Keywords: Joint Forest Management, evaluation, stakeholder perspectives, India, analytical techniques
Evaluation studies of Joint Forest Management in India: a review of analytical processes
This paper introduces a range of methods used for data gathering and the results of their analysis in the evaluation of Joint Forest Management initiatives undertaken in India. There were 200 evaluation reports collected from different states in India, of which only 99 had reported on methods used, and issues addressed, in relation to socio-economic, institutional, ecological and gender and training aspects. At the national level 17 reports are available. Many studies were conducted in states where there was support from donor agencies. There were 33 reports addressing the socio-economic issues related to JFM, while only 15 reports addressed ecological issues. There were only 4 reports that addressed training needs of different stakeholders of JFM, while 12 related to gender issues. Based on the data collected so far, it was found that there were no reports that have focused on the monitoring of JFM, and all are evaluation reports. Monitoring is needed to understand the change over time with respect to vegetation, awareness amongst the community members, participation in various JFM activities, enhanced representation of women, incentives accrued and other matters. It is also important to document how the changes have taken place over time, the factors that determine change and its impact. Many projects have conducted mid-term evaluation, in order to enhance their performance through proper corrective measures. A significant finding in this paper is that, it is not clear at this stage, how many took the mid-term evaluation reports seriously and what review process was adopted to improve their future implementation process.