Iwokrama has partnered with the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in the UK to implement two projects in Guyana. These projects are to provide flexible support to local SMFEs through forest-linked association networks and reduce poverty by linking small forest enterprises with markets and service providers.
IIED is an international policy research institute, established in 1971, working for more sustainable and equitable global development. IIED works through a wide range of long standing relationships with partners in different countries. IIED currently manages major programmes of research on ‘Sharing power in the governance of natural resources’, ‘Regoverning markets: securing small producer participation’ and ‘Small and Medium Forest Enterprises’ – including four years of preceding collaborative work with country partners for the six countries in this study.
Project Name: ‘Forest-Linked Associations/Enterprises’ - Flexible Support to Local Small and Medium Enterprises.
This is being done through action learning together as equal partners – strengthening the institutional hub of an information network within Iwokrama and experimenting with innovative and flexible support mechanisms. The Centre is paying particular attention to the challenges of market integration, independence from party politics, and ethnic / gender tensions in the support provided. The gender dimension will be addressed both by selecting particular womens’ associations with whom to work – and by investing in better gender representation within mixed associations. See background to the project.
The content of support will aim to develop useful information networks, improve information flows, champion local sovereignty over forest resources, identify or provide administrative and technical training, strengthening deliberative democracy and policy engagement and build leadership capacity especially for minority and women’s groups.
Community enterprise communication networks can:
- Connect actual producers, providers, cooperation agencies and NGOs
- Enhance the visibility of the SMFE sector, service organizations and the coordination between them
- Identify and communicate gaps in service provision
- Strengthen service provision capacity through the creation of a communication network
- Involve government from the beginning to enhance official buy-in
Manage the transition to a self-financing institutional model.