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Contextual factors, property regimes, and environmental outcomes: Applying a realist synthesis approach to a systematic review of marine protected areas


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Presented by Rebecca McLain, Steven Lawry and Maria Ojanen at the World Bank COnference on Land and Poverty in Washington, DC, 20-24 March 2017.

Published in: Environment
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Contextual factors, property regimes, and environmental outcomes: Applying a realist synthesis approach to a systematic review of marine protected areas

  1. 1. CONTEXTUAL FACTORS, PROPERTY REGIMES, AND ENVIRONMENTAL OUTCOMES Applying a realist synthesis approach to a systematic review of marine protected areas REBECCA MCLAIN1, STEVEN LAWRY2, MARIA OJANEN2 1Institute for Sustainable Solutions, Portland State University, USA 2Center for International Forestry Research
  2. 2. Often research focuses on one place (or two or three) to get that rich information. Understanding why some interventions succeed and some fail A realist synthesis approach Behavior is influenced by the people, social structures, history & natural environment around us.
  3. 3. But it’s difficult to identify patterns from separate case studies... ?? ? ? ? ? And understanding patterns in behavior & outcomes is important to designing policy that works. ? ? ? ? Understanding why some interventions succeed and some fail A realist synthesis approach
  4. 4. Understanding why some interventions succeed and some fail A realist synthesis approach Meta-analyses and systematic reviews are good tools for measuring variations in outcomes across a large number of studies... ...but struggle to identify how differing social and environmental contexts influence those outcomes. ??
  5. 5. Understanding why some interventions succeed and some fail A realist synthesis approach policy interventions are likely to result in particular outcomes. In other words: Why policy interventions work in some contexts, but not others. It helps to answer when how where why and for whom Realist synthesis – a technique for reviewing evidence alongside relevant contextual factors from many studies – offers a solution.
  6. 6. Policy interventions in natural resource management STATEHow people use and manage natural resources is influenced by the property regime. That is, who owns the resource, who makes the decisions about how it is used, and who benefits from it. There is a lot of variation within different property regimes COMMUNITY HYBRID +
  7. 7. ...the mechanism of action......affects... The context... Perceptions about the property regime: “Is it ecologically credible, socially acceptable, & recognized as having legal authority?” (legitimacy) “Can the rules be enforced?” (enforcement capacity) “Will benefits go to the right people?” (likelihood benefits) All the parts that together make a place unique... ...the property regime & + A realist synthesis theory of change applied ...which all affect... ...the outcome. How people behave The resource condition
  8. 8. Realist Synthesis in action: A spotlight on fisheries management Case selection: Using a realist synthesis approach, we identified factors that affect environmental outcomes of fisheries management under different types of property regimes. 34984 possible articles in initial search 31 articles match selection criteria, covering: 49 fisheries management cases: 9 from Africa 18 from Latin America/Caribbean 22 from Asia/Pacific Filtered using selection criteria: a) quantitative description of environmental outcomes; b) clear description of distribution of bundle of rights
  9. 9. A realist synthesis theory of change applied 14 state regimes % cases with better outcomes than their controlsites: Selected cases by property regime: 69% 58% 43% 16 customary regimes + 19 hybrid regimes Analysis, Phase 1: Overview
  10. 10. A realist synthesis theory of change applied Analysis, Phase 2: 15 cases of in-depth analysis Sample case shown here: Roviana Lagoon, Solomon Islands study by Aswani and Weiant 2004 Outcome: - Most of the community respectsthe closure - Shellfish size & numbers improve - However, communities are considering formalsurveillance measures Intervention context: Shellfish collecting closed from September to April. Recommending permanent closures for someareas - Backed byrespected churchleader - Transparent, participative approach to thechange - Harvesters can seeshell beds recoveringrapidly - However, illegal harvesting is aproblem Mechanisms: - “I recognize that community leaders have the authority to make these new rules and believe they will lead to moreshellfish” - “It’s reasonablylikely that I will be caught if Ipoach” - “I will benefitfrom these new rules and so will the community” Community context: - Twodistinct, generations-old customaryregimes - Traditional property regimesrecognized by nationallaw - Tensionbetween and withinclans - Remote location - Women are the primaryshellfish collectors CONTEXT MECHANISM+ OUTCOME=
  11. 11. A realist synthesis theory of change applied What we learned People’s perceptions of the legitimacy, enforcement capacity and likelihood of benefits from an intervention can both strengthenand weaken protection efforts. Perceptions of legitimacy are the most complex, involving theinteraction of legally recognized authority, social acceptability, and ecological credibility. Perceptions of legitimacy, enforcement capacity, and likelihood ofbenefits do not operate independently of each other but rather function as a set of interactingcomponents. Understanding these perceptions and how they interact will increase the likelihood of successful and sustainable introduced conservationpractices.
  12. 12. References Agrawal,A.,& Benson,C.S.(2011).Common propertytheoryand resource governanceinstitutions:strengtheningexplanationsof multipleoutcomes. EnvironmentalConservation,38(2),199-210. doi:10.1017/S0376892910000925 Brooks,J.,Waylen,K.A.,&BorgerhoffMulder,M.(2013).Assessing community-based conservationprojects: Asystematic reviewand multilevelanalysisof attitudinal,behavioral,ecological,andeconomic outcomes. EnvironmentalEvidence,2(2). Dalkin,S.M.,Greenhalgh,J.,Jones,D.,Cunningham,B.,&Lhuissier,M. (2015).What’sina mechanism? Developmentof a keyconcept in realist evaluation.ImplementationScience,10,49. Durham,J.,&Bains,A.(2015).Research protocol:a realistsynthesis of contestability in community-based mental health markets.Systematic Reviews,4,32. Lawry,S.Samii,C.,Hall,R.,Leopold,A.,Hornby,D., &Mtero F.(2016).The impact of landpropertyrights interventionsoninvestment and agricultural productivityindevelopingcountries:a systematic review.Journalof DevelopmentEffectiveness. Nilsson, D.,Baxter,G.,Butler,J.R.A.,&McAlpine,C.A. (2016).How do community-based conservationprogramsindevelopingcountries change human behavior?Arealistsynthesis.BiologicalConservation,200,93-103. Ojanen,M.,Zhou,W.,Mshale,B.,Nieto,S.H.,Durey,L.,Miller,D.C.,Mwangi, E.,& Petrokofsky,G.(2015).Environmentalimpacts of different property regimesin forests,fisheries andrangelands:preliminaryfindings froma systematic review.Paperpresented at theInternationalAssociation forthe Studyof theCommons annualconference,Alberta,Canada.Onfilewith leadauthor. Ojanen,M.,Zhou,W.,Miller,D.C.,Petrokofsky,G.,Nieto,S.H.,& Mshale,B. (In review).Environmentalimpacts ofdifferent propertyregimes inforests, fisheriesand rangelands:a systematic review.EnvironmentalEvidence. Pawson,R.,& Tilley,N.(1997).Realisticevaluation.London,SAGE. Robinson,B.E.,Holland,M.B.,&Naughton-Treves,L.(2014).Does secure landtenuresaveforests? Ameta-analysisof therelationshipbetweenland tenureand tropicaldeforestation.Global EnvironmentalChange,29,281- 293. Rycroft-Malone,J.,McCormack,B.,Hutchinson, A.M.,DeCorby,K., Bucknall,T.K.,Kent,B.,Schultz,A.,Senlgrove-Clarke,E.,Stetler,C.B., Titler, M.,Wallin,L.,& Wilson,V.(2012).Realistsynthesis: illustratingthe method for implementationresearch.ImplementationScience,7(33). Schlager,E.,& Ostrom,E.(1992).Propertyrightsregimesand natural resources:Aconceptual analysis.LandEconomics,68(3),249-262. Yin,R.,Zulu,L.,Qi,J.,Freudenberger,M.,& Sommerville,M.(2016). Empiricallinkagesbetweendevolvedtenuresystems andforest conditions: Challenges,findings,andrecommendations.Forest Policyand Economics, 73,294-299.
  13. 13. THANK YOU Funding: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM) (Activity Number 176)