The research reported in this chapter sought to address these shortcomings by integrating institutional analysis (for problem identification and targeting of interventions) with action research (for pilot testing of institutional innovations to address identified problems). The institutional analysis sought to understand forms and functions of existing institutions of collective action and patterns of benefit capture induced by local and external institutions and to identify the disconnects between local concerns and the institutions present to address these. Building on collective action theory, we then designed and tested institutional innovations in an action research mode to explore institutional arrangements for addressing the NRM concerns of local residents of four locations in the eastern African highlands (two in Ethiopia, two in Uganda). Our findings suggest that by bringing theory into the realm of development practice, action research may provide fertile ground for research in support of practical development challenges.
German, Laura; Mazengia, Waga; Tirwomwe, Wilberforce; Ayele, Shenkut; Tanui, Joseph; Nyangas, Simon; Begashaw, Leulseged; Taye, Hailemichael; Teferi, Zenebe A.; Gebremikael, Mesfin T.; Charamila, Sarah; Alinyo, Francis; Mekonnen, Ashenafi; Aberra, Kassahun; Chemangeni, Awadh; Cheptegei, William; Tolera, Tessema; Jotte, Zewdie; and Bedane, Kiflu. 2011. Enabling equitable collective action and policy change for poverty reduction and improved natural resource management in the eastern African highlands. In Collective action and property rights for poverty reduction: Insights from Africa and Asia, ed. Esther Mwangi; Helen Markelova; and Ruth Suseela Meinzen-Dick. Chapter 7. Pp. 189-234 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press. Published for the International Food Policy Research Institute.