Construction of rural telecenters has been recently promoted by Chinese government officials as an innovative way to solve the problem of underdevelopment in rural areas. To address questions on the project's effectiveness and manageability, this article attempts to do a case study on the United Nations Development Programme–Ministry of Science and Technology (UNDP–MoST) telecenter project by analyzing the deliberative nature of its institutional framework. Such an analysis seems to indicate the coexistence of a collaborative network-building effort and a continuity of traditional institutional hierarchy, division, and lack of public deliberation. Although policy innovations should be celebrated, further efforts should be taken to promote the complexity of the framework and enable further participatory deliberation in the project policy-making process.
UN; development; rural telecenters; China; UNDP–MoST; policy