Inclusive and gender-sensitive decision making Putting an approach to paper

Despite global approaches to forest management encouraging community participation and authority, decisions are often left to a select few. A method known as the Adaptive Collaborative Management (ACM) approach, developed by CIFOR scientists in the 1990s, tackles the issue by facilitating problem solving that involves everyone.

But as CIFOR’s Anne Larson and Esther Mwangi found, implementing ACM meant working with partners unaccustomed to gender equity or community participation approaches.

So, in 2014, having successfully used ACM to increase women’s participation and improve forest management in Uganda and Nicaragua, they decided to make implementing ACM easier for others. They launched a field guide, a simple and practical tool to help apply ACM in communities and specifically, one that focuses on increasing women’s participation. The guide helps brings inclusive and gender-sensitive forest management within everyone’s reach.

It is not about working with women, or doing ACM with women. It’s about organizing ACM ‘as usual’ but integrating the discussion, monitoring and analysis of women’s participation throughout the process, kind of a parallel adaptive management of gender relations.

Anne Larson
CIFOR Scientist

Related publication

Adaptive Collaborative Management (ACM) is a transformative problem-solving and management approach to learn and act collectively to systematically adapt to change and improve management outcomes.