3 Responses

  1. How have ecological and social changes in the last 10 years impacted whether design principles were met? And how did this lead to institutional change? For example, disease spread or technological change may impact the financial sustainability, which may lead to changes in the rules and regulations and therefore the compliance with design principles.

  2. Thanks for the comment Marco,
    There are many challenges and I like how you frame the problem: where disease itself may not be the main sustainability challenge (due to lower yields) but instead lower yield means lower profits which may jeopardize the expansion loan repayment – so financial sustainability becomes the problem. These types of connection are plenty in the system. For example, pump maintenance costs are increasing, some people secretly rent land to outsiders (thus violating boundary rules), pests impacting yields, soil health (remains unknown – we didn’t have funds to do soil tests, etc. So the social, ecologic and financial systems are interacting and slowly undermining long-term sustainability. But there are no institutional changes – the political system is rigid and the rules are not reviewed, nor challenged or ever changed. This is why I often think that “rules about how to change rules” is the most critical design principal. What do you think?

    1. I would just add to Ravic’s response that rule changing process is fairly well understood by participants, but it’s a complex process. The CBO that manages day to day affairs is elected and has some in built mechanisms that enable participants to provide input, make suggestions, etc. However, formal rule changes have to be undertaken by village council and would be a rather lengthy process and could entail political risks for elected village council members. Moreover, because of the unorthodox rules of the scheme itself (particularly relative to the rest of lower Moshi), the CBO board has struggled to achieve acceptance of and compliance with rules. They feel as though they have finally reached a point at which participants understand and mostly follow the rules. Now conditions are beginning to changing in ways that point to the need to revisit rules, yet their is a reluctance to signal to participants in the scheme that rules are up for negotiation!

      Beyond rule changes, there is some limited co-learning going on with regard to soil fertility and pest management, but as Ravic suggests in the presentation, there is a dire need to create platforms for communicating and sharing lessons among participants as new pests (e.g., fall army worm) become more prevalent and soils less productive.

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