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Professor LAM Wai-Fung

BSocSc (CUHK), PhD (Indiana)


(852) 3917 2391


(852) 2517 0806


Wai-Fung (Danny) Lam is Professor of Public Administration, Director of the Centre for Civil Society and Governance (CCSG), Co-Director of the Centre for Water Technology and Policy (CWTP), Director of the Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) Programme, and Director of the Master Public Administration (MPA) Programme 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 policy process, 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, sustainable development, and civil society.




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


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)


2008-present The University of Hong Kong
Centre for Civil Society and Governance
Director (2019-Present)
Deputy Director (2008-2019)

2013-2017 The University of Hong Kong
Faculty of Social Sciences
Associate Dean (Innovation)

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), co-author of Improving Irrigation in Asia: Sustainable Performance of an Innovative Intervention in Nepal (2011) and Public Policymaking in Hong Kong: Civic Engagement and State-Society Relations in a Semi-Democracy (2012).  He has published in major international journals including Governance, International Review of Administrative Sciences, Journal of Institutional Economics, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (NVSQ), 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), Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (NVSQ), and Asian Politics and Policy (APP). He is co-editor of The Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Administration (APJPA). 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, Ching-Ping Tang, and Shih-Ko Tang. 2021. “Bureaucratizing Coproduction: Institutional Adaptation of Irrigation Associations in Taiwan.” Water Alternatives 14(2): 435-52.

Nie, Lin, and Wai Fung Lam. 2021. “Nonprofit Online Responsiveness: An Exploratory Field Experiment in China.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, DOI: 10.1177/08997640211007574.

Chan, Kwan Nok, Wai Fung Lam, Shaowei Chen. 2020. “Elite Bargains and Policy Priorities in Authoritarian Regimes: Agenda Setting in China under Xi Jinping and Hu Jintao.” Governance, DOI: 10.0000/gove.12543.

Lam, Wai Fung, and Lin Nie. 2020. “Online or Offline? Nonprofits Choice and Use of Social Media in Hong Kong.” Voluntas 31:111-28.

Lam, Wai Fung, and Wei Li. 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.

Chan, Kwan Nok, and Wai Fung Lam. 2018. “Bureaucratic Control and Information Processing: An Institutional Comparison.” Governance 31(3):575-92.

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):953 – 81.

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. 2015. “Understanding the Dynamics of Institutional Change and Irrigation Assistance.” In Trajectory of Farmer Managed Irrigation Systems, eds. P. Pradhan, U Gautam, and N.M. Joshi. Kathmandu: Farmer Managed Irrigation Systems Promotion Trust.

Chan, Elaine, and Wai Fung Lam. 2015. “Giving in Hong Kong: A Growing Sector Evading Regulation.” In The Palgrave Handbook of Global Philanthropy, eds. Pamala Wiepking and Femida Handy, 369 – 87. Palgrave Macmillan.

Radin, Beryl A., and Wai Fung Lam. 2015. “Micro and Macro Approaches to Social Innovation: Mapping the Approaches of Significant Funders and Advocates—Comparative Experience in East Asia, Europe and the United States.” Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration 37(3):161 – 81.