Strategies for influence: 'Small fish" vs "central players"


Presentation Description

Presented by Dr. David Mills, WorldFish, Wednesday 11th September. Dave says: “It goes without saying that WorldFish and partners work across amazingly diverse systems. Competencies and capacities in areas of governance, management and science vary hugely from place to place. A critical part of early diagnosis in new engagements must be a thorough assessment of these capacities, and a strength-driven approach to strategizing engagements. While perhaps not conceptually polished, I will use this talk to contrast recent engagement in places such as Ghana and Timor-Leste, to look at how influence has been leveraged under a vastly different set of starting conditions.”


Presentation Transcript

PowerPoint Presentation:

Dave Mills and many others Strategies for influence: An empirical comparison of ‘small fish in a big pond’ and ‘central player’ scenarios

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Annual yield around 750,000 t About half is marine 84% from small-scale sector 334 marine landing sites Fish consumption: derived figures 23kg/person/yr – may be 40kg 4.5% of GDP without value added Directly supports 1.5 million people Directly employs around 375,000 of which at least 150,000 are women Allegedly indirectly supports 20% of national workforce Ghanaian Fisheries

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Long-term vision: Ghana’s coastal and marine ecosystems are being developed and conserved in a sustainable manner—the goods and services produced by coastal ecosystems and fisheries are generating a diversity of long-term socio-economic benefits for coastal communities while sustaining biodiversity. 3 Phases: 1) information integration and analysis (Diagnosis) 2) build constituencies and capacity for an issue-driven approach to ICM and decentralized fisheries management 3) ‘learning by doing’ in policy reform and implementation

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Governance Communities (4/334) Districts (3/18) Regions (1/4) National Diagnosis Integrated Coastal and Fisheries Governance Project Governance dialogues Project activities Fisheries Alliance Fisheries working group P artnership with FC FC co-man t raining Leadership training Alternative livelihoods Empowering women

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Strengths and vulnerabilities - Ghana Strengths Highly visible sector Engagement with Fisheries Commission locally and nationally Long-running data system Fishers are vocal about reform and engagement Vulnerabilities Highly politicised Heavy reliance on subsidies Past history of co-management failure Low capacity in management systems Entrenched ‘understandings’ of issues

Diagnosis- Light fishing:

Diagnosis- Light fishing Uptake of light fishing Canoe catch - sardinella

Communities– gender transformative approach:

Communities– gender transformative approach Village chief: “What have you done to our Women!.....they have changed” Impact study shows women now present in a number of community decision-making bodies Mutimukuru-Marivanyika et al, forthcoming

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Districts and regions Communities cannot enter into productive dialog on governance systems without legitimate and protracted capacity building efforts Positive deviance; ‘…….the solution to problems may already exist within communities; how can this be explained and replicated’ ( Sternin and Pascale 2005) Extant community-based management initiatives – Why did they survive? Study tours to countries with positive outcomes in similar situations Training of prosecution chain agents in fisheries biology, regulations and law

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National Fisheries Governance Dialogue Process “……legitimate conversation between key stakeholders speaking the same language about governance reform in Ghana” Co-management design Legal system reform

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10 Why are we a small fish in Ghana? After diagnosis phase were ‘ gazumped ’ by a $50M World Bank program (WARFP) – threat and opportunity! World Bank approach has points of deviance from ours Highly politicised fishery – 2008 election result accredited to promises of fishery subsidies. Science is one of many voices BIG government with significant inertia in relation to policy and devolution of responsibility

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11 Lessons from ‘small fish’ world - Ghana Research outputs : Discrete pieces of research filling knowledge gaps Must know the landscape before starting Working with those already occupying the space – value add In an ‘active’ space, tailoring and marketing of outputs to next users is critical Development outcomes : ‘small’ and discrete wins in a big landscape Women’s participation in local decision-making Broad participation in Governance Dialogue Broader recognition of pre-conditions for co-management Development impacts : As a project country with a short history, impacts (?) are limited to our focus sites at this stage Will be the product of how well we have marketed to next users Will be most significant where we have done our ‘gap filling’ well

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12 Lessons from ‘small fish’ world - Ghana Pro: We will not be a big fish everywhere we work, no matter how long we keep our ‘commitment to place’ Need to engage with and learn from the processes of knowledge sharing and leveraging impact where we don’t have ‘Access all areas’ Potential impacts very high if we get things right Cons: Have to be spectacular to be noticed and set agendas Connections to next users critical Need to be nimble and stay in tune with shifting politics Launch ‘outputs’ with limited or no control from that point


Background History of conflict, but currently stable Former Portuguese colony (1702-1975) Young (2002) island-nation of 1M people 147 out of 187 for HDI V high maternal and newborn mortality Food security indicators are not moving Almost total reliance on oil/gas and foreign aid 80% of population in primary production sector

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Fishery resources Heavily reliant on AAS, but with surprisingly low use of fish: Best estimates of fish consumption 4-6 kg/ capta / yr (cf. Sols 33; Indo 21; Kir 62) Why? Ephemeral river systems (except 1) Steep coastal bathymetry Colonial fishing history Good potential for increased food security and nutrition outcomes through increased fish production /consumption

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Strengths and vulnerabilities Strengths Early in nation-building cycle Policy frameworks under development High potential for impact ‘Core constituents’ Reasonable donor interest Vulnerabilities VERY low human capacity for science, management, extension Poor infrastructure Low wages in public service - incentives



Project portfolio:

Project portfolio Past CTSP/USAID – ‘Mapping fisheries dependence and aquaculture development: Scoping study’ FAO/AECID – Development of a national aquaculture strategy Existing ACIAR small – ‘Strategy for Investment in Fisheries in East Timor’ ADB - ‘Responding to Climate Change using an Adaptation Pathways and Decision-making approach’. SEWPaC - ‘Assessment of potential CC impacts and adaptation options for Timor-Leste’s coastal economy’ Pipeline/HPP ACIAR small ‘large’ – ‘Building livelihood resilience and adaptive capacity in fish-dependent communities’ NZ Gov large– Aquaculture Development

Historical Profiles Batugade:

Historical Profiles Batugade

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Chefe Suco Beloi during a participatory network mapping activity in Usubemaco

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Wholesale adoption of science-influenced policy after 3 years from day 0! High level of ownership by NFDA/ GoTL Complete contrast to ‘Fisheries Strategy’ document! Similar opportunities for influence in fisheries

Mapping AQ potential:

Mapping AQ potential

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Emera hatchery Photo: J Pant

PowerPoint Presentation:

Photo: J Pant

Clarity can be hard to find if you flog around forever in highly complex systems:

Clarity can be hard to find if you flog around forever in highly complex systems

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      Political Public health Adaptive capacity Rights-based spheres are used to structure analysis of the social and political context, narrowed (on the right) for the particular examples of adaptive capacity and public health. Ensor, Park, Hoddy and Ratner, forthcoming Conceptual work in ‘the laboratory’

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33 Why are we a ‘big fish’ in Timor-Leste? Young country (2002) with young institutions Very low capacity within many areas of the public service Well-managed entry (WorldFish team) leveraged off some strong partnerships (FAO RLFP) We bring a unique skill set – very positive reception Near-blank slate in terms of operational systems in the ministry, legislation etc Good access to higher levels of governance ( SoS , DG Fisheries and AQ)

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34 Lessons from ‘big fish’ world – Timor-Leste Research outputs : Huge scope for research “embedded” nature facilitates research deeper into the adaptive learning/impact cycle Non-technical presentations critical Development outputs : Far more direct and rapid pathways to adoption possible “embedded” nature facilitates research deeper into the adaptive learning/impact cycle Development impacts : Far more direct and rapid pathways to adoption possible Limited internal capacity (financial, human) means that for now external funding is critical


Conclusions We should not become completely absorbed in the numbers game when choosing where we will work There are genuine advantages of working in small systems (but in a sustained way) Lessons on scaling and leveraging impact can be learned far faster in systems where we are ‘big fish’ We will should be intentional about maintaining a good number of ‘big fish in small pond’ engagements


Acknowledgements Timor-Leste crew: Jharendu Pant, Neil Andrew, Mike Phillips, Sarah Park, Kirsten Abernethy ++ Ghana crew: Tendayi Mutimukuru -Maravanyika, Godfred Ameyaw, Cephas Asare

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