Participation in forestry: A study of people`s participation on the social forestry policy in Bangladesh: Myth or reality?
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This study is an attempt to study and explore the extent of people’s participation in theSF policy of Bangladesh and what are the roles of the main stakeholders: bureaucrats,Union Parishad and NGOs in ensuring the expected level of people’s participation in thispolicy. In this regard, several hypotheses are developed and for answering thesequestions, a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods has been adopted.These questions can be explained or analyzed on the basis of some independent anddependent variables. The dependent variable in this study is people’s participation, whichis believed to be dependent upon certain actors and factors such as political and classicalbureaucrats, patron-client relationship between the participants, bureaucrats and localelites of SF policy, and socio-economic background of the SF farmers. It was assumedthat variables would influence and affect who participates in SF programs and their levelof participation. The above mentioned questions are addressed in the light of politicaland classical bureaucrats as concept analyzed by Putnam (1975, 87), as well as on thebasis of patron-client relationship, and theories of social capital.In the study it is found that the people’s participation in the SF policy illustrates thedissonance between myths and reality. SF’s performance in achieving the participatorygoals was poor. A number of common institutional and social problems seemed to haveshaped the performance. Participation of the main target group the landless, women anddisadvantaged class of the society is minimal in the project. The selection of themembers in the SF policy is the responsibility of the local Union Parishad Chairman. Butno certain rules were followed in selecting SF members. Classical nature of the bureaucrats (role-orientation), patron-client relationship among the stakeholders, poorsocio-economic background, NGOs ineffective role, lack of trust to the institutions likeUnion Parishad and bureaucracy are the main reasons for lack of people’s participationin the SF project. Among these factors patron-client relationship among the stakeholdersis found as the most dominate because this vicious network impede the extent ofpeople’s participation from the very beginning of the SF project to the last and demolishthat objectives of the government dreadfully.
UtgiverThe University of Bergen
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