Multi-stakeholder Sustainability Initiatives in the Global South: Governance, Complexity and Outcomes

Authors: Opportuna Kweka*, University of Dar es Salaam, Stefano Ponte, Copenhagen Business School
Topics: Cultural and Political Ecology, Environment, Development
Keywords: sustainability, partnerships, natural resources, multi-stakeholder initiatives, Tanzania
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Evergreen, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


New and more complex partnerships are emerging to address the sustainability of natural resource use in developing countries. These partnerships variously link donors, governments, community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), business, certification agencies and other intermediaries. High expectations and many resources have been invested in these initiatives. Yet, we still do not know whether more sophisticated organizational structures, more stakeholders involved, and more advanced participatory processes have delivered better sustainability outcomes, and if so, in what sectors and under what circumstances. The ‘New Partnerships for Sustainability (NEPSUS) research project assembles a multidisciplinary team to analyze sustainability partnerships in three key natural resource sectors in Tanzania: forestry, wildlife and coastal resources. In each of these sectors, NEPSUS seeks to assess whether co-management with local communities and private and civil society actors, and putatively more participatory processes in the governance of renewable resources, result in more equitable and sustainable livelihoods and environmental outcomes. NEPSUS compares ‘more complex’ partnerships to relatively ‘simpler’, more traditional top-down and centralized management systems, and to instances where sustainability partnerships are not in place. In this presentation, we tackle some of the main conceptual, methodological and research design issues arising in this effort.

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