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This is the central question of a new study published in Global Environmental Change by centre researcher Tim Daw and colleagues. They have studied this kind of a transition in Kenya, Madagascar and Tanzania.
Driven by ideology (and support)
Exploring the transformation to devolved resource governance in these three east African countries revealed a common pattern, explains Tim Daw:
"In all cases, the move toward co-management was driven largely by donor ideology and subsequent support. Likewise transfer of power created a degree of democracy in resource management that was not previously present, but in many cases, accountability remained upward to national governments, rather than downward to local actors."