Repeat Focus Group Discussions as a Tool for Strengthening of Management Capacity in a Community Development Project in Western China


This qualitative study was conducted in a community development structured project, in Ganzi Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, China. The paper is the third in a series of three based on the same community intervention. This paper focuses on management capacity building during the intervention. Our interest was to understand how decisions were made in a management team; how they interpreted their own roles; how they interacted and became involved and more spon-taneous; and how they pursued new ideas. Three components were combined in order to build capacity, to use repeat FGDs for data collection, monitoring and empowerment, to organize training for the managers and to conduct core group meetings once a year. Content analysis was chosen as the method for examination of the material. Some key issues emerged out of this study. Firstly, the managers from different levels agreed that it helped generate communication, friendship, transparency, trust and improved skills. A second issue, during the process of implementation, was that the managers described change towards empowerment. Ultimately, for the stakeholders the repeat FGDs became a practical way for regular monitoring. The combination of repeat FGDs, training and core group meetings was successful. We understood from the participants that: train- ing had given them improved knowledge; core group meetings had truly made them part of decision making and the repeat FGDs had equipped them with awareness of their own potentials and capacity.

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Ljunggren, A. , Huang, Z. and Johansson, E. (2014) Repeat Focus Group Discussions as a Tool for Strengthening of Management Capacity in a Community Development Project in Western China. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 2, 63-72. doi: 10.4236/jss.2014.212009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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