Management of Communal Grazing Land: A Case Study on Institutions for Collective Action in Endabeg Village, Tanzania

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"From a selection of literature on natural resource management, Elinor Ostrom's (1990) set of design principles, characterising long-enduring institutions governing common-pool resources, is chosen as a template for making a rapid but structured assessment of the institutional performance in one field setting ? management of grazing land in Endabeg Village, Tanzania. Field data, collected through informal observations and semi-structured interviews with a non-random sample of key informants, is presented, as well as information gathered from secondary sources. Each of Ostrom?s eight design principles is analysed and valuated, with regard to representation in the field setting. Summarising the analysis of grazing land management in Endabeg Village and its surroundings, the lack of a coherent system of nested enterprises turns out as an Achilles' Heel for institutional development. The overall institutional performance is on separate terms assessed a failure, by use of a small set of non-complicated indicators. A concluding judgement of the local institution in Endabeg would read: Bad performance but good prospects. Important prerequisites are fulfilled, and external factors do not pose any insurmountable hinders to institutional improvement. Eventually, the present case of Endabeg is placed in context together with a selection of case studies presented in Ostrom?s book. The valuation of design principles, put together with the brief assessment of overall institutional performance, proves to coincide well with Ostrom's existing correlation pattern between representation of design principles and institutional performance. Prevalence of traditional institutions parallel to the modern administration in the chosen field setting raises a discussion about loopholes contained in the chosen template, and the way such loopholes make the field data collector vulnerable to omission of large sets of significant information. Ostrom's methodological framework is suggested to contain opportunities for further studies within the same field."



agriculture, common pool resources, collective action--case studies, grazing, design principles, pastoralism, open access, Ostrom, Elinor, village organization