Influencing forest policy process:Combining research with activism                     Naya Sharma                     Hem...
Key message Combining research with activism can effectively  communicate research findings and influence policy process...
Approaches to link research with activism Strategic analysis, monitoring and evidencing Supporting, empowering citizen n...
Key issues of forest sector in Nepal• Centralised policy process• Ongoing state-community  contestation• Continued expansi...
The actor landscape in forestry                                    Donors    Research    institutions                     ...
Engagement at different levels                                        Thematic reviews and analysis,                      ...
Alliance with civic    networks/movementsSupport in strategic planningProvide critical input to majorpolicy issues        ...
1. Identify policy agenda 2. Prepare for round-table meeting           Identify and invite                Identify and inv...
Engaging with media• Use of personal relations• Interaction with journalist,  engage them through critical  dialogue• Give...
Diverse andcustomisedproductsinvolve policymakerstargeteddistribution feedback andlearning
Our engagement in forest policy processesPolicy issues               Level         ForestAction contribution           Ach...
Joint                     Media             authorship                   engagement                            Publication...
M-SH process: a continued challenge• Question government monopoly• Lobby for, encourage M-SH process• Capacitate weak acto...
Forest Act amendment bill: A successful caseMedia reports                    Government proposal                          ...
Political vs. Intellectual argument                            CSOs                         planned a                     ...
Challenges                  Retaining                 good people         Unmet local                                     ...
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Influencing forest policy process (naya and hemant)

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Influencing forest policy process (naya and hemant)

  1. 1. Influencing forest policy process:Combining research with activism Naya Sharma Hemant Ojha
  2. 2. Key message Combining research with activism can effectively communicate research findings and influence policy process Influencing policy requires a versatile role, engaging beyond policy makers to policy actors Challenging political manoeuvring, interest based negotiation and donor hegemony require new breed of researcher-activists exciting achievements – but remains in the margin
  3. 3. Approaches to link research with activism Strategic analysis, monitoring and evidencing Supporting, empowering citizen networks Critically interrogate knowledge hegemony Constant engagement with policy actors Communicate to policy & epistemic community
  4. 4. Key issues of forest sector in Nepal• Centralised policy process• Ongoing state-community contestation• Continued expansion of PAs• Climate change, REDD, Churia Terai forests,• Differentiated communities and distributional conflicts• Forestry aid
  5. 5. The actor landscape in forestry Donors Research institutions INGOs Ministry, Dept ParliamentaryPrivate committeesector Citizen NGOs networks
  6. 6. Engagement at different levels Thematic reviews and analysis, National level strategic meetings, policy Policy forums discussions, networking,Research thematic workshops team Reflective workshops, Meso-forums coordinated support to local groups, feedback to Forest Department, Ministry Local facilitators Facilitate local level planning and CFUG implementation, monitoring and documentation, facilitate external linkage
  7. 7. Alliance with civic networks/movementsSupport in strategic planningProvide critical input to majorpolicy issues ButLow appreciation ofknowledge,Seek friendly evidence,Culture of defensive routine
  8. 8. 1. Identify policy agenda 2. Prepare for round-table meeting Identify and invite Identify and invite participants Set a round-table date and panelists venue Arrange logistics—recorder, camera, and Conduct diagnostic study and prepare projector presentation 3. Host the round-table meeting Seating of panelists and participants Make presentation and pose questions Recor d andSteps of hosting Mode Request the panelists for expert opinions note the rateNational Policy the discu ssion discu Round Table ssion Conduct moderated discussions amongst participants s s Draw substantive conclusions 4. Incorporate the conclusions into outputs Policy Brief Discussion Paper Booklet Synthesis report 5. Disseminate through media (media news, TV shows, and feature articles)
  9. 9. Engaging with media• Use of personal relations• Interaction with journalist, engage them through critical dialogue• Give interview, organise media interactions• Write column, help writers with ideas• TV programme broadcast, documentary• Press release
  10. 10. Diverse andcustomisedproductsinvolve policymakerstargeteddistribution feedback andlearning
  11. 11. Our engagement in forest policy processesPolicy issues Level ForestAction contribution AchievementSpecial forest policy for Policy Action researches Cartelize teraiTerai (April 2000) and Dissertations forest governancewider debate of Terai Book debateforest governance Journal articles Special issue of Journal on Terai forestCommunity Forestry Guidelines Actively participated in taskforce Pro-poor CFGuidelines Analysis and papers focusing guidelines pro-poor and inclusive provisionsForest Act amendment Act Field study Government(different attempts Discussion paper withdrewincluding 2001, 2010) Policy roundtable amendment billGaurisankhar Regulations Field study EnsuredConservation Area Policy roundtable community rights(2010-2011) in Gaurisankhar CA regulations withCF inventory guidelines Guidelines Field study and report Simplified CF(September 2000) Review article in JFL inventory guidelines
  12. 12. Joint Media authorship engagement Publications (encourage to read and write )Contribute tomajor events(CF WS, GACF) Spectrum of Action research engagement and multi level engagement Organise policy forums Alliance with citizen Meeting, networks Contribute to govt. reflections processes with policy makers
  13. 13. M-SH process: a continued challenge• Question government monopoly• Lobby for, encourage M-SH process• Capacitate weak actors, question and contest the hegemonic relations• Critical input to meetings, w/s• Challenges: strategic manipulation, representation, accountability, unequal deliberative competency
  14. 14. Forest Act amendment bill: A successful caseMedia reports Government proposal FECOFUN protest Amendment bill withdrawn Policy round table Discussion paper Field research
  15. 15. Political vs. Intellectual argument CSOs planned a FA conducted study a study Was not impressive Conducted a Used participatory scientific Diverse parties discipline study appreciatedShared in a press conference Presented in a Report blamed policy Prepared a discussion bureaucracy roundtable paper
  16. 16. Challenges Retaining good people Unmet local expectations Socialaccountability research – Project advocacy liabilities balance Evidence vs Limited political research manoeuvring Knowledge funds monopoly of large institutions

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