The purpose of this paper is to examine the development of new model farmer cooperatives set up with Aid agency assistance in Shandan County, Gansu Province, China, focusing on enterprise management and training, and the monitoring and evaluation issues and outcomes.
The paper is a case study of two projects that integrated participatory monitoring and evaluation (PM&E) methodology into both field practice and institutional development. The project evaluation data were collected from semi‐structured interviews, observation and secondary sources.
The cooperatives increased community income through collectively improving members' production and marketing capabilities. As well as economic benefits, the Shandan cooperatives show improvements in social collaboration that include enhanced inter‐ and intra‐family relationships, community harmony and raised status for women.
The cooperatives have only operated since the new co‐op law was enacted 1 July 2007. While the findings are preliminary, planned ongoing evaluation for the Shandan co‐ops will review the sustainability of the economic and social gains made.
The lessons learned from the participatory approach to improve rural cooperative development in Shandan County are relevant to researchers and practitioners, and can be applied by rural communities throughout China.
Although the new style cooperatives have the potential to improve the rural economy, leading to poverty reduction and social development, there have been few case studies of the establishment and progress of these enterprises in China's poorer regions.
Saunders, M. and Bromwich, D. (2012), "New model rural cooperatives in Gansu: a case study", Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 325-338. https://doi.org/10.1108/17506201211272760Download as .RIS
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