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CIFOR–ICRAF addresses local challenges and opportunities while providing solutions to global problems for forests, landscapes, people and the planet.

We deliver actionable evidence and solutions to transform how land is used and how food is produced: conserving and restoring ecosystems, responding to the global climate, malnutrition, biodiversity and desertification crises. In short, improving people’s lives.

Enabling equitable collective action and policy change for poverty reduction and improved natural resource management in the Eastern African highlands

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Spontaneously organized institutions of collective action and the institutional effects of exogenous development interventions are both known to have a pro- found effect on development outcomes. 1 Despite an in-depth academic under- standing of the institutional foundations of development and natural resource management (NRM) development interventions continue to have a strong tech- nological bias. Development and conservation interventions continue to be carried out with an uncritical view to equity and the possible negative repercus- sions of interventions on certain social groups and environmental sustainability while local institutions (rules and structures) remain largely invisible to outside actors. 2 Yet the shortcomings lie not only with practitioners but also with research. Research on the institutional dimensions of development and NRM continues to emphasize the characteristics of existing institutions of collective action or institutional constraints on development rather than on ways to build stronger institutions where these are absent to address local development priorities

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