Wagging the dragon’s tail: emerging practices in participatory poverty reduction in China

Introduction

At a workshop in Kunming in March 2009, practitioners from local governments and community organisations from all over China met for the first time to share their experiences of promoting and implementing participatory approaches in areas such as education, health, rural development and poverty reduction.

This was a unique experience, with many of the practitioners presenting their own cases for the first time, and indeed learning about others, showing that there were many champions of participatory approaches working at local levels across the country. It was also an important event because it made individuals and organisations – who often saw themselves working alone as pioneers of innovative approaches – realise that they were part of a wider community of likeminded people trying to address similar challenges and issues within the same system.

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