Edwin Shanks, Cecilia Luttrell, Tim Conway, Vu Manh Loi and Judith Ladinsky (2004) Poor people's participation in mass organisations

'[T]he mass organisations are often depicted as the means by which the Party and state have been able to extend supervision and control into different social spheres, to promote its power at the grassroots, and to preempt any challenges from the non-state groups (Koh 2001b: 280). Such organisations, it is argued, exist as “instruments of top down control, despite playing lip service to be representative of group interests” (Tran Thi Thu Trang 2002:12). Even if the mass organisations do serve a bottom-up, representative role, they may not necessarily represent the interests of the poor. Many of the very poor do not join mass organisations, the structures of which are weakest in the poorest areas of the country (Fritzen 2002). In this light, reliance on the mass organisations as channels of information sharing, consultation and representation of the poor is problematic (World Bank 2000).'

Edwin Shanks, Cecilia Luttrell, Tim Conway, Vu Manh Loi and Judith Ladinsky (2004) Understanding pro-poor political change: the policy process - Vietnam Link

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