The institutional framework of participatory mechanisms to identify the needs of poor people : the case of Vietnam

by Do, Phu Hai

Abstract (Summary)
Is an institutional framework of participatory mechanism for identifying the poor needs? Institutions not only act to solve poverty : they also contribute to the persistence of poverty, as the core institutional problem is the unresponsiveness of many institutions to the needs of poor people. This study focuses on the case of contemporary Vietnam, with four empirical research questions: (i) what are the poor people’s needs? (ii) how to measure the needs of poor people? (iii) what are the elements and configurations of institutions offering participatory mechanisms? (iv) how are institutional rules of participatory mechanisms established? In the first part of the book, we develop a new approach to account for the multidimensionality of poverty : a ‘mixed methods’ approach that combines the selection of a static set of core dimensions with mechanisms of deliberative participation. Based on Sen’s theoretical framework, we apply participatory assessment methods and data reduction techniques together with linear regression models, so as to measure the capabilities of poor people. Theoretical contributions from political economy, political science and policy analysis are also brought in the picture. In the second part of the book, we use Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) as well as models of regression analysis, to analyze the grassroots institutions and poor people’s participation at the local level (communes). One core conclusion is that the formal institutional logics do allow some needs of poor people to be taken into account, but that this does not empower the poor themselves. Further, a strong independent civil society, combined with the direct involvement of poor people themselves, empowers the poor people at the collective choice level and leads to the best responsiveness of institutions to the poor people’s needs. This study also opens up possibilities for comparisons with other developing or transition countries.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Université catholique de Louvain

School Location:Belgium

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:institutional framework deliberative participation qca qualitative comparative analysis vietnam empowerment of the poor needs people civil society measurement capability configurational institutions basic


Date of Publication:12/17/2008

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