Poverty and Decentralisation

Governments in many countries are changing their structures to transfer control over decision making and budgets to local governments. These reforms are providing local governments with tremendous opportunities to address poverty in ways that are locally relevant. The opportunities are especially significant to forest communities, who have historically benefited little from government services and poverty elimination programs because of their physical isolation and social marginalization.

About the Source Book

This book was written for local governments and their partners who want to be more responsive to local poverty.

We first discuss important concepts, such as decentralization, wellbeing, poverty and the link between forests and poverty.

We address the multiple dimensions of wellbeing, from income to health, social conflict, environment and happiness.

We then present four participatory tools that local governments may find useful to involve forest communities in the planning, monitoring and evaluation of local programs:

  1. Monitoring local poverty contexts through interactive mapping,
  2. Monitoring household wellbeing through local indicators,
  3. Community evaluation of local government programs,
  4. Communicating communities’ needs through scenario-based planning

© 2007 Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
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