Community Development Fund and Community-Driven Development
- poverty reduction approaches
- endogenous poverty alleviation
- vulnerable groups
- targeted poverty alleviation components
- supporting policies
Community Development Fund and Community-Driven Development
Title : Community Development Fund and Community-Driven Development
Commencement Date : Sat May 01 1993--Thu Feb 01 2007
Implementing Agencies : China-Netherland Poverty Alleviation Project
Support Organizations : County / Town leading group
Actuator : government officials, villagers
Members of The : Staff in China-Netherland Poverty Alleviation Project
CASE PROVIDER :
Sources of Funds :
Catalogue and Index :
Abstract Summary :
Located in the western foothills of Dabie Mountains, Huoshan County has barren land and inconvenient traffic and has been listed among the national poor counties due to the long-term lack of development funds. In 2003, with the implementation of the China-Netherland Poverty Alleviation Project, Huoshan County developed the community fund-driven poverty alleviation and development mode. Based on the external funds (government funds, NGO funds and foreign aid funds), the Community Development Fund was established by private organizations or semi-official organizations, and absorbs share funds of farmers of communities. To meet community needs, attaching importance to the empowerment and participation in the project implementation process, through villagers’ self-management, the Community Development Fund mobilizes community residents’ enthusiasm and initiative for participation and combines individuals with community capacity building. The participatory approach adopted by the Community Development Fund attaches importance to the whole-process participation and cooperation at all levels, fully respects the wishes of farmers in the participation and cooperation process, and adopts scientific and reasonable management mode to address farmers’ loan and development fund shortage and directly benefit the farmers. The funds are under the management of farmers themselves. The Community Development Fund empowers rural households to stimulate their development consciousness, has changed the traditional philosophy of poverty-relief fund use and used the funds for paid recycling, improving the fund efficiency, preventing waste and accelerating the pace of poverty reduction. With the attention and support of the government and relevant departments, this project has enhanced the villagers’ development capacity, stimulated the initiative of farmers and communities for self-management and achieved good results, known as the "Huoshan Mode". As a typical case of China's poverty alleviation, the introduction of Community Development Fund and the innovative participatory poverty alleviation model have a high promotion value.
Practice has proved that participatory poverty alleviation is the most effective, most direct poverty alleviation and development strategy that can best stimulate the potential of the poor, and its effectiveness further indicates that participatory poverty alleviation is an important way for rural vulnerable groups to rely on themselves for sustainable development. However, there are also many unexpected problems in this new operation mechanism in operation, mainly including:
1 A small size of fund and few activities
The early community development funds established in Huoshan County did not have a large size and developed slowly. About 10,000 yuan was invested in each community with 25 households, and sometimes only 8000 yuan was put in, which could not meet the development needs of rural households, affecting farmers’ enthusiasm. If no capital is increased, it will be very difficult to achieve sustainable development. On the other hand, Huoshan County mainly supports impoverished villages to set up community funds from the perspective of poverty reduction. However, the farmers’ needs continue to increase, covering not only material needs but also spiritual needs. Simple poverty alleviation cannot meet their development needs.
2 Low utilization of funds
If development funds are provided free of charge to the rural households, it will be difficult to control the situation, and farmers will randomly use the funds without any pressure of repayment, so they will not be so cautious in project selection and fund use, increasing the risks and making sustainable development impossible, and the community fund then becomes the public welfare fund and the farmers do not need to consider how to repay the principal and interest as the fund is provided free of charge. Also, the villagers will be accustomed to getting poverty-relief funds from outside. Therefore, they wonder whether these poverty-relief funds belong to them or not and whether the funds can be long used for the community, and they’ll not be willing to raise funds for the construction of roads, bridges, ponds and well digging in the community when needed. Under the guidance of “public funding for public welfare”, the Community Fund was turned into “public funds” at various excuses. Due to the poor management ability of the fund management team and the imperfect system, in the process of the community fund project implementation, few villages strived to borrow money as much as they could and were unwilling to repay. It would of course affect other villagers. As a result, we stopped the operation of the Community Fund Project.
3 Lack of long-term poverty reduction support guarantee
First, lack human and financial resources. Community Development Fund is a household project that needs many activities such as baseline survey, training, services, monitoring and assessment, requiring a lot of human and financial resources. Huoshan County has set up the evaluation team, but the team members are from the relevant units and are not professional workers in this field. Most of the community fund work relies on the township instructors, but no expenditure is issued for the work except the community project fund, affecting the enthusiasm of the working staff and thereby affecting the project progress. Secondly, no great importance has been attached to the work. Few cadres believe that the Community Fund has a small size and a low level and cannot play an important role in promoting economic development, so they are unwilling to devote into the work and do not have high enthusiasm to support farmers, leading to the inefficiency of the project.