Uniting forest and livelihood outcomes? Analyzing external actor interventions in sustainable livelihoods in a community forest management context

Clare Barnes, Rachel Claus, Peter Driessen, Maria Joao Ferreira Dos Santos, Mary Ann George, Frank Van Laerhoven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

External actor interventions in community forest management (CFM) attempt to support communities with developing forest institutions and/or improving their livelihoods portfolio. Common pool resource (CPR) scholars argue that forest institutions are required to prevent overharvesting of the forest resource stock (appropriation dilemma), and to encourage investment in its maintenance (provision dilemma). The sustainable livelihoods approach (SLA) has been widely used to analyse the influence of interventions on rural livelihoods portfolios. As interventions in CFM span the academic divide between CPR and SLA literatures, analysis of such interventions through either a CPR or SLA lens risks overlooking intervention activities, significant outcomes of the intervention, and the interplay between these outcomes. We propose here an analytical framework which combines CPR and SLA insights and ascertain its applicability by analysing interventions in a forest dependent community in Andhra Pradesh, India. We developed multiple indicators to measure the community’s ability to deal with appropriation and provision dilemmas, and their livelihoods portfolio. Using data from forest plots, household questionnaires, focus group meetings and interviews, we analysed the intervention approaches, activities and outcomes. Our results show that a community’s ability to deal with appropriation and provision dilemmas both affects, and is affected by its livelihoods portfolio. These intricate and dynamic interplays strongly influence the direct and indirect outcomes of intervention activities. Incorporating the synergy between the CPR and SLA perspectives in our analytical framework led us to a much more nuanced understanding of intervention approaches, activities and outcomes than would have otherwise been gained from a single perspective framework.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of the Commons
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2017

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