Forest products play a significant role in rural livelihoods by providing households forest products as well as important ecological functions. Because the forest sector is being challenges, the government of Ethiopia has extensively adopted a participatory forest management (PFM) program in different parts of the country. The available limited evidences show that PFM has a positive impact on improving the forest condition, providing livelihood for the local people, and in reducing income inequality. The literature also indicates that forests do play roles as safety nets and gap fillers during crises. However, the empirical evidence on whether the current PFM practices in Ethiopia enhance the capacity of rural households in coping with various types of shocks is lacking. Moreover, a rigorous analysis on the determinants of forest resource use separately for members and non-members of PFM is lacking in the country.
Using field level data collected in 2018 from PFM sites in the country, this research project aims to understand the role PFM program plays in the local communities. Specifically, it tries to:
- understand whether there are any differences in the factors that determine forest resource use between members and non-members of PFM,
- examine the extent of use of forest resources in responding to the type and severity of shock
- investigate the impact of PFM on household’s forest resource use as coping mechanisms and assess whether there is any difference between the poor and better off households,
- suggest policy implications of the findings of the study.
Data is collected from in total 900 households in 30 communities, selected using a systematic random sampling technique. The survey data includes information on household characteristics, health and social capital, labour allocation related to various agricultural and non-agricultural activities, information on credit markets, household’s perception of forest values, rules and regulations, forestry programs, and more.
Analyzing and understanding the outcomes of forestry programs implemented in the country through impact evaluation supports evidence-based policymaking and helps policy makers and development partners design and implement forestry projects more effectively. More importantly, the outcome of this research could provide insights that enable policy makers and other development partners understand the nature of interaction among the various sectors of the economy.