|Africa's Valuable Assets - A Reader in Natural Resource Management (WRI, 1998, 464 pages)|
|5. Participatory Policy-making and the Role of Local Non-governmental Organizations|
1. The link between policy and a government's ability to implement it is hardly solid, often resulting in a disjuncture between policy objectives and on-the-ground actions. Policy implementors, including local government and the public, are often unfamiliar with policies or their implications, and so they do not follow them. In addition, many policies and laws contradict local needs and interests and seek compliance through command-and-control (as opposed, for example, to fiscal/market incentives that make them more self-implementing). In most cases, governments lack the financial and human resources as well as other necessary capacities to ensure effective implementation. In many cases, the shortages force governments to establish policy implementation priorities that do not include natural resource management policies.
2. Regardless of a government's ability to implement its policies effectively, sound policy can still have important impacts. In addition to encouraging funder support, such efforts also facilitate village institutions to address issues of resource management, and local-level government officials to support those efforts. For example, government political support of community-based natural resource management can legitimize such efforts and make them easier for others to adopt - even if the villagers do not know the specific mandates and implications of the bylaw and the law is not well enforced.
3. In bilateral foreign assistance, this shift is also partly tactical - as a way to improve the effectiveness of conventional project assistance and maximize the effectiveness of smaller budgets and fewer staff.
Civil society here is defined as "a sphere of social interaction between the household and the state which is manifest in norms of community cooperation, structures of voluntary associations, and networks of public communication" (Michael Bratton. "Civil Society and Political Transition in Africa." IDR Reports 11(6), 1994). Civil society lies beyond the household and stands apart from the state and the realm of political society. It includes, however, the for-profit private sector (business community), formal political and legal institutions, and NGOs.
4. Policy is distinct from legislation, regulations, strategies, and action plans that are often prepared to help implement it. The legislation reform process is also different from the policy reform process, although many of the issues raised regarding participatory policy reform are also relevant for legislative reform. And with the growing responsibilities and, in some countries, authorities of local governments through decentralization, local policy and law are becoming increasingly important.
5. The emergence of NGOs, and their roles in policy dialogue, should be understood in the specific historical context of each country.
6. APIC Policy Outlook 1997.1997. Africa Policy Information Center.
7. Partly in response to NGO pressure, the World Bank has made the preparation of a NEAP a condition for all replenishment of IDA funds. Francois Falloux and Lee M. Talbot, Crisis and Opportunity: Environment and Development in Africa. 1993. London: Earthscan.
8. Aarón Zazueta. Policy Hits the Ground: Participation and Equity in Environmental Policy-Making. 1995. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute; Cernea, Michael M. The Building Blocks of Participation: Testing Bottom-Up Planning. 1992. World Bank Discussion Paper no. 166. Washington, DC: The World Bank.
9. Aarón Zazueta. Policy Hits the Ground: Participation and Equity in Environmental Policy-Making. 1995. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.
10. Conversely, policies made without popular participation often contradict local needs and are insensitive to local concern. As a result, affected populations often reject and oppose their implementation. Government costs for implementation are high and implementation is low.
11. Aarón Zazueta. Policy Hits the Ground: Participation and Equity in Environmental Policy-Making. 1995. Washington, DC: World Resources institute. 12-15.
12. Peter Veit. From Crisis Management to Strategic Planning for Sustainable Development in Uganda. 1994. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.
13. If local policy is derived from and supports appropriate national policy, then both national and subnational policy are more likely to be well implemented. Still, some levels of local government in some countries have the authority to make both bylaws - local interpretations of national policy or legislation - and local laws that are independent from national policies or law. This is not to say that all local governments that do have decentralized authority write and implement good bylaws. On the contrary, many remain the implementors of top-down central governments incorporating the same top-down methods.
14. Harold Sibanda. NGO Influence on National Policy Formation in Zimbabwe. 1994. Boston, MA: Institute for Development Research.
15. Aarón Zazueta. Policy Hits the Ground: Participation and Equity in Environmental Policy-Making. 1995. Washington, DC: World Resources institute. Valerie Miller. NGO and Grassroots Policy Influence: What is Success? 1994. Boston, MA: Institute for Development Research.
16. Clement Dorm-Adzobu. New Roots: Institutionalizing Environmental Management in Africa. 1995. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.
18. Liz Rihoy, 1996, personal communication.
19. In the United States, registered PVOs are restricted from lobbying if they receive government money - even if private money is used. These are not restrictions in Africa, in part because few NGOs receive any money from their governments.
20. Dianne Rocheleau, 1997, personal communication.
21. Calestous Juma and John Mugabe, personal communication.
22. Peter Otim (CBR Researcher), 1996, personal communication.
23. Jonathan Otto and Kent Elbow. "Profile of National Policy: Natural Forest Management in Niger." In Natural Connections: Perspectives in Community-based Conservation. David Western and R. Michael Wright eds. 1994. Washington, DC: Island Press.
24. Simon Metcalfe. "The Zimbabwe Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE)." In Natural Connections: Perspectives in Community-based Conservation. David Western and R. Michael Wright eds. 1994. Washington, DC: Island Press.
25. Yolanda Kakabadse and Sarah Burns. Movers and Shapers: NGOs in International Affairs. 1994. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.
26. Ibrahima C. Diong, personal communication, September 1996.
27. J.F. Swartzendruber and Bernard Berka Njovens. NGOs, Environmental Awareness and Policy Advocacy in Cameroon. 1993. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.
28. An exception to this type of avoidance is the process surrounding the development of a new national environmental policy in South Africa. Aarón Zazueta. Policy Hits the Ground: Participation and Equity in Environmental Policy-Making. 1995. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.
29. Souleymane Zeba. Rôle des ONG dans la réforme des politiques des gestion de resources naturelles au Burkina Faso. 1995. Burkina Faso: La Fondation des Amis de la Nature (NATURAMA).
30. This is not to argue against the common command-and-control approaches favored in environmental policy and legislation. Rather, policy and supporting legislation should include a mix of regulations and minimum standards, punitive consequences for noncompliance, and incentives for compliance.
31. Centre for Basic Research. Regional Workshop in Public Interest Environment Law and Community-Based Initiatives for Sustainable Natural Resources Management in East Africa. 1995. Kampala, Uganda: Centre for Basic Research. Laura Hitchcock. Legal Issues in Community Forest Management in Lushoto District: Case Studies and Recommendations. 1995. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.
32. In Uganda, the new Environmental Statute prohibits citizens from suing the government on the rationale that this would increase litigation and clog the courts.
33. John Mugabe, Director of ACTS, personal communication, August 1996.
34. Peter G. Veit, Tanvi Nagpal, and Thomas Fox. Africa's Wealth, Woes, Worth. 1996. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.
35. Warren Christopher's commencement address at Stanford University, 1996.
36. Jessica Matthews. "Exodus of Authority." January 22,1996. The Washington Post.