Forest User Groups (FUGs) in Nepal have become established as permanent grassroots local institutions. The most dynamic FUGs illustrate the remarkable achievements that are possible: beyond successfully protecting and managing their forest resources they are also assuming a co-ordinating role for wider community development.
This paper focuses on the planning, decision-making and implementation functions of FUGs. It aims firstly, to assess FUG performance on the basis of forest users' own indicators. It then discusses the need for more decentralized, inclusive, tole (hamlet)-based processes and presents a method of moving in this direction, namely, 'micro-level action planning'. This simple approach was piloted in 11 FUGs during the study and led to significant improvements in terms of helping to address elite biases in decision-making, and negotiating more inclusive and equitable livelihood and community development initiatives. The method also motivated FUGs to widen their scope of activities.
Dev, O.P.; Springate-Baginski, O.; Yadav, N.P.; Soussan, J. Hamlet-based micro-level action planning: A tool for improving forest user group’s planning, decision-making and implementation. Journal of Forest and Livelihood (2003) 3 (1) 51-63.