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Good Governance: What can we learn from the Forest Sector?

Working papers

Written by Neil Bird

This paper examines some of the key elements of good governance including transparent and equitable relationships between stakeholders, public accountability and participatory decision-making. It takes as an example the forest sector, which has made surprising gains in its application of good governance ideas. Forestry's inclusive focus, linking the global to the national and local; the centrality of issues of tenure and collective rights; and its importance in rural livelihoods, all reinforce the linkages between good governance, public accountability and poverty alleviation. The impact of improving governance is evident at several levels: decentralisation has changed the balance of power and decision-making between central government and the periphery; relationships between government and civil society have benefited as donor-promoted participation has created significant space for civil society voices to be heard; and new models are being developed for relationships within civil society and particularly within communities.

David Brown, Kathrin Schreckenberg, Gill Shepherd and Adrian Wells, with Cecilia Luttrell and Neil Bird