Success in Community-Based Forestry: Is the Community Missing?

G. Prateek, R. C. Knopf

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Scopus citations


    Evaluation of successful outcomes in community-based natural resource management has long been debated in academic and policy literature. Scholarly assessments of success in Van Panchayats (VPs) of Uttarakhand, representing the oldest thriving institution of community-based forestry in India, are also under contestation. Predominantly, success has been identified with forest conditions (ecological) and the workings of VPs (institutional). Although these assessments have been useful, the perspectives of the community of users in defining successful outcomes have been less emphasized. Drawing upon two phases of field-work in Almora, Uttarakhand we first use an interpretive approach in exploring the success of VPs through the narrative framings of its three primary stakeholders. Through qualitative analysis, we show the prominence of three contextual issues: human-wildlife conflicts, constraints to women's participation, and subsistence livelihood needs, deemed crucial to the success of VPs by the user's community. Using the analysis of household survey data and secondary sources in the second phase of field work, we then show the validity of the community's concerns raised in the first phase. As a result, we argue that evaluations of successful outcomes should consider interpretive approaches, involving the community of users, to uncover the local contextual conditions crucial to the success of community-based forestry.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)518-530
    Number of pages13
    JournalInternational Forestry Review
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


    • interpretive approach
    • narrative analysis
    • stakeholders
    • success evaluation
    • Van Panchayats

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Forestry
    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Ecology


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