Abstracts & Papers in Session 1

The research question of this paper is 'how residents can build their capacity?' Analysing residents' participation in community development projects, this paper aims to find out the factors which make residents interested in neighbourhood issues, participate in and lead the community development.
Three indicators to characterise capacity building, particularly for participation, are explored in this paper: 'participation initiatives', 'sustainability' and 'openness'. Focusing on analysing sustainability and openness, this paper selects six sub-indicators from easy ones to difficult to be performed. The factors which possibly effect on capacity building are categorised into three: personal disposition, the experience of participation and social network. Each category has 2~4 sub-factors for a survey. This paper analyses the relation between the sub-indicators and sub-factors with co-relational approach.
As a result, three factors have strongly influenced capacity building. The most influenced factor is 'the active participation in a local organisation' which is followed by 'the experience of social education' and 'leading power in social network'.
The finding suggests supporting local organisations so that the organisations can take the focal role for capacity building at a community level and provide learning and training programmes for residents.

After Hong Kong transformed from an industrial economy to a service-based commercial economy, unemployment and social inequality become core structural problems.  It is an alert that Hong Kong's Gini Coefficient (0.533) is now higher than that of Brazil and many other less developed countries.  The main reasons behind the growing income disparity are low-income due to excessive supply of low skill labour, high unemployment rate especially among young people, and inadequate retirement protection for the older people. Social concern groups and academics pointed out that it is the laissez-faire market which created a huge rift between the social underclass, and demand for more proactive government intervention in the labour market.

Of those groups suffering from structural unemployment, the youth people in Hong Kong are a group that has extracted the attention from the government and the society.  Youths are an asset in building a better society.  Nevertheless, the free-market economy and the government's "laissez faire" governance do not implicate that there is lack for public commitment in employment assistance services.  In fact, the Labour Department, Social Welfare Department, the Employees Retraining Board, and many other non-governmental organizations are providing different services for the unemployed seeking jobs and career development. However, it is not certain about the effectiveness of these programmes in addressing the unemployment programme.  

This study will review critically the employment services existing in Hong Kong and analyze whether they are sufficient and effective enough to tackle the needs of the unemployed youths under economic restructuring; and then explore the possible measures, on both policy and frontline levels, in strengthening employment services in Hong Kong. 

 

Full paper: vincent_lee_2010_A Study of the Employment Assistance and Training Services for the Youths in Hong Kong.pdf

The existence of different types of welfare regimes implies that economic globalization generates a diversity of welfare impacts on impoverished groups in different countries. Ramesh (2006) points out that there are few studies on such impacts in the context of East Asia. The recent outbreak of the financial tsunami has resulted in substantial welfare lost to the poor in the advanced economies and particularly those in the US and UK. Its impact on the countries in East Asia remains to be studied. This paper focuses on the welfare consequences to the poor in Hong Kong, a financial centre of the East Asian region. Statistics and local studies have revealed impacts of the financial tsunami which include rising unemployment that concentrates in unskilled occupations, decreasing individual and family income, and increasing number of new applications for income support. An analysis of the welfare impacts on the financial centre of Hong Kong contributes to a deeper understanding of the global and local interfaces of the financial globalization process. The role of elites in finance and real estate for the case of Hong Kong is found to be critical in such a process and constitutes the economic context for the operation of the welfare regime. Concomitantly, this paper concentrates on capturing the mediating effect of the welfare regime, which shares a pro-economic growth characteristic found among the regimes of the region. The differential treatment of productive and 'non-productive' groups, which illustrates the influence of such a type of regime, is detailed. Lastly, the need for more research specifically on the welfare regimes of East Asia is echoed.

"Building partnership" between public and private sectors has been an important idea, an aim as well as a sound political slogan in the welfare privatization process in Taiwan.  Since 1990s, the Central Government of Taiwan has been making every endeavor to build an institutional environment and to urge public sectors contracting out social welfare programs or public setting management to private sectors.  The implementation of privatization, according to the Central Government's expectation, should restructure the governmental system into an "entrepreneurial government" in which contains the qualities of "small but effective", "small and less costly" and "small but beautiful".  On the other hand, private sectors (especially those nonprofit organizations in the social welfare arena), by working with the government hand in hand, should also benefit from the release of decision-making power and resource reallocation.
 
    According to the rules of privatization, when public sectors contracted out social welfare programs to private sectors, the selection of the program implement organizations and management of programs should follow formal contract requirements.  These measures had created a very different way of doing business between local governments and local non-profit organizations. 

Based on a three-year (2006-2009) research data, this paper intends to discuss changing system relations between local governments and nonprofit organizations under the implementation of social welfare privatization in Taiwan.  In our research, we invited representatives who came from local governments around Taiwan and held five focus group sections to explore what changes had happened between local governments and nonprofit organizations in terms of their working relationship under the welfare privatization?  How the officials of local governments perceived and explained these changes?  We also conducted a survey with 272 nonprofit organizations to find out how they viewed the impact of welfare privatization on their organizational operation and service delivery.  The result showed that, although public bidding system and formal contracts had been using as a major mechanism to build and regulate the partnership between local governments and nonprofit organizations, and which had further effectively restructured service delivery systems of both sectors, paradoxically, the struggle of power relations and resource distribution had also subtly operated under the process of welfare privatization.  The changing relations of both sectors and their impact on the frontline social workers as well as social service consumers under the regulations of welfare privatization are worth of further examination.

 

Full paper: Shious_chao_woo_The Paradoxical Partnership(full paper).doc 

This cross-national comparative research explored patterns of social and economic participation in increasingly market-orientated economies in which housing wealth is an important element. In particular, it was concerned with how actual and potential flows of material assistance and asset transfer within families differ cross-culturally. Through the qualitative research with three generations of families in Shanghai and Tokyo, amidst the transitions of post-war East Asian welfare systems, the research found that families have been, and remain, a key institution in negotiating and sustaining housing wealth and housing opportunities over the generations. Families often negotiate and cope with changing housing systems and policies, and act to maximise their collective and individual benefits in housing access and asset accumulation. This was evident in the cities whether post-war Tokyo or through the transition from planned to market economy in Shanghai. The paper also examines changing nature of family relations - increased 'monetisation' of welfare provision within families; as well as the interconnection between increased dependence and independence within the family generations.

Centre for Urban Studies
School for Policy Studies
University of Bristol
E: M.Izuhara@bristol.ac.uk

The purpose of this study is to analyze the effects of marketing strategy on the sales returns of the Self-sufficiency Business Communities (SBCs), which is one of the Korean anti-poverty programs for the poor who are able to work. This study aims to suggest how the SBCs should apply marketing strategy to their own situations so that they could sustain themselves and free themselves from poverty and dependency.

There are very few studies that examine what factors contribute to the increase in the sales returns of the SBCs, although many people emphasize that the SBCs should increase the profits of their businesses. Inspired by the fact that marketing strategy is one of the most critical factor in private business to increasing its sales return, this study investigates to what degrees the SBCs utilize marketing strategy and examines which part of the strategy contributes most to the increase of the sales returns.  

This study is going to survey 164 SBCs located in Busan and ask about how they build their marketing strategies, what they currently perform based on those strategies, and what their sales returns are. Of particular, we are going to analyze the marketing strategies according to seven dimensions suggested by Fine (1992): Product, Purchaser, Product, Price, Promotion, Place, and, Probing. Then, we are going to do the multiple regression analysis  examining whether the marketing strategy influences the sales returns of the SBCs. Lastly, we are going to suggest some policy implications for the SBC managers and policy-makers to help the SBC workers to sustain themselves and exit the program with full capacity and institutional supports.

Full paper: BooARum_2010_An Analysis of the Effectiveness of Marketing Strategy.pdf

After the 1997-98 economic crisis spread all over the East Asia region including Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, it has been common that the inequity and poverty have remarkably and rapidly increased, accompanied with the increase of non-regular workers or working poor, and these new situation, "new poverty", cannot be well coped with in the conventional social security and welfare systems. Each government has tried to introduce the activation policies to enhance employment, while it has made great effort to avoid the large increase of financial injection. This indicates the difference with the European type activation where the related budget have far higher proportional rate in GDP. These four countries or areas have the many common aspects, remaining issues they have faced, however, are greatly different because of the difference in the labor market structure and existing social safety net. This report will appraise the recent reform for working poor in Japan and Korea, analyzing the dynamism of households and workers behavior in terms with income and employment utilizing panel data in both countries. In Korea, bold reform of the social safety net has been carried out since the economic crisis by not only expanding coverage of public assistance and employment insurance, but also introducing Social Enterprise Promotion Act or Earned Income Tax Credit. Its income redistribution effect, however, is much limited on the whole. In Japan, long-term unemployment has been increasing during the last decade, and most of them don't receive any public benefits or supports. LDP government had recognized that it was a labor policy, not welfare, which was necessary for them. New government has a great interest in this issue, but not showed the whole vision of reform.

Name: Norimichi Goishi
Institution: Tokyo Institute for Municipal Research
Email address: goishi@timr.or.jp

 

 

Full paper: Social Safety Net for Working Poor (Goishi).pdf

range of new measures to improve the quality of care services, such as third-party evaluation, disclosure of information, complaints procedure, have been introduced in Japan in response to the growing interest and concern with regard to the quality of care being supplied by the expanding and marketised system of social care.  Further, existing schemes related to the training and certification of the social care workforce and the regulation and inspection of service providers have been revised. 
The aim of this paper is to describe the recent developments in these measures, to assess their achievements and shortcomings, and to examine the implications of these developments on the future of social care in Japan and other East Asian countries.
     This paper consists of four parts.
     The first part describes the background of these changes in connection with the establishment of the Long-term Care Insurance scheme and the reorganization of the system of social care in 2000; this part provides a brief description of the new measures that were introduced after 2000 to improve the quality of care services.
    The second part is devoted to the analysis of how these new measures have been implemented; the analysis is based on statistical data and case studies of several prefectures.  Special attention is paid to the shortcomings of the third-party evaluation scheme and the role of locally based voluntary schemes in compensating for these shortcomings.
    The third part examines, using the framework proposed in the Public Policy Institute comparative study of England, Australia, Germany and Japan, how these developments have changed the nature of the Japanese quality-assurance regime.
The final part discusses the implications of the Japanese experience on the measures being developed for the improvement of social care services in other East Asian countries that are adopting a mixed economy of social care.

Name: Koichi HIRAOKA
Institution: Ochanomizu University
Email Address: hiraoka.koichi@ocha.ac.jp

 

Full paper: Hiraoka_full paper-measures to improve quality.pdf

The Malaysian public sector has undergo various and vast changes cum reformation since 1980s. These initiaves were aimed to tackle and improved the inefficiences and ineffectiveness in many public agencies including the Local Authorities. Local Authorities as the third level of government in Parliamentary Democracy with a constitutional monarch, in Malaysia played an important role in providing services to the public. However, this lowest level of government is facing difficulties in meeting their local communities demand especially in a changing global environment. Local Authorities experience continuous criticms over delays, fragile enforcement, poor attitudes and also ignorance of certain services. Consequently, The Government commits to improve the quality of service delivery particularly at the local government level in the Ninth Malaysia Plan (2006-2010). New Public Management (NPM) is one of the efforts that government took in enhancing the service delivery effectiveness in Malaysia. But to what extend these reforms has hit the local authorities and how these changes have been managed. Hence, this research is trying to explore the elements of NPM that have been adopted by selected Municipalities in Malaysia. Furthermore, this sudy is also seeks to discuss how the Municipalities managed the changes from six dimensions using Managing Change Questionnaire (MCQ).

Name : Rozita Abdul Mutalib
Institution : Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang, Malaysia
Email address : rozita@uum.edu.my

 

Full paper: Rozita_2010_Reforms and Management of Change.pdf

In Hong Kong, government advisory bodies such as the Legislative Council and the district-based District Council, which are supposed to represent the interests of various sectors in the community, would be consulted on major development projects.  In addition, civil society organizations and political parties would also play the role of mediate in engaging the public in their negotiation with the government.  With the proliferation of information technology (penetration rate of internet among household in Hong Kong is around 70% in December 2009), the internet is becoming a significant venue for the public to participate in community issues.  Government departments, political parties, as well as individual bureaucrats and political activists are also using e-communication to collect views and communicate with stakeholders and the public at large.  However, despite the existence of conventional mechanism and these novel attempts, conflicts continue and communication breaks down, resulting in an ever-increasing mistrust between the two parties.  This paper examines the role of e-participation and mobilization a controversial HK$66.9 billion public project in Hong Kong in 2009-2010 (Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link).  Traditional channels for community engagement are taken as failing to represent the views of the public and not effective to have any impact. Web-based discussions have encouraged an expanded participation and have influenced the range of topics discussed. This case is a turning point in the use of the internet as a venue for public participation in Hong Kong.  Contents of the information and communication posted on major discussion forums and relevant websites regarding this project would be analyzed and compared with those views expressed through traditional channels, e.g. deputations in Legislative Council.  The participants, themes, as well as the breadth and depth of the discussion would be examined and differences/similarities identified. Finally, barriers to communication and possible ways to achieve a deeper level of community engagement discussed. 

Authors: Dr. C.K. Law (hrnwlck@hkucc.hku.hk)
  Dr. Y. C. Wong (ssycwong@hkusua.hku.hk)
  Ms. Rose Yu (yuwaiman@hkucc.hku.hk)

 

Full paper: rose_yu_EASP 2010_Discourse in Cyberspace.pdf