Implementing Climate-Compatible Development in the Context of Power: Lessons for Encouraging Procedural Justice through Community-Based Projects
- Identify the extent to which different individuals and groups have been recognised by, and are able to participate in, processes used to implement case study projects in Malawi;
- Ascertain how power shapes and conditions case study projects’ procedural (in)justice implications.
2. Community-Based Projects and Procedural Justice: Evidence from Theory and Practice
3. Research Approach and Methods
3.1. Research Context and Case Study Approach
3.2. Material Collection and Analysis
4.1. Introduction Space
4.2. Execution Space
4.3. Monitoring and Evaluation Space
5.1. Co-Produce Power Analyses
5.2. Reduce Opportunities for Domination
5.3. Identify Enabling Factors to Engage the Most Vulnerable
5.4. Take Steps to Reconcile World Views through Project Implementation (and Design)
5.5. Establish Independent Grievance Procedures
5.6. Challenge Supra-Local Drivers of Vulnerability
Conflicts of Interest
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|Issue||Procedural Justice Implications [Power Dynamics in Square Brackets]||References|
|Local leaders and other authority figures actors subvert ‘fair’ decision-making processes||Local leaders and other authority figures use their influence [hidden power] to dominate decision-making with opportunities for less powerful people curtailed||Mansuri and Rao , Wong , Stringer, et al. , Barrett |
|As a consequence of dominating decision-making, authority figures, their family and close acquaintances benefit disproportionately from project inputs and outputs (although sometimes control of participatory processes is used to benefit vulnerable groups). Accrued resources [which enhance leaders’ and authority figures’ visible power] further entrench their domination over decision-making processes|
|Project design overlooks that ‘communities’ are made up of local people with diverse interests, identities and capabilities||Particularly vulnerable groups lack the resources [visible powerlessness] that they need to participate in project activities and decision-making e.g., financial capital/assets, land, time||Agrawal and Gibson , Hendrickson and Corbera , McDermott and Schreckenberg , Ellis , Nation |
|Particularly vulnerable groups sometimes suffer from low self-esteem [a lack of invisible power] and therefore fail to register to participate in project activities or speak within decision-making fora|
|Context-specific community norms influence for whom participation is deemed socially acceptable [invisible power]. These norms may be at odds with the intentions of project developers|
|Worldviews of local people at odds with project developers||Local people regard climate change as a natural phenomenon beyond human control and do not have access to climate science that informs project design. Their participation in mitigation activities may be therefore motivated by incomplete or misunderstandings [invisible powerlessness]||Jindal et al. ; Mubaya et al. ;|
|Projects frame target populations’ vulnerability to climate and development shocks as an exclusively local issue||Projects do not recognise or aim to alleviate international (e.g., globalisation, trade agreements), national (e.g., ill-conceived government policies) and regional factors (e.g., inadequate extension support) that condition local vulnerabilities and might compromise project success [an invisible power dynamic]||Dodman and Mitlin , Tompkins, et al. , Cunguara and Moder , O’Brien and Leichenko |
|Procedural Injustice Reported||Description [Associated Power Dynamics in Square Brackets]||Reported by|
|Mismatches between district government records of village boundaries and local people’s conceptions meant some intended target households not introduced to projects||20 KV2 households were not invited to introductory meetings because local leaders did not regard them as village residents [local leaders’ hidden power enabled them to determine who was recognised as eligible to participate in the ECRP] 1||5 NGO employees; 5 KV2 households (1 EH HAW; 1 FH AW; 1 HAW female and elderly-headed; 1 AW; 1 AW FH)|
|Householders unable to ask questions and express their opinions about projects during introductory meetings||“In village meetings, authorities say things but they do not ask for comments, which makes us feel bad and like we are worth nothing” (LAW, EH household head, KV1) [local leaders’ hidden power enabled them to restrict participation in introductory meetings]||11 household interviewees spanning all household types across all study villages|
|Households unable to self-manage selection of project activities, committee members, VEMs and project activity participants||Field staff reportedly chose activities prior to local engagement in NV2: “We were just told of the activities. There were no opportunities for us to choose” (VH NV2) [the hidden power of field staff enabled them to restrict opportunities for households to self-select project activities]||VH NV2|
|Committee members and VEMs were chosen by the VH in NV2 [misuse of the VH’s hidden power]||5/22 NV2 household interviewees|
|VHs, committee members and VEMs controlled the selection of participants for project activities: “the leadership and committee members chose everything” (household interviewee) [misuse of hidden power]||(2 AW; 1 AW female- and elderly-headed; 1 EH AW; 1 HAW)|
21 households spanning all types across study villages in Dedza and Nsanje
|Households||Number (%) of Households Taking Part in One or More Project Activities||Average Number of Activities per Household|
|Average Wealth (AW)||201/258 (77%)||2.13|
|Less-than-average Wealth (LAW)||53/105 (50%)||1.92|
|Higher-than-average Wealth (HAW)||75/88 (85%)||2.71|
|Female-Headed (FH)||53/94 (56%)||2.07|
|Elderly-Headed (EH)||92/135 (68%)||2.21|
|Barrier Type||Description||Reported by|
|Resource poverty||Households’ lack of material wealth limited project participation:||50 LAW and AW households across all study villages|
|Incapacity||Physical disability and frailty due to old age prevented adult household members from taking part in project activities.||26 EH households across all villages and 5 households (one from DV2, KV1 and KV2; two from DV1) whose adult members suffered from disabilities|
|Caregiver||Female household heads, who were often widowed, were forced to spend most of their time doing domestic work and caring for children.||17 FH households from DV1, DV2 and KV2|
|Level||Monitoring and Evaluation Issue||Response|
(1) Village livestock destroy stalks required for organic soil cover under conservation agriculture.
(2) Households worried about theft of VSLA savings.
(1) The Field Officer “taught us a new method of storing the stalks, which involved tying the stalks together and looking after them at our homes” (AW household head, KV2).
(2) “[The VEM] helped us set up an account at the Malawi Savings Bank to make things safe” (EH AW household head, NV1).
|District||Externally-reared goats transported to Kasungu (ECRProject) and Salima (DISCOVER) for livestock production schemes dying of local diseases.||Coupons provided to households for purchase of local goats (two NGO employees).|
(1) ECRProject afforestation targets were missed.
(2) Households suffering from poor water access struggle to participate in DISCOVER.
(1) Switch to all-year round tree-planting 
(2) Households incorporated into Concern Universal-led ‘Water, Sanitation and Hygiene’ programme in Dedza (NGO employee).
|Methodology||Project Location||Description||Possible Limitations|
|Scorecard||ECRProject: Kasungu, Nsanje (in operation)||Local people rate different aspects of project performance within focus groups and give qualitative insights that explain their answers (three NGO employees).|
|Community Accountability Boxes||DISCOVER: Nsanje (proposed)||Suggestion boxes located in villages allow local people to express comments and grievances. |
Boxes will be “locked at all times and…keys will be kept by the monitoring and evaluation officer” who will open them every month in the presence of a District Government employee .
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Wood, B.T.; Dougill, A.J.; Stringer, L.C.; Quinn, C.H. Implementing Climate-Compatible Development in the Context of Power: Lessons for Encouraging Procedural Justice through Community-Based Projects. Resources 2018, 7, 36. https://doi.org/10.3390/resources7020036
Wood BT, Dougill AJ, Stringer LC, Quinn CH. Implementing Climate-Compatible Development in the Context of Power: Lessons for Encouraging Procedural Justice through Community-Based Projects. Resources. 2018; 7(2):36. https://doi.org/10.3390/resources7020036Chicago/Turabian Style
Wood, Benjamin T., Andrew J. Dougill, Lindsay C. Stringer, and Claire H. Quinn. 2018. "Implementing Climate-Compatible Development in the Context of Power: Lessons for Encouraging Procedural Justice through Community-Based Projects" Resources 7, no. 2: 36. https://doi.org/10.3390/resources7020036