Perceptions of Policy Outcomes as a Motivational Factor in Promoting Environmental Sanitation: Lessons Learned from the Yibin Local Government, China
摘要：In today’s world of environmental peril, an attempt to live in an eco-friendly city should not be limited to the debates of finding renewable sources of energy, strategies to reduce gas consumption or techniques for home insulation. It should also consider the issues relating to the world leaders’ political will to raise an action-oriented consciousness of their individual citizen to live in an environment with high sanitation standards. To this end, without using any coercive methods, public policymakers can directly or indirectly influence people’s behavior to take full-fledged responsibility for participating in sanitation works. Ideally, this positive impact is seen through an event of advocacy rather than public backlash. In some cases, however, either of these consequential reactions can lead to a positive outcome, which is the promotion of environmental sanitation. Such are the observations made and lessons learned from the case of the Yibin local government’s "Overseas Study Tours" incentive program. Findings of this research show that the program implementation received mixed perceptions from the public. These perceptions reflected the shortcomings of the policy initiative, yet the objectives of the program were successfully reached thanks to the sense of ownership raised by the public’s critical attitudes toward the government’s decision. Set within the behavioral system of environmental hygiene and using data collected through structured interviews and questionnaire surveys in some Yibin urban communities, this paper will unravel the mystery of misunderstanding that often exists between policymakers and the public while bringing to light the phenomenal process of positive policy outcomes in spite of public cynicism.