The Capacity of Non-Government Organisations to Enhance Peasants' Livelihoods through Farm Forestry in Indonesia

Yustina Murdiningrum

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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    Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are important players in shaping Indonesian forest policy and practices, particularly in relation to enhancing the benefits from forestry for rural communities. However, due to a range of complex issues, it is not always clear what is the most effective role the NGOs should play to enhance community forestry (including farm forestry model), particularly so that it leads to community development.Two case study NGOs (Trees-4-Trees and PERSEPSI) were chosen to explore the extent to which the aim to develop farm forestry meet with peasants'' (small-scale farmers) livelihood strategy, so that it can deliver changes in terms of improved participation level, reduced poverty, reduced deforestation and enhanced timber supply. This study also analysed the challenges faced by, and the potency of, the NGOs in developing small-scale forest enterprises managed by peasants. My research followed an interpretivist approach and largely drew on qualitative data from a range of key informants. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with a range of relevant interviewees during March-April 2011, with a total of 79 interviewees (of which 65 were peasants). Household-level structured interviews were also conducted to better understand the context for the 65 peasant households. The data collection for this research was conducted in the villages of Bageng and Selopuro, Central Java Province, Indonesia. The NGOs (Trees-4-Trees and PERSEPSI) have sought to improve the management of peasants'' forestry enterprises, introduce eco-labelling (forest certification) for the sale of timber, and bring in external actors to support the peasants. However, many of the peasants who were involved in the NGOs'' initiatives did not always share the objectives of the NGOs. For example, many peasants did not seek to maximise the financial profits from timber production, had alternate livelihood strategies, and wanted to pursue other land-uses '' challenging the prevailing paradigm of small-scale forestry held by the NGOs and donors. Reforming the business approach of NGOs is important if small-scale forestry is to be more widely adopted by peasants in Indonesia.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Charles Sturt University
    • Race, Digby, Principal Supervisor
    • Bamberry, Geoffrey, Co-Supervisor
    • Furze, Brian, Co-Supervisor
    Award date20 May 2013
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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