|People's Participation in Managing Common Pool Natural Resources : Lessons of Success in India (IRMA, 1992, 26 p.)|
This paper presents a critical review and analysis of five successful cases of common pool natural resources management in India and, based on the analysis done, identifies major determinants of people's participation in development and management of common pool natural resources. The term, people's participation, is used to mean the act of partaking by local people in all stages of common pool natural resources development and management programmes right from the designing of various resource development and conservation structures through monitoring and evaluation of their performance and impact. The case study method of research was used to explore the major determinants of people's participation. The findings of the research are generalised to the theory of collective action as developed by Mancur Olson (1971) and James M. Buchanan and Gordon Tullock (1965).
The five success stories selected for the study were: the Parwara Van (Forest) Panchayat in Uttar Pradesh, the Arabari Experiment in joint forest management in West Bengal, the Ralegan Siddhi project in micro-watershed development in Maharashtra, the Sukhomajri project in micro-watershed development in Haryana, and the Mohini Water Co-operative in Gujarat. The case studies revealed that the major determinants of people's participation in development and management of common pool natural resources were: substantial excess of expected private benefits from participation over the expected private costs of participation; high stakes of local people in the resource(s), organisation of local people in small groups; honest and good local leadership, existence and enforcement by the people involved of rules for regulation of resource use and for fair and equitable distribution of benefits from collective action; legal back up of the rules; involvement of non-governmental organisations in organising, educating, training, and motivating the people; and willingness and ability of government to provide needed financial and technical support.