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Research Report

Coping Amidst Chaos: Studies on Adaptive Collaborative Management from Zimbabwe

Alois Mandondo
Ravi Prabhu
Frank Matose
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2008
Pages: 154
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. xii-xviii)
    Marshall W. Murphree

    This book will intrigue the scholar of collaborative interaction, enlighten the sensitive facilitator of rural development, and irritate the disciples of social engineering. Empirically grounded in three case studies taken from Zimbabwe, the analysis provides a vivid depiction of the constraints under which the rurally impoverished struggle both individually and collectively to maintain and improve their livelihoods. Given the current prominence accorded to poverty in Zimbabwe in the international media, readers will not be surprised to encounter its manifestations in these pages, where rural peoples struggle to make a living on an inadequate resource base left to them when colonialism...

  2. (pp. 1-14)
    Ravi Prabhu and Frank Matose

    In late 2008 the inflation rate in Zimbabwe exceeded 11,000,000 percent per year, becoming the highest in the world (, having risen from 48 percent in the previous decade. Although the United Nations generally uses economic and human well-being indicators to evaluate the status of a country, natural resources indicators also point to deterioration (UNEP n.d.). The severe economic downturn in Zimbabwe has exacerbated the problems caused by HIV-AIDS, the prevalence of which among adults is estimated at 20.1 percent (UNAIDS 2006); the fourth highest rate in the world and second only to Botswana among neighbouring countries, although infection rates...

  3. (pp. 15-64)
    Tendayi Mutimukuru-Maravanyika, Ravi Prabhu, Frank Matose, Richard Nyirenda and Witness Kozanayi

    Exclusionary forest management approaches have often caused conflicts and degradation of resources (Pimbert and Pretty 1995). A common characteristic of such approaches is that local people continue to access protected resources illegally. New approaches to forest management in developing countries seek to resolve such conflicts by simultaneously addressing both conservation and the well-being of communities living in and around the forest. Participation of local people in management processes is regarded as crucial for striking a balance between conservation and the improvement of human lives (Wilshusen et al. 2002; Brechin et al. 2002; Borrinni-Feyerabend 1996). Such people-centred projects have been given...

  4. (pp. 65-90)
    Nontokozo Nemarundwe and Manyewu Mutamba

    Adaptive management is one of many community-based resource management approaches that have been tested in Southern Africa during the past two decades. Adaptive management is based on experiential learning and decision making, buttressed by active monitoring and feedback from the outcomes of decisions, and applied to the management of complex systems (Jiggins and Röling 1999). It is concerned with relations between people and their environment; in particular, the ecological processes on which human existence depends.

    Jiggins and Röling (1999) identify three benefits of using the adaptive management approach. The first is the potential to avert crises in conditions of uncertainty...

  5. (pp. 91-118)
    Catherine Chahweta and Alois Mandondo

    The merits of adopting an adaptive perspective to natural resource management among the rural poor are now more readily understood and accepted. Improving people’s adaptive abilities is hypothesized to deliver better results than expert-driven approaches (Sayer and Campbell 2003; Douthwaite et al. 2003), largely because adaptive approaches provide an inclusive ‘learning paradigm’ in which outside experts and local people engage and learn together (Sayer and Campbell no date). The adaptive learning paradigm is ideally based on a cyclic learning model in which an expert helps farmers and local resource users understand their situation, reflect on ways forward, implement appropriate corrective...

  6. (pp. 119-132)
    Alois Mandondo and Frank Matose

    This discussion draws the preceding chapters together by considering the body of experience emerging from the three case studies. The main issues raised in the introduction are here revisited as questions, classified into four distinct but related discussion domains. The first considers the extent to which each case was formally structured, since adaptive collaborative management (ACM) is an iterative ‘learning whilst doing’ process that occurs in a consciously structured way. The next section considers how nuances in each case’s design impinged on outcomes, inasmuch as they are desired and expected. A subsequent section, informed by recognition that ACM is a...