Toward improved impact evaluation of community forest management in Indonesia
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Many tropical countries continue to devolve forest management to forest-dwelling communities. The assumption is that local knowledge of forests and community engagement in forest management will attain multiple social and environmental co-benefits, such as poverty alleviation and reduced deforestation and fires. Evidence for this, however, is scant, commonly hampered by data availability and a lack of technical capacity for implementing statistically robust impact evaluations. Based on a practice-based review of policy implementation, impact evaluation of case studies and examples of counterfactual analyses from Indonesia, we demonstrate that it is increasingly feasible to determine the conditions under which community forest management will most likely achieve its social and environmental objectives. Adapting community forest management implementation based on feedback from accurate impact evaluation could lead to positive outcomes for people and environment in Indonesia, and across the tropical realm.