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Institutional and Livelihood Changes in East African Forest Landscapes

Decentralization and Institutional Change for Sustainable Forest Management in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia

Edited By Franz Gatzweiler

This book presents research articles and essays which analyze the consequences of decentralization on forest conditions and livelihoods in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia. Authors from the East African collaborative research centers of the International Forestry Resources and Institutions (IFRI) Research Program demonstrate that the institutional changes resulting from decentralization create costs for those who need to re-institutionalize and re-organize the management of forest and land resources. This requires investment into information, communication, education and into the re-building of social capital. Cases in which collective action has worked and contributed to improving livelihoods and forest conditions can be exemplary, while failures can be equally useful for learning about East Africa and beyond.

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Chapter 6 Resource, Recourse and Decisions: Incentive Structures for decentralized Forest Governance in Uganda: Abwoli Y. Banana, Mukadasi Buyinza, Krister Andersson and Esther Mwangi

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107 Chapter 6 Resource, Recourse and Decisions: Incentive Structures for decentralized Forest Governance in Uganda Abwoli Y. Banana, Mukadasi Buyinza, Krister Andersson and Esther Mwangi 6.1 Abstract The case for improving public sector performance through decentralization re- forms rests on the premise that such reforms foster increased accountability of government. The problem is that achieving accountability requires much more than merely changing the formal rules through a government reform process. In other words, the closer proximity between government and citizens that may result from decentralization is only one of many factors that affect accountabili- ty, and as such, decentralization does not automatically translate into more ac- countability of government. We argue that the extent to which the actors in the decentralized regime actually achieve accountable governance will depend on a series of institutional considerations that are often independent from the decen- tralization reform process. These institutional considerations include the degree of citizen power and recourse in public affairs, the central government’s efforts to monitor local government performance, and the flow of financial resources between citizens, private firms and government at different levels. In this paper, we develop a diagnostic tool for the study of decentralized governance regimes – the recourse and resource diagram – which we believe has the potential to help policy analysts gain a deeper understanding of the variety of the factors that affect the construction of accountable governance. We look at what has worked and what has failed to deliver the objectives of change, and what has created unexpected...

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