Getting Your Assumptions Right
World Vision, Australia
Our assumptions about a problem will influence our expenditure, choice of interventions and ultimately our success. It is very important to get our assumptions correct – and to be flexible enough to adjust them as required as new information comes to light. In the early 1980's, Niger Republic was in the grip of desertification which threatened the livelihoods of it's inhabitants. The default response of both state and non-state actors was to mount massive tree replanting schemes. The approach failed socially, technically and economically and by the late 1980's, appetites for land restoration through tree planting had largely disappeared. Identifying the technical gaps and addressing the real constraints - lack of tree ownership, theft of trees and false perceptions about trees - preventing people from restoring tree cover – opened the door for a spontaneous, wildly successful social reforestation movement.
Keywords: Social forestry
Contact Address: Tony Rinaudo, World Vision, Victoria, Australia, e-mail: Tony.Rinaudoworldvision.com.au