Multilevel assessment of a large-scale programme for poverty alleviation and wetland conservation: lessons from South Africa

Zabala, Aiora and Sullivan, Caroline A. (2017). Multilevel assessment of a large-scale programme for poverty alleviation and wetland conservation: lessons from South Africa. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 61(3) pp. 493–514.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09640568.2017.1319344

Abstract

The implementation of large-scale programmes for environment and development presents two main challenges: the tensions between both goals and the disconnect across policy levels. To contribute to overcoming these challenges, we assess a national multi-partnership programme for poverty alleviation and wetland restoration in South Africa: Working for Wetlands. We analyse this innovative polycentric programme at the macro and micro levels. At the national level, we assess the policy development and implementation model. At the local level, we analyse its impact on livelihoods and on opinions about development and the environment at a specific location. We use data from in-depth interviews across scales, household surveys (n = 47) and focus group discussions. The strengths of this programme can inform more effective design of further large-scale environment and development policies. However, critical issues originated at the national scale are likely to hinder the permanence of improvements at the micro level.

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