Developing a Methodology to Enable Community Governance for Market Integration and Adaptation to Climate Changes: Agency and the Advocacy Coalition Approach in the Peruvian Altiplano

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An advocacy coalition process was initiated in two Aymara communities from the Peruvian Altiplano aimed at building on their ability to negotiate (Political Capital) and form working alliances with key external institutions (Social Capital) to achieve future community goals. Based on the previous research done in Peru, the communities of Santa Maria and Apopata engaged in participatory processes of needs assessment, historical analysis of existing stakeholder networks and identification of desired futures and goals. Santa Maria identified increased soil fertility as their goal while Apopata found that an improved market access for alpaca wool would enhance their quality of life. Two groups, one per community were elected in a democratic process to initiate the formation of advocacy coalitions around the issues identified (soils and market). These groups received training sessions to improve interviewing and negotiating skills with stakeholders to support their goals. Participation, initiatives proposed, actions taken, number of associations formed and any form of social capital emergence as a result of the intervention are being measured to evaluate progress and increase in political capital. Existing and potential political capital in Santa Maria can be found in its links and alliances with five internal associations, including one women enterprise, and the relationship the community has with four external institutions including NGOs and governmental agencies. Apopata instead has links with only one external institution, the Municipality, and lacks internal associations. As the process has evolved, Apopata has shown more willingness to engage in coalition building. On the other hand, Santa Maria has shown some reticence in engaging in AC, apparently partly as a result of the change in local authorities. This has made a reevaluation of work strategies necessary. Thus we have increased activities in Santa Maria that link soils studies to AC research, processes that were less overtly related at field level.

Local governance, Political capital, Advocacy coalitions, Participatory methodologies, Stakeholder analysis, Altiplano, Ecosystem
Presented at the 2008 SANREM Annual Meeting, Los Banos, Philippines, 26-29 May, 2008