Ombudsmen have played an important role in the process of state transformation in recent decades. From slow beginnings, the institution has been taken up on all continents and in many countries, albeit with varying levels of political commitment and uneven success. This paper examines the history and functioning of contrasting types of ombudsmen for the light that they can shed on forest verification. Different models are considered and the key conditions determining their effectiveness are compared. The paper highlights an essential parallel between the aims of ombudsmen and forest verification: their relation to self-strengthening systems of democratic governance and to questions of institution building and state accountability.
Mariteuw Chimère Diaw