The CEPFOR Decision Support Tool (CDST) is a software tool that was developed by the CEPFOR Project, a collaborative research initiative that examined the factors influencing the success of commercializing non-timber forest products (NTFPs). The research was undertaken by a multi-disciplinary team drawn from organisations in the UK, Mexico and Bolivia, and examined 18 NTFP case-studies, ten from Mexico and eight from Bolivia. The CDST is based on the results generated by the research on these case studies.
The purpose of this tool is to support the process of decision-making when selecting NTFPs for potential development. The CDST is designed for use by anyone involved in NTFP commercialization, but is specifically aimed at supporting individuals or organisations working with communities and wanting to improve existing commercialization initiatives or establish new programmes of work. NTFPs are widely considered to offer a promising option for sustainable rural development. However, the successful development of a NTFP often requires, in addition to an enabling policy environment, substantial investment of time, money and human resources. This tool is designed to assist the process of effectively targeting such investments on NTFP commercialization initiatives most likely to succeed. In addition, it provides a means of identifying those situations where success is less likely, and where investments are therefore subject to a relatively high degree of risk.
Newton, A. CEPFOR Decision Support Tool. User Guide v 4.0. A final output of project R7925. (2005) 22 pp.