Volume 2, Numbers 1 & 2, 1999

Contents

1. Grassroots Organizations and Influencing Public Policy Processes: Lessons from around the World .............................................1
     J. M. Coston
2. Grassroots Protests and Policy Change in Hong Kong .....................27
     C. K. Wong and B. H. Mok
3. Grassroots Organizations in Hong Kong: Influence on the Democratization Process and Public Policy ..................................47
     J. Y. S. Cheng
4. Organizing for Social Change and Policy Reform: Lessons from International Planned Parenthood Federation........... ......................89
     D. Foley
5. Mastering Information: The Birth of Citizen-Initiated Voter Education in Mongolia..........................................................107
     J. M. Coston and J. L. Butz
6. Nongovernmental Organizations and Policy Influence in Latin American and the Caribbean....................................................141
     J. S. Wechsler
7. Expanding Gender Accountability? Women's Organizations and
State in Turkey..................................................................167
     N. Kardam and Y. Erturk
8. The Potential for Neighborhood Council Involvement in American
Metropolitan Governance ......................................................199
     T. L. Cooper and J. A. Musso
9. The Implementation of Environment and Natural Resources Policy in Africa:
Blending Regulatory Enforcement with Community Participation .......233
     D. W. Brinkerhoff

ABSTRACT. This article examines recent Afiican experience in environment and natural resources (ENR) policy implementation The article identifies and analyzes trends in policy and program strategies that have led to an increasingly important role for grassroots participation in policy implementation. It delineates the benefits of this expanded grassroots role and traces the elements of new interorganizational approaches to participatory implementation. The argument is made that there is a mismatch between the current ENR policy agenda and the strategies designed to implement that agenda, a nd the organizations assigned implementation responsibility. The article concludes with a look at the key challenges to managing ENR implementation.

ABSTRACT. The International Planned Parenthood Federation (lPPF) was formed by a network of volunteers from around the world concerned about maternal and infanL mortality and the lack of family planning information and services available. The IPPF network is credited with having a global inlluence on population policies and the development of public support for the provi ion of family planning services. The succe of the movement is due in large part to their organizing strategies. They initially organized around what we would now identify as a network as opposed to a bureaucratic approach. Over time the lPPF became a large international bureaucracy but the le sons of the early years hold important implications for grassroots organizations promoting policy and social change.

ABSTRACT. This paper examines the role that neighborhood associations might play in helping to govern American cities. In contrast to recent arguments that there has been a decline in grass-roots level "social capital," the empirical evidence suggests that local neighborhood associations are growing in number, and are increasingly active. We discuss the theoretical foundations for involving neighborhoods in governance, and argue that informal assoctattons can mediate between citizens on the one hand, and large-scale bureaucracies and businesses, on the other. In addition, a fonnal system of associations may encourage discussion among fragmented neighborhoods, which in tum cou ld improve conflict negotiation and develop mutual understanding. We argue that a major impediment to the development of a neighborhood council system in Los Angeles has been a lack of infonnation about existing neighborhood-based associations, and discuss an ongoing initiative to develop a comprehensive base of infonnation regarding neighborhood associations in Los Angeles.

ABSTRACT. This article examines the emergence and development of grassroots community organizations in Hong Kong from the late 1960s to the present. It analyzes their contribution to the democratization movement, and how they in tum have been supported by the development of representative government. The article then considers the relationship between grassroot community organizations and the pro-democracy political parties: their mutual support, tension, etc. Difficulties and challenge facing grassroots community organizations in the 1990s are discussed. A n attempt has also been made to study the impact of the community's values on the development of grassroots groups. As published literature on the subject is limited. The author relies heavily on interviews with the leading grassroots activists.

ABSTRACT. In the 1980s and 1990s, a women' movement has arisen and begun to mature in Turk y. Women's organizations representing diverse positions and missions have begun to engage in a dialogue with each other, as well as with the Turkish state, especially with the National Women 's Machinery: "Directorate General on the Status and Problems of Women". This article explores the reasons for the above developments through an examination of a) the influence of the international women's rig hts regime and gender sensitive donor programs, and b) increased openness and diversity within Turkish society. We reach the conclusion that even though these changes are limited, they have important implications, heralding an increased tolerance for compromise on the part of the Turkish state, and a readiness to overcome the traditional dichotomous view of the state (expecting all services from the state or staying completely away from the state) on the part of the women's organizations. This process has further been legitimized and supported by the international women's rights regime, whose norms and pnnc1ples are embodied in many international conrerence documents and conventions.

ABSTRACT. This paper examines the public protest by grassroots organizations which, in part, led to the withdrawal of the British colonial government's privatization plan on health care finances in its final years of rule i n Hong Kong. The authors argue that grassroots protest has to direct its efforts in the articulation of an ideological climate in favor of policy change. This is because grassroots organizations are often few in number and lack formal political power; they have to rely upon external resources to mobilize for policy change. Although a direct and causal relationship between the grassroots protest and the withdrawal of the government's privatization plan could not be firmly established, it is argued that the change of the debate from one about an administrative issue of health care finances to one about moral justice set the context for the eventual policy change.

ABSTRACT. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Lati n America and the Cari bbean affect policy through strategies conditioned by the struct ure and program focus of the NGO, and the level of tolerance of government to NGO activi t y. In low tolerance contex ts local NGOs may collaborate with international NGOs, such as human rights and en vironmental organizations for protection f rom government repression and to focu s external pressure on governments to chan ge policies. Where there is a moderate level of government tolerance, NGOs may affect policy by generatin g effective local development models, or providin g services to citizens at the request of governments. Successful project. may lead skeptical governmen ts. at the local or n ational levels, to adopt new policies and practices. When government encourage and accept the work of NGO a part of a democratic. ci vil •ociety, NGO can collaborate wi th governmen ts as full part ners, partic ipating m the fonnulation of public policies and implementing ensuing programs of social and economic development. At the medium and high levels of government tolerance, NGO leaders may directly affect policy by entering government service through election or appointment to policy­ making positions.

ABSTRA CT. In the 18 month preceding the parliamentary elections of June 1996 in Mongolia, a variety of nascent nongovernmenta l organ i zations began effort to educate voters. These organizations, nearly all of them run for and by women, sought to in form the voting public about their rights and responsibilities as citizens in this new democracy. The methods and goals of these NGOsvaried, as did their ultimate impacl. This paper reviews the experience of two of these innovative organizations, demonstrates the potential contributions of NGOs to political transition, and identifies lessons learned regarding NGO efficacy and the chaJlenges of neutrality and credibility. The cases illustrate the variety of means by which NGOs seek to balance and contextualize outside expertise and urban-centered information, reach broad and diversified constituencies, and maintain nonpartisanship in the process. While attribution is difficult. the cases provide promising evidence attesting to NGOs' potential contribution and efficacy in civic education and democratization, even in contexts lacking historical and sometimes cultural democratic traditions.

Go to top