NGOs Facilitating Internal Governance Processes in Community Forestry Initiatives
A recent multi-country review assessed the ways in which community forest tenure models contribute to local livelihoods and forest conservation, and the role that non-governmental organisations (NGOs) play in this. The review identified ten conditions for successful devolution of forest tenure rights to communities. One of the conditions is inclusive community-level governance, which is the focus of this article. Community-level governance is highly complex and context-specific, and NGOs that intervene at the community level will need to find ways to support inclusive local governance, without imposing externally defined structures and principles in a top-down manner. This article describes some of the challenges in community governance and presents suggestions for NGOs to support communities.