Unpacking the impacts of ‘participatory’ forestry policies: evidence from Kenya.
Mutune, Jane M
Lund, Jens F
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We evaluate the livelihoods of member and non-members of Community Forestry Associations under Kenya's participatory forest management (PFM) programme. We use propensity score matching of households based on recall based data from before implementation of PFM from 286 households and comparison of current incomes (2012), as well as review of records and interviews. Results reveal that members have higher total and forest-related incomes than non-members and indicate that impacts derive from labour and market opportunities supported by donor institutions, more than from differential access to forest products. In terms of governance the Kenya Forest Service largely remains in control of decision-making. Thus, PFM resembles Integrated Conservation and Development Project (ICDP) approaches. We conclude that current forest governance approaches in Kenya appear not to support participation in practice. Further, we conclude that impact evaluations must examine both outcomes and participatory forestry to provide meaningful policy evidence.
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