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Professor LAM Wai-Fung

BSocSc (CUHK), PhD (Indiana)


(852) 3917 2391


(852) 2517 0806


Wai-Fung (Danny) Lam is Director of the Centre for Civil Society and Governance (CCSG), Director of the Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) Programme, Director of the Master Public Administration (MPA) Programme and Director of the HKU-HKJC Excellence and Capacity-Building for Entrepreneurship and Leadership for the Third Sector (ExCEL3) Project at the University of Hong Kong. He finished his undergraduate study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and received a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Indiana University, Bloomington. Professor Lam is an expert in common-pool resource management, institutional policy analysis, public governance, and civil society. His research has focused on the design of efficient institutional arrangements for the governance and management of public resources, a core issue in public administration and sustainable development. Professor Lam has served on the editorial committees of Public Administration Review (PAR), International Review of Administrative Sciences (IRAS), Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis (JCPA), Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (NVSQ), and Asian Politics and Policy (APP), and is co-editor of The Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Administration (APJPA).




1989-1994 Indiana University, Bloomington, USA
PhD in Public Policy


1984-1988 The Chinese University of Hong Kong
BSocSc in Government and Public Administration



Academic Career

2013-present The University of Hong Kong
Faculty of Social Sciences
Associate Dean (Innovation)


1995-present The University of Hong Kong
Department of Politics and Public Administration
Professor (2010-Present)
Head of Department (2008-2010)
Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer (2005-2010)
Associate Professor/Lecturer (1998-2004)
Assistant Professor/Lecturer (1995-1998)


2007 Arizona State University, USA
School of Human Evolution and Change
Visiting Associate Professor

1994-1995 Indiana University, Bloomington, USA
The Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis
Research Associate




Professor Lam’s research has evolved around institutional analysis, common-pool resources, public governance, civil society, policy process and dynamics, and public sector reform. He is the author of Governing Irrigation Systems in Nepal: Institutions, Infrastructure, and Collective Action (1998), coeditor of Asian Irrigation Systems in Transition: Responding to the Challenges Ahead (2005), and co-author of Improving Irrigation in Asia: Sustainable Performance of an Innovative Intervention in Nepal (2011). He has published in major international journals including Governance, International Review of Administrative Sciences, Journal of Institutional Economics, Policy Sciences, Voluntas, and World Development, and served on the Editorial Committees of Public Administration Review (PAR), International Review of Administrative Sciences (IRAS), Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis (JCPA), and Asian Politics and Policy (APP). He is co-editor of The Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Administration. In 2010, Professor Lam was named Icon of Honor by the Farmer Managed Irrigation Systems Promotion Trust, Nepal, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the study of self-governance in water management.



Selected Publications

Lam, Wai Fung, and Li, Wei (2018). “Network Structure and Collaborative Innovation Processes: A Comparative Analysis of Two Elderly Service Networks in Shanghai.” Public Administration and Development 38(2): 87-99.

Li, Wei, and Wai Fung Lam. 2017. “Network Structure, Resource Availability, and Innovation: A Study of the Adoption of Innovation in Elderly Services in Shanghai.” In Public Service Innovations in China, eds. Yijia Jing and Stephen Osborne, 43-68. Palgrave.

Lam, Wai Fung, and Kwan Nok Chan. 2017. “Policy Advocacy in Transitioning Regimes: Comparative Lessons from the Case of Harbour Protection in Hong Kong.” Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice 19(1): 54-71.

Lam, Wai Fung, and Chung Yuan Chiu. 2016. “Institutional nesting and robustness of self-governance: The adaptation of irrigation systems in Taiwan.” International Journal of the Commons 10(2), pp. 953—81. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ijc.638

Lam, Wai Fung, and Kwan Nok Chan. 2015. “How Authoritarianism Intensifies Punctuated Equilibrium: The Dynamics of Policy Attention in Hong Kong.” Governance 28(4): 549—70.

Lam, Wai Fung, and Wang Xiaoqi. 2014. “The Cognitive Foundation of a Co-production Approach to Performance Measurement: How do Officials and Citizens Understand Government Performance in China?” Public Administration and Development 34(1): 32—47.