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Advocacy coalitions and power relations in the Peruvian Altiplano: Building agency to improve households' response to climate and market change
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"Under the assumption that advocacy coalition participatory-research process (AC) can lead to building a community's social and political capitals, an AC was initiated in the Aymara communities of Santa Maria and Apopata in the Peruvian Altiplano. The purpose was to develop agency in the decision making process that affects the community and its resources and therefore enable community governance for market integration and adaptation to climate changes. Aymara communities are integrated systems that involve decision making at different levels of the household and community, therefore climate and market changes affect more than only natural capital. But livelihoods strategies in the Altiplano differ from one community to another, providing different opportunities. Santa Maria, has a mixed farming system, agricultural production is consumption oriented and livestock market oriented. Apopata with no agricultural production produces livestock primarily for the market. Thus, changes in markets affect each community differently. Initial AC workshops identified increased soil fertility as the goal in Santa Maria and improved market access for alpaca fiber in Apopata. At one point both communities were equally engaged in the process. Both communities increased networks and identified key actors to build alliances. However, as the process has evolved, Santa Maria has shown some reticence in continue the process, apparently as a result of the change in local authorities. Apopata has shown more willingness to continue in coalition building. Preliminary analysis shows that the type of social capital (communal leadership) matters. Santa Maria as a community did not take ownership of the process while Apopata did." (Abstract from conference website: http://rss2009.ruralsociology.us/)