Using a qualitative social research method at the local administrative level, this paper provides insight into the policy process in China and farmers’ perceptions of the effectiveness of policies implemented to deal with drought. Two villages in rural South-West Yunnan were purposefully selected for the study. The research started with the general assumption that China has a strong top-down hierarchal approach to policy processes and that funding dispersal is prioritised by the central government. However, the study found that funding proposals are prioritised for selection in a bottom-up, participatory manner from the local level. The study also found that farmers’ perceptions of the effectiveness of policy implementation were directly related to their past experience. Among the nine indicators used to measure the effectiveness of policy implementation at the local level, the farmers in the study area perceived access to roads as highly effective; water use efficiency projects, market demand, human mobility for jobs, and government funds as moderately effective; drought knowledge, community participation in planning, and governance structures as least effective; and the role of leadership as not effective. The study found that farmers’ adaptation at the local level is oriented towards short-term market rewards and income diversification. Farmers’ local-level adaptation is guided by government priorities and driven by their perception of tangible benefits. To ensure the effectiveness of policy implementation, long-term adaptation strategies, such as awareness raising, capacity building, watershed management, and source conservation need to be strengthened at the local level.
Authors and Publishers
Pradhan, Neera Shrestha
Land Use Policy is an international and interdisciplinary journal concerned with the social, economic, political, legal, physical and planning aspects of urban and rural land use. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information from the diverse range of disciplines and interest groups which must be combined to formulate effective land use policies.
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