Brokering Authority: Translating Knowledge, Policy and Practice in Forestry Institutions in Indonesia

Article excerpt

This dissertation examines the nexus of research, policy and practice from village to global levels regarding forest management and local communities' control over forest resources and improved local livelihoods in Indonesia. I investigate how problems and solutions are articulated; how these articulations are transformed in practice; how practice is translated into knowledge or policy; and how particular interpretations of practices become authoritative. In doing so, I examine the culture of and relationships between forestry institutions in Indonesia, highlighting the role of brokers of authority--individuals and/or organizations that skillfully translate social reality into an "order" that not only resonates with the different logics, interests, and expectations of relevant institutions, but also recruits support for their interpretation to become authoritative. The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) and the Donor Forum on Forestry in Indonesia (DFF) are the key interlocutors studied, and CIFOR's applied research activities in Indonesian Borneo and the landscape of international aid-related forestry institutions are the contexts within which they are examined.

With respect to CIFOR, I investigate in one analytical frame (1) project plans and intentions, (2) the context within which activities take place and the relationships between the different actors, and (3) how the difference between plan and outcome is addressed to a broader public. …