Relationships in Community Forestry: Who Has Influence and Who is Being Affected?

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"The community forestry development process involves diverse actors with different interests who may have a history of relationships that are either positive or negative. Although there are methods for research on the role and status of stakeholders, there are few tools to assess the power, interests and legitimacy of actors from the point of view of the stakeholders themselves. The Social Analysis CLIP method of the Social Analysis System (SAS2)2 was developed for this purpose. This paper shows the results of using this method with community forestry stakeholders in 6 CFUGs in the Eastern Hills. The purpose was to visualise the stakeholder structure in terms of power, interests and legitimacy in relation to a specific situation or course of action. It also examined the history of relationships among the stakeholders in these areas and classified the various Self Help Groups, Government Agencies and NGOs in terms of the extent to which they are dominant, forceful, influential, dormant, respected, vulnerable or marginalised actors in the specific situation. By visualising the stakeholder structure, the process facilitated an actor-based analysis relevant to policy level and other development facilitators. It suggests that this tool can help to enhance synergy and analytical thinking through collaborative inquiry involving stakeholders."
community forestry, stakeholders