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Home > Basin > Andes > Sustaining inclusive collective action in upper watersheds (PN20)

Full Project Title: Sustaining inclusive Collective Action that Links across Economic and Ecological Scales in upper watersheds (SCALES) (PN20)

Introduction

Watersheds are inherently multi-scale where resource flows include both lateral flows of soil and water and “reverse flows” of economic, social and political resources often going from downstream to upstream in response to actual or potential hydrological externalities. Collective action thus occurs simultaneously within and across scales as decisions with important outcomes for resource management are taken in multiple fora or “action arenas” in which the rules and resources that have value in influencing outcomes may differ.

The willingness and capacity of the poor to participate in multi-stakeholder negotiation processes around watershed management will need to be strengthened since one of the things that currently characterizes the poor is their weak or non-participation in these processes. Projects that seek to strengthen the role of the poor in watershed management need to work in and/or create spaces in which the action resources of the poor have value.

The Scales project (PN20) worked in 4 watersheds, 2 in the Colombian Andes and 2 in the Nyando, a sub-basin of the Nile in Kenya. The project goal is to contribute to poverty alleviation in the upper watersheds of the tropics through improved collective action for watershed resource management within and across social-spatial scales. A specific focus is to strengthen the participation of women, the poor and other vulnerable groups in collective management of watershed resources.

Research Highlights

Research highlights

  • The identified relationships between poverty, scale and collective action in watersheds are extremely complex, both conceptually and empirically.
  • Improving communication among different stakeholder improves cooperation around water management and can and empower communities to engage with authorities around issues of resource management and rural development.
  • Upstream communities have an important role to play in initiating watershed dialogue.
Project Outcomes

Project outcomes

  • In Columbia, the most successful livelihood strategies for getting households out of poverty over the last 25 years have been related to livelihood diversification and off farm employment. Interventions that increase the access of poor households to human and especially social capital will likely have a bigger impact on poverty than those that focus exclusively on natural or physical capital.
  • Building willingness and capacity of the poor to participate will not only improve the equity outcomes of participatory multi-stakeholder negotiation processes around watershed management, it will also have a direct impact on the welfare of the poor.
  • In terms of cross-scale collective action, the project developed, operationalized and refined the methods for improving the articulation of collective action for improved resource management from local to watershed scales in ways that contribute to reducing poverty, especially for women and marginalized groups.
  • A generalized guide for conducting cross-scale collective action was produced by project partners so that the methodology can be more widely disseminated.
Publications and Outputs

To view all outputs from project PN20 visit our document repository.

Selected publications and outputs

Journal papers

  1. Johnson, N., Garcia, J., Rubiano, J.E., Quintero, M., Estrada, R.D., Mwangi, E., Morena, A., Peralta, A. and Granados, S. 2009. Water and poverty in two Colombian watersheds. Water Alternatives 2(1): 34-52.
  2. Peralta, A J García, A. Moreno, S. Granados, LF Botero, H Rodriquez, JA Rubiano, N Johnson, JE Rubiano, M. Quintero, RD Estrada, 2007, Dynamics and definitions of poverty in the Colombian Andes: participatory vs objective approaches, Desarrollo y Sociedad 58: 209-243 (in Spanish).
  3. Swallow, B, Johnson, N., Meinzen-Dick, R. and Knox, A. 2006. The Challenges of Inclusive Cross-Scale Collective Action in Watersheds, Water International 31(3): 361-375.

Proceedings

  1. Candelo, C. L Cantillo, J Gonzalez, AM Roldan and N Johnson, 2008, Empowering communities to co-manage natural resources: impacts of the Conversatorio de Acción Ciudadana. In: Humphreys, E., Bayot, R.S., van Brakel, M., Gichuki, F., Svendsen, M., Wester, P., Huber-Lee, A., Cook, S., Douthwaite, B., Hoanh, C.T., Johnson, N., Nguyen-Khoa, S., Vidal, A., MacIntyre, I. and MacIntyre, R. (eds). Fighting Poverty Through Sustainable Water Use: Proceedings of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food 2nd International Forum on Water and Food, Volume 2 pp.201-205. The CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  2. Cardenas, JC, N Johnson and LA Rodriguez, 2008, Vertical Asymmetries and Collective Action in Watershed Management. In: Humphreys, E., Bayot, R.S., van Brakel, M., Gichuki, F., Svendsen, M., Wester, P., Huber-Lee, A., Cook, S., Douthwaite, B., Hoanh, C.T., Johnson, N., Nguyen-Khoa, S., Vidal, A., MacIntyre, I. and MacIntyre, R. (eds). Fighting Poverty Through Sustainable Water Use: Proceedings of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food 2nd International Forum on Water and Food, Volume 2 pp.284-291. The CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  3. Cardenas, JC, N Johnson and LA Rodriguez, 2008. Collective Action for Watershed Management: Field Experiments in Colombia and Kenya. Documentos CEDE, Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia. 42p.
  4. Jensen, J. 2006. Understanding links between collective action, livelihoods, and poverty alleviation in a watershed. In: Humphreys, E., Bayot, R.S., van Brakel, M., Gichuki, F., Svendsen, M., Wester, P., Huber-Lee, A., Cook, S., Douthwaite, B., Hoanh, C.T., Johnson, N., Nguyen-Khoa, S., Vidal, A., MacIntyre, I. and MacIntyre, R. (eds). Fighting Poverty Through Sustainable Water Use: Proceedings of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food 2nd International Forum on Water and Food, Volume 3 pp. 148-154. The CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food, Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Presentations

  1. Candelo, Carmen, 2008, Collective action mechanisms at different economics and ecologic scales (PN 20), presentation at the Andean Forum on Water and Food, University of Los Andes, Bogota Colombia, Jan 29-31.
  2. Johnson, N 2005, Sustaining collective action that links across economic and ecological scales (PN20), presentation at CONDESAN technical meeting, February 2, 2005, Bogota.
  3. Johnson, N et al 2005, Sustaining collective action that links across economic and ecological scales (PN20), presentation at Africa Project Leaders meeting, Entebbe, 28 Nov-1 Dec.
Final Report
Project Partners

Project partners

CIAT, CONDESAN, FUQUENE N, ICRAFT, IFPRI, MASENO, SANA, SEMILLAS, UNIANDES, WWF

Project Lead

Project lead

CIAT

For more information on Phase 1 outputs please contact Udana Ariyawansa.

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