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Welfare Reform on the Web (November 2009): Community regeneration and development - overseas

Coordinating community organizations in urban China

J. Chen

International Journal of Social Welfare, vol.18, 2009, p. 385-394

Since its introduction in the 1980s, housing privatisation in China has transformed residents of state-owned public housing in urban areas into owner occupiers and reinforced disparities in housing allocation and living conditions. Dramatic changes have taken place in low income, working-class communities since housing privatisation. Traditional organisations and new agencies coexist within the community and have been forced to adapt to rapid transitions. During this process, the roles and functions of these organisations and agencies are often confused, conflicted and displaced. Using data from the author's field observations and in-depth interviews conducted in five low-income urban neighbourhoods in Beijing in 1999-2000, this study investigates shifts in organisational and power structures in traditional working-class communities since housing privatisation.

Exploring the effects of government funding on community-based organizations: 'top-down' or 'bottom-up' approaches to health promotion?

G.E. Carey and A.J. Braunack-Mayer

Global Health Promotion, vol. 16, 2009, p. 45-52

Community-based organisations play an important role in representation of, and advocacy for, marginalised groups. In these capacities, community-based organisations are pivotal to 'bottom-up' approaches to health promotion, i.e. they enable public participation in health programme decision-making, and thus promote social justice and equity. However, in recent years non-profit community-based organisations have entered into partnerships with government for the delivery of services under contract, for which they are paid by the state out of public funds. They are therefore becoming incorporated into mainstream government structures, and their links to their community networks are being eroded, undermining their unique contribution. This article uses a case study of a government-funded community-based organisation in Australia, engaged in health service delivery and health promotion, to suggest that closer partnership with government and increased government funding have the potential to decrease bottom-up approaches to health promotion in favour of more conventional top-down approaches.

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