What does community mean for farmer adoption of conservation practices some logic and evidence
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What does “community” mean for farmer adoption of conservation practices? Some logic and evidence. Graham Marshall Institute for Rural Futures, Uni. of New England. “We are trying to encourage a process of self-help … Some day the local community has to pick up all this.”

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What does community mean for farmer adoption of conservation practices some logic and evidence

What does “community” mean for farmer adoption of conservation practices?Some logic and evidence

Graham Marshall

Institute for Rural Futures, Uni. of New England


“We are trying to encourage a process of self-help … Some day the local community has to pick up all this.”

- Commonwealth Dep’t Primary Industries & Energy, 1989.


“A strong feeling of ownership over the NRM planning process will increase motivation and likelihood that the outcomes identified in the regional integrated NRM plans are achieved.”

- National NRM Capacity Building Framework, 2002


Key points
Key points process will increase motivation and likelihood that the outcomes identified in the regional integrated NRM plans are achieved.”

  • The raison d’etre of community-based NRM lies in helping people to help themselves

  • We need to acknowledge, understand, and learn how to address the “Samaritan’s Dilemma” that faces us in helping farmers’ self-help

  • Targets, program logic, and M & E need, at all levels, to change as we learn.


Origins and evolution of rural cbnrm in australia
Origins and evolution of rural CBNRM in Australia process will increase motivation and likelihood that the outcomes identified in the regional integrated NRM plans are achieved.”

  • Prior approaches to helping farmers conserve natural resources fostered dependency

  • NRM programs seek to help people manage their resource problems

  • Community-based NRM programs seek to help people to help themselves


  • CBNRM soon became understood mainly through the lens of “extension thinking”

  • Rural extension was the dominant social-scientific tradition for agricultural issues

  • Governments concerned that farmers lacked awareness, knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to address NRM issues

  • Political reasons for CBNRM focusing “community” programs on extension



The samaritan s dilemma
The Samaritan’s Dilemma funds further by ‘kick starting’ local voluntarism


“The paradox of supplying help to self-help is the fundamental conundrum of all helping relationships. Most external help actually overrides or undercuts the budding capacity for self-help and thus ends up being unhelpful”.

- David Ellerman, 2007.


  • 1978 ~ James Buchanan developed a game-theory model of this paradox called the “Samaritan’s Dilemma”

  • Self-interest of helper propels unconditional help, thus weakening self-help

    • compulsion to see problems solved

    • empire-building, turf protection, “getting money out the door”

    • scepticism about recipient capacities for self-help

  • The helper needs “strategic courage”

    • but Buchanan felt increasing wealth had made “soft options” too hard to resist


  • 1979 ~ The neo-liberal “revolution” begins (with Thatcherism)

  • Strong on strategic courage, but weak on theory

  • Committed to smaller government and reciprocity

  • Focus on market (and market-like) solutions

  • Purchaser-provider arrangements embraced

  • Reciprocity to be enforced by rigorous accountability measures


Helping self help under regional nrm delivery
Helping self-help under Thatcherism)regional NRM delivery


  • Regional delivery model a neo-liberal exercise in “new public management”

  • Stringent financial accountability measures follow frustrations with “cost shifting”

  • But coercing reciprocity is costly

    • Limited resources to monitor compliance with conditions attached to help

    • Difficult to establish the “without help scenario”


  • Most farmer lapses in reciprocating help may be motivated unconsciously by reduced pressure to help themselves, eg. by

    • reducing land-use intensity

    • keeping up with R&D

    • experimenting with solutions on-farm

    • sending kids to university

    • cooperating with neighbours

  • Help is unlikely to strengthen farmer self-help substantially unless most of their reciprocity is voluntary


Cbnrm farmers and reciprocity
CBNRM, farmers, and reciprocity unconsciously by reduced pressure to help themselves, eg. by



How might cbnrm change the payoffs
How might CBNRM “change the payoffs”? unconsciously by reduced pressure to help themselves, eg. by

  • Greater “community ownership” of decisions by farmers?

  • Greater “ownership” of funds by administrators increases their strategic courage?

  • Or … community body less able to deny help when reciprocity requires?

    • advantages of government acting as “bad cop”


How might cbnrm enlarge the shadow of the future
How might CBNRM enlarge the “shadow of the future”? unconsciously by reduced pressure to help themselves, eg. by

  • Easier mutual monitoring by helpers and recipients?

  • More durable interactions between helpers and recipients?

  • More frequent interactions between helpers and recipients?


Some evidence
Some evidence unconsciously by reduced pressure to help themselves, eg. by


Method
Method unconsciously by reduced pressure to help themselves, eg. by

  • Survey a sample of farmers

  • Measure their (a) trust in their community-based agency, and (b) intentions to adopt practices it promotes to them.

  • Test statistically whether the relationship between trust and intentions is positive (indicating reciprocity).

  • Control for influence of other relevant factors.


  • Two projects: unconsciously by reduced pressure to help themselves, eg. by

  • Land and Water Management Planning (LWMP) in NSW’s Murray Irrigation Districts - surveyed 1999.

  • Regional NRM delivery in 3 NRM regions – surveyed 2006:

    • Fitzroy Basin (Qld)

    • Mallee (Vic)

    • South West Catchments (WA).


Murray lwmp project
Murray LWMP project unconsciously by reduced pressure to help themselves, eg. by

  • 7,490 km2; 25,000 people; 1,610 farms.

  • Historic antagonism between irrigators and NSW Government

  • 1991 ~ Start developing community-based plans focused on irrigation salinity

  • 1996 ~ Murray Irrigation Ltd, co-owned by irrigators, made responsible for ensuring farmers help implement the LWMPs by complying with their cost-sharing commitments .



Regional delivery project
Regional delivery project farmers’ intentions to comply and their trust in their community-based corporation

  • Fitzroy Basin Region

    • 156,000 km2; 200,000 people.

    • CBNRM body is Fitzroy Basin Association (FBA)

  • Central Highlands sub-region

    • 45,000 km2; 20,000 people.

    • CBNRM body is Central Highlands Resources Use Planning Cooperative (CHRRUP)


  • Mallee Region farmers’ intentions to comply and their trust in their community-based corporation

    • 39,000 km2; 65,000 people.

    • focused on dryland area of region.

    • CBNRM body is Mallee Catchment Management Authority.

    • NRM delivery not devolved to sub-regional level


  • South West Catchments Region farmers’ intentions to comply and their trust in their community-based corporation

    • 51,657 km2; 193,000 people; 5,000 farms.

    • CBNRM body is South West Catchments Council.

  • Blackwood Basin sub-region

    • 23,500 km2;37,000 people; 2,000 farms.

    • CBNRM body is Blackwood Basin Group (BBG).


  • Given the farmers’ intentions to comply and their trust in their community-based corporation

    (a) greater scales of the regional-delivery cases, compared with the LWMP case, and

    (b) logic that increased scale lessens farmer incentives to practise reciprocity,

  • … Farmer reciprocity was expected to be weaker in the regional-delivery cases

  • … Although less weakened when delivery was devolved to the sub-regional level.


  • Models were estimated for each of the 22 key conservation practices promoted across the three regions (7 by CHRRUP, 7 by Mallee CMA, 8 by BBG)

  • Only one model (4.5%) indicated farmers were practising reciprocity with their regional CBNRM body

  • This model was for the Mallee Region, where farmer interaction with the regional body was not reduced by presence of a sub-regional body

  • In the two regions with sub-regional bodies, 9 of the 15 models (60%) indicated farmers were practising reciprocity with their subregional body



Conclusions
Conclusions effective in strengthening farmer capacities for self-help, although this benefit declines with increasing scale of CBNRM


  • The effective in strengthening farmer capacities for self-help, although this benefit declines with increasing scale of CBNRMraison d’etre of community-based NRM lies in helping people to help themselves

  • It is about making community members more likely to reciprocate the help given them under CBNRM

  • Help from CBNRM may include leadership, networking, R&D, financial incentives, social incentives, regulation, extension, etc.

    • Extension is important but only part of the picture



Key points1
Key points how to solve the Samaritan’s Dilemma

  • The raison d’etre of community-based NRM lies in helping people to help themselves

  • We need to acknowledge, understand, and learn how to address the “Samaritan’s Dilemma” that faces us in helping farmers’ self-help

  • Targets, program logic, and M & E need, at all levels, to change as we learn.


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