accepted more easily if it was based on local life experience and practice.

2.2.4 Farmers' livelihoods and development

2.2.4.1 Eco-industrial development projects

In regards to industrial development, sericulture and rabbit keeping industry would be developed according to the development advantage of industry, combing the thought of development of silk industry which was put forward by Baichan Township. The villagers set up rabbit cooperatives and distributed the rabbit on the principle of big households leading the small households. Firstly, giving priority to big households, rabbit would be distributed to small households free on the basis of one male and four females, which would lead small households to develop rabbit keeping industry. The source of fund consisted of two parts: some was from the project fund of poverty alleviation and development, and the remaining was from the cooperative villagers who raised money by themselves. In addition to rabbit breeding, more than 300 mu of mulberry field was rebuilt and 100mu of new mulberry field was constructed; the scale of sericulture reached 5400, increasing by 1100; developing 1000 mu of high quality soybean industry, the revenue was 400 yuan per mu; developing breeding industry, there were ten new pig breeders and there were more than 40 mu of rice planted.

2.2.4.2 Mutual funds

 

Mutual funds played a significant role in improving the financial anti-poverty fund management system, improving villagers’ self-management and self-development ability, and helping poor households to raise development fund and improve production skills so as to increase income, thereby shaking off poverty. Douzuizi Village set up the village mutual fund. In addition to the funds raised by the villagers, it also received social donations and the special mutual-aid funds from the poverty alleviation office. Meanwhile, it set up the women’s mutual-aid fund for women to develop production.

2.2.4.3 Technical training

The village committee of Douzuizi Village held the sericulture technology training for sericulture families to learn sericulture technology in Mianyang City, purchased sericulture tools and invited sericulture expertise to hold the sericulture technology training. In addition, more than 200 villagers took part in the job skills training. Now, 195 local farmers work outside the village with an annual income of 2.9 million yuan.

2.2.4.4 Villagers’ entertainment

With aid funds from Ministry of Housing and Urban-rural Development, during post-disaster reconstruction, the villagers set up the new village committee office, renovated the clinics and cultural centers of 120 square meters, set up the villager’s elderly association and carried out various cultural activities, which were participated by a large number of farmers with high enthusiasm.

In a word, the aim of post-disaster reconstruction was not only restoration, but more importantly, the sustainable livelihood development; not only the restoration of peace as usual, but also sustainable development of the villagers’ production and livelihood, thereby making Douzuizi Village a paradise of the villagers.

3 Implementation Effect

3.1 Restoration of the villagers’ daily life

In the implementation of the restoration projects, people were most concerned about whether their living standard was recovered to the level before the disaster. Only after they live a basically stable life can the villagers be confident in the post-disaster reconstruction. According to the mid-term survey carried out by Beijing Normal University entrusted by UNDP in October 2009, the villagers’ food and drinking water problems have been basically addressed. After the earthquake, the villagers resumed production, got better economic conditions, higher income, better living conditions, better road situation, etc., satisfying them to a large extent.

3.2 Improvement of the village’s infrastructure

The restoration of infrastructure went on smoothly, not only the roads were repaired, but also new roads which led to the households were built. In order to adapt to the need and development of water conservancy facilities, new water conservancy facilities were built after the earthquake; combing rebuilding of summer field and building of yantang, completing the small water conservancy construction. After the earthquake, the drinking water facilities were seriously damaged, and the facilities were restored after two years’ reconstruction. Villagers were satisfied with renewable energy including methane tank building and natural gas tube installation. Farmland restoration was an important part of the post-disaster reconstruction. For Douzuizi Village, field restoration were combined with summer wet filed rebuilding and water conservancy construction; in addition, some terrace land restored and most fund came from the villagers. For the villages which needed filed restoration, the farmers’ satisfaction of field restoration increased. With rapid power supply facilities restoration, the electric power sector completed the main circuit restoration and the rural households were equipped with electricity with the completion of the housing reconstruction.

3.3 Improvement of the village’s environment and health

    With more brick houses, hardened village roads and better village environment, the villagers developed good health habits. With the completion of the reconstruction, the environment was significantly improved. First, after the roads were hardened, it was convenient for the villagers to go to the market and the village’s sanitation was ensured. Second, after the new houses were set up, the villagers had developed better health habits. Third, the use of clean energy had a great effect on the natural environment and ecological protection.

3.4 Stronger confidence in post-disaster reconstruction

Agriculture is not the main source of income of the farmers in Douzuizi Village, but agriculture is of great significance to the villagers because agricultural production it not only a means of living but also a lifestyle. According to the data of the Second Reconstruction Assessment carried out in July 2010, 83.6% of the interviewed households recovered normal production and operation.

The governments at all levels invested 150,000 yuan in each pilot poor village to support the village-level mutual funds, and the NGO elected by the villagers was responsible for the fund use. Douzuizi Village had two village-level mutual-aid funds. One is the village-level mutual-aid organization funded by the government and the other is the mutual aid organization set up by UNDP for women to develop production. According to the self-inspection report of Douzuizi Village on the mutual funds, the villagers did not have a high enthusiasm to participate in the mutual fund and had no idea how to use the fund.

Agricultural practical technical training is an important part of the reconstruction work in the pilot villages, and most of the villagers incorporated it into their planning. The sericulture technology training of Douzuizi Village, however, was not participated by a large number of people due to limited conditions, so many interviewees had no idea about the agricultural technical training at all.

3.5 Stronger ability of the community for participation

One of the features of Douzuizi Village was that the villagers took part in the formulation of the post-disaster reconstruction planning directly or indirectly – either through the villagers’ meeting or through the village cadres. The farmers of Douzuizi Village actively got involved in the house rebuilding and the public facility construction. In such a way, the village can not only effectively address the financial, personnel and reconstruction applicability problems, but also effectively enhance the villagers’ ability to deal with the village affairs, strengthen the villagers’ awareness of participation, regulated their participation approaches and enhanced their ability for participating in the reconstruction.

3.6 Villagers’ stronger risk awareness

After the earthquake, the villagers and local government attached great importance to the improvement of people’s risk awareness and disaster-resisting ability. Douzuizi Village did not organize any formal disaster practice, but the villager committee had told the villagers about the prevention and resolution of earthquakes, floods and fires through holding meetings and visiting the farmers. In addition, villagers had a higher awareness of unexpected accidence and risk prevention after the earthquake.

4 Existing Problems

Douzuizi Village achieved a series of results in the post-disaster reconstruction with joint efforts of all parties, enhancing the village’s ability for poverty reduction and disaster alleviation. The sustainable development of the village, however, requires long-term sustainable investment and effort. It is undeniable that it takes a long time to eliminate the impact of the earthquake, especially for the poor villages and poverty-stricken groups. Special measures should be adopted to meet the needs of the disadvantaged such as women, senior citizens, children and the disabled. The special groups were more vulnerable, and should get special care in the reconstruction work. They need a long time to recover.

4.1 Deepened vulnerability of some poor villagers

The reconstruction of housing brought debt problems to the farmers, and the farmers could not afford the debt on their low income. Lack of cash made the impoverished villagers could not resist the risks like market and disease. The pressure of debt forced the poor households to reduce the expenses on medical care, education and daily life, which made them more vulnerable and increased the risk of being more impoverished. For some families who went out to work, they could repay the debt in 3 to 5 years, but for special disadvantaged groups, especially for the disabled and the empty nest families, it was very difficult for them to repay the debt through working outside the village. They needed the support of sustainable livelihood development strategies to shake off poverty.

4.2 External supporting mechanisms needs to be further improved

The feature of Douzuizi Village in the post-disaster reconstruction was that through the integration of external and internal resource, villagers’ self-participation and government incentives, and scientific implementation channel, the limited resources were fully used and better public service was offered, which helped the farmers to restore production and increase income, and achieved efficient allocation of the resources. But the establishment of internal participation was supported by external aid, and the local participation mechanism needed improvements to solve the lack of aid from UNDP and policy incentives.  Because many villagers did not know much about the external aid, and did not have cooperative experience, so they regarded the volunteers as government officials, reducing the assistance effect.  So the improvement of villagers’ internal participation and external aid resource were needed, including building normal cooperative mechanism and external aid channel and optimizing the distribution mechanism of external aid resources.

In regards to how the understanding of villagers and village administrator about project would affect the external aid, during the participation, the understating of participators was more important. So external aid needed to be explained to the villagers through technology input to achieve the integration of aid fund and project and improve the training effectiveness and relevant information service. Besides, the relevant government organizations that implemented the project should also provide technological services to enhance the understanding and technology levels of the departments. For direct project fund, a certain proportion of management fund should be set up to subsidize the project input from relevant departments.

4.3 Impact of uncontrollable factors in the village’s reconstruction and development

Uncontrolled factors in the village reconstruction had an impact on livelihood development, including the impact of the transformation of development way and market changes (like free trade and labor market) on farmers’ income; the impact of disaster risk normalization on livelihood capital; the impact of inclusive policies on poverty reduction effect, etc. The post-disaster reconstruction of impoverished villages should focus on how to enhance the risk prevention ability and reduce the risk for the poor groups to return to poverty due to disasters.

5 Basic Experience

5.1 Village construction with natural resources of local area

Resource endowment refers to the action capital and the advantages that could be used. For Douzuizi Village, the resource endowment was the village’s policy development path and resources before the earthquake, which were the material conditions for the rapid growth of the village. For example, villagers raised money to build water conservancy facilities before the earthquake, and started constructing the water conservancy facilities. In regards to software, some villagers were enthusiastic about the public affairs, and assisted the infrastructure construction on the condition of the economic permission, creating an atmosphere for farmers to actively participate in public affairs of the village. In addition, the cadres’ working abilities and responsibilities and government departments’ attention to the village development were external advantages, and villagers were confident in the reconstruction and development due to the resource advantage, enhancing the farmers’ enthusiasm for participation.

5.2 Community participatory development planning

Participatory reconstruction process is manifested in the following aspects: the combination between experts’ guidance and the farmers’ involvement; the combination between farmers’ participation and supervision in infrastructure construction; mutual supplementation of external aid and internal participation in resources provision; and the effective integration of external aid and the villagers’ self-reconstruction in function. Through the participatory development planning, the reconstruction goal and key points of the post-reconstruction work were clarified.  The participatory development planning ensured that the external aid and policy on the post-disaster reconstruction could concentrate on the post-disaster work, and helped enhanced the villagers’ capacity as an important development concept and technology. From the perspective of policy effectiveness, it was also an important way to improve the policies.  

5.3 Pay equal attention to village renovation and upgrading in the post-disaster reconstruction

There were many concepts which were the same like or similar to green reconstruction during the post-disaster reconstruction of Douzuizi Village, and environment protection and sustainable development were the basic principle of reconstruction. In regards to reconstruction content, the reconstruction work not only restored the damaged houses and facilities, but enhanced the villages’ development capacity and improved the internal motive force of the village, which is based on the international experience. The aid from UNDP was to support the infrastructure construction and farmers’ livelihood development. But during the process, the villagers’ livelihood development skills were enhanced through their participation, which affected villagers’ way of livelihood development and deepened their understanding of sustainable development. As a result, the villagers could think about how to develop themselves through participatory reconstruction; how to make use of mutual-aid fund to develop livelihood and increase income; how to achieve a low carbon life and low living cost win-win result when using methane tank; and how to improve their living quality, rights and equity when participating in the public affairs. This tentative way of learning not only made the village complete the post-disaster reconstruction, but also improved the village’s participation ability and livelihood development ability.

5.4 Integration of policy incentives and local participation

It can be seen from the post-disaster reconstruction of Douzuizi Village that during the development of the village, the integration of policy incentives and local participation had a positive effect on the village reconstruction and development. Local participation could effectively deal with the maladjustment of the policy for the village and constantly improve the pro-poor policies through policy evaluation and feedback.

We are facing many new problems and challenges in the anti-poverty work and sustainable development of poor village, including how to combine poverty reduction policy with local participation; how to give play to the role of pro-poor policies, how to accelerate village development through policy incentives and improve villages’ self-development ability in the process of participatory poverty reduction in impoverished villages, etc. We must summarize the practices and experiences in the following aspects: In the anti-poverty work, how to make use of participatory approach to implement effective development strategies; how to mobilize villagers through participatory development concept and pro-poor policy, especially in western impoverished villages, under the condition of more workers outside the village and imbalanced population structure, how to mobilize left-behind women and elderly people, create a better development atmosphere and improve villagers livelihood development awareness and ability; under the condition of creating a good development atmosphere for western China, how to create a good development atmosphere for the village to get more opportunities for increasing villagers’ livelihood development and rural economic and social development; attracting migrant workers to start up business in home villages and promote impoverished village to achieve sustainable, efficient and long-term development.

In a word, it can be seen from the experience of Douzuizi Village that: villages’ sustainable development needs basic security of local participation; external policy and aid as important incentives; integrating development goals and villagers’ development ability on a basis of reconstruction function to ensure the completion of the village and keep a constant and healthy development on the condition of reduced external policy and aid.

6 Promotion value

    Douzuizi Village’s experience in post-disaster reconstruction is worth learning and promoting. It should first be noted that the village implemented the participatory approach very well in the reconstruction, and the villagers’ participation awareness and ability were improved. Also, the village’s development policy assessment and exchange mode as well as sustainable development and experience are worth learning. The experience did not become permanent system and was incorporated into the daily management system, but the villagers’ participation, evaluation and exchange are frequent in the village and will gradually increase and become normalized.

6.1 Participatory development model for post-disaster reconstruction

It was undeniable that participatory development mode had a positive effect on the post-disaster reconstruction of Douzuizi Village. Generally speaking, in regards to public service, the feature of Douzuizi Village’s post-disaster reconstruction was the effective integration of external resources and internal resources, providing good public services and helping farmers restore productivity and resist poverty, and finally achieved the efficient allocation of resources. This is a result of the integration of internal and external resources through participatory development mode. The internal participatory organizations were mainly set up with external support. However, as the farmers did not know about the external aid organizations and did not have the experience in cooperation, they just regarded the external supporters and volunteers as government officials, reducing the assistance effect.

In the later stage of the reconstruction and development of Douzuizi Village, we should attach more importance to the mechanism improvement for the participatory development mode. Firstly, villagers’ rights to participate should be further clarified on a basis of the “Organic Law of Village Committees of PRC”. We should empower the villagers, raise their participatory awareness through project practice and improve village administrator level of understanding through project exchange. Secondly, we should improve the public participation system and economic guarantee mechanism; improve the information channel and acquisition mechanism for villagers’ participation, and clarify the public participation procedures, etc. In addition, we should increase support for vulnerable groups, set up special aid and development mechanism for vulnerable groups, and pay more attention to empty nest elderly, single-parental child and the disabled to improve the development ability of vulnerable groups. 

6.2 Reconstruction concept of sustainable development

The reconstruction concept of sustainable development is an important principle for post-disaster reconstruction after the 5.12 Wenchuan Earthquake. As a lot of investment is needed for sustainable development and no significant effects can be achieved in a short period of time, it is difficult to persist. In the long term, however, only if persisting sustainable reconstruction concept, the village could achieve sustainable develop. In the implementation of the village development planning, through the participatory approach, Douzuizi Village took environmental protection and sustainable development into consideration, and focused on road building, water conservancy project construction, farmland transformation and technical training in the infrastructure construction. In the implementation of the reconstruction project, the farmers combined the damaged house renovation material use with house reconstruction to save materials, and reduced the arable land occupied by housing reconstruction. These measures avoided the disadvantage of ‘for emergency, not for long term planning’, and laid a foundation for sustainable development of the village.

In addition, the sustainable development of Douzuizi Village is also reflected by the environmental protection investment project. Through the use and promotion of clean energy and the improvement of infrastructure and farmers’ awareness of environmental protection, the village’s environment is better and the farmers have now a stronger sense of environmental protection. Garbage can rarely be seen now in the village as the village has organized centralized garbage disposal through the construction of public facilities, not only improving the village’s appearance, but also reducing environmental pollution.

6.3 Cooperation mode of pro-poor policies and disaster mitigation policies

The collaboration and exchange in the field of poverty and disaster reduction promoted the post-disaster reconstruction work. Policy exchange on post-disaster reconstruction ranged from post-disaster reconstruction method and process to livelihood development content and the attention to disadvantaged groups. Exchange modes included project proposal, project assessment and survey and exchange training with a topic on reconstruction. Especially the UNDP workstyle-oriented exchange mode provided a platform for the cooperation and exchange between government departments and provides a reference for international exchange and the improvement of poverty reduction and disaster reduction policies.

Collaboration and exchange mode of poverty reduction and disaster reduction was established based on the assessment of poverty reduction and disaster reduction policy. During the post-disaster reconstruction, the post-disaster reconstruction policy and planning were implemented under the principle of people oriented and scientific reconstruction, according to the requirements of identifying limited goals and assignments in a limited range and time, giving priority to the restoration of masses basic life and production and public service facilities, with respect for science and nature, paying equal attention to natural resources development and labor resource development, striving to achieve the goal of post-reconstruction of the impoverished village with government support, social aid and the efforts of the masses. In the process of implementation, the action deviation of social policy could not fully cover the goal of reconstruction policy and plan, leading to the difference. In real life, post-disaster reconstruction policy and plan could not be in full agreement with farmers’ will in the earthquake stricken area and could not meet the demand of farmers for home rebuilding, leading to the difference. Through investigation and analysis, it was an important assessment task and an important part of the poverty reduction and disaster reduction cooperation and exchange to find out the root cause of the difference and explore the basic ways and strategies for reconstruction of impoverished villages.

6.4 Pay equal attention to disaster mitigation practices and disaster prevention capacity building

The post-disaster reconstruction of impoverished villages needs not only to eliminate the consequence caused by the disaster, but also to strengthen the villagers’ ability to resist risks so as to reduce the probability of falling into poverty due to disasters. To this end, we should strive to raise the masses’ risk awareness in practice.

 

Firstly, strengthen the crisis education and improve the masses’ ability to prevent risks; integrate the security concept into daily life and cultivate the masses’ unique sensibility in daily life to find out potential hazard information from different angles. Secondly, holding risk prevention skills trainings to enhance the ability of the masses to respond to emergency. Thirdly, organize simulation drilling to improve the practical ability of the masses; assume the potential risk event and organize all kinds of drilling on dealing with crisis. Fourthly, guide automatic adjustment to adjust the masses’ ability for mental recovery. Give psychological guidance for the masses who had panic and anxiety caused by risk of emergency to eliminate their physical and mental harm. 


7 References

1. Huang Chengwei, Wang Zhidan, Fang Xiangyang: “Douzuizi Village: Participatory Reconstruction”, Publishing House of Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

2. Wang Zhidan: “Study of Villagers’ Participation in the Development of Poor Villages-Taking Resilient Development of Village D in Sichuan Province as An Example”, Doctoral Dissertation of Central China Normal University, 2012.

2. Zhu Jiangang, Huming: “Multi-Governance: Reflection on Theory of Participatory Development in Post-Disaster Community Reconstruction--Taking New Home Plan in Community Reconstruction After ‘5.12’ Earthquake as An Example”, “Open Times”, October 2011.

3. Li Hongwei, Qu Xihua, Yan Min: “Social Readjustment, Participatory Reconstruction and Anti-fragile Development--Apocalypse of Post-Disaster Reconstruction in Wenchuan”, “Study of Social Science”, 2009, No.3.

4. Gan Tingwei, Pang Miao: “Inspiration of Originality: Post-Disaster Rural Housing Reconstruction Plan & Design Guided by Participatory Method--Taking Minyue House Design in Mianzhu County of Sichuan after 5.12 Earthquake as An Example”, “Rural Economy”, 2011, No.2.

5. Han Wei: “Practice and Thinking on Participatory Post-Disaster Reconstruction--Taking Investigation of Post-Disaster Reconstruction in Yaduxiangdazai Village of Mao County of Sichuan as An Example”, “Rural Economy”, 2009, No.10    

 

 

 

 

 

 


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