Thesis title: Empowerment through Community-Driven Development in Vietnam.
Community-driven development (CDD) is an increasingly popular strategy in poverty alleviation which is characterized by the devolution of control over decision-making and resources to the local communities. While many international development institutions strongly believe that the improvements of access to decision-making and awareness-raising in CDD would empower poor people and community, empirical evidence about the empowerment through CDD remains very limited. This thesis looks at a CDD program in Vietnam, in which, the local communities work in partnership with the local governments to manage their own development. Both empowering process and empowerment effects of the CDD program are examined in order to highlight the meaning, mechanism, and the obstacles of empowerment through CDD. Further, the thesis tests the relationship between empowerment and the downward accountability of the local government officials. The thesis aims at providing the insight of the empowering mechanism in CDD and suggesting policies for the improvement of poverty reduction interventions. The research relies on mixed-method approach and its design is a combination of cross-sectional and case study.