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Evaluating the Household Level Outcomes of Community Based Natural Resource Management: the Tchuma Tchato Project and Kwandu Conservancy

Helen Suich, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University; Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University


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Community based natural resource management (CBNRM) programs aim to link the achievement of conservation objectives with those of rural development and poverty alleviation. However, after more than a decade of implementation in southern Africa, there is remarkably little rigorous analysis of their achievements with respect to these goals. An evaluation of two CBNRM interventions, the Tchuma Tchato Project in Mozambique and the Kwandu Conservancy in Namibia, measured the impacts at the household level using multidimensional poverty indices. The analysis found no positive impacts on the multiple dimensions of poverty arising from the Tchuma Tchato initiative in Mozambique. In Kwandu Conservancy in Namibia, positive impacts were felt only on household financial capital on a disappointingly narrow scale. These results have important implications for policy makers and program designers and demonstrate the necessity of developing targeted strategies if poverty alleviation outcomes are to be achieved. Further, if the assumption that the provision of incentives is key to encouraging and maintaining participation in CBNRM is correct, the delivery of appropriate benefits that have a sufficient impact at the household level will be crucial for the long run sustainability of these initiatives.

Key words

Africa; community based natural resource management; impact evaluation; Mozambique; Namibia; poverty

Copyright © 2013 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087