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Cross the river by feeling the stones: How did nonlocal grassroots nonprofits overcome administrative barriers to provide quick responses to

2021-06-11

 Cross the river by feeling the stones: How did nonlocal grassroots nonprofits overcome administrative barriers to provide quick responses to COVID-19?

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Xiaoyun Wang, Assistant Professor, School of Public Administration and Policy, RUC

Author

Xiaoyun Wang;  Cheng Yuan (Daniel)

Abstract 

This field report explores how nonlocal grassroots organizations provided effective and quick responses during the initial stage of the COVID‐19 outbreak in Wuhan and surrounding regions. Despite the lack of resources and local connections, they were able to overcome administrative failures and provide quick responses to the crisis. Built on a researcher‐practitioner collaborative action research project, three strategies facilitating grassroots organizations " quick and effective responses are analyzed and discussed: putting pandemic relief as the strategic priority of their organizations, leveraging social media platforms to scale up existing organizational networks and foster cross‐sector collaboration, and effective online trust‐building. As COVID‐19 unprecedently pushes nonprofits to transform how they deliver services and engage stakeholders, these findings have important policy and theoretical implications for an expanded view of how nonprofits may engage in disaster responses and how public and private funders may shift their funding strategies to cultivate such capacities of grassroots nonprofits.

Key Words

administrative failure; COVID‐19; China; disaster responses; grassroots nonprofit organization

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