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Boundary Organizations, Objects and Agents: Linking Knowledge with Action in Agroforestry Watersheds. Report of a Workshop held in Batu, Malang, East Java, Indonesia, 26-29 July 2007
Elizabeth C. McNie, Meine van Noordwijk, William C. Clark, Nancy M. Dickson, Niken Sakuntaladewi, Suyanto, Laxman Joshi, Beria Leimona, Kurniatun Hairiah, and Noviana Khususiyah
A publication of CID's Sustainability Science Program
On July 26-29, 2007, researchers, scholars, and practitioners convened at Brawijaya University in Malang, East Java, to share, learn about, and discuss, preliminary findings from a research project conducted by the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) South Asia and the Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University called, "Integrating knowledge and policy for the management of natural resources in international development: The role of boundary organizations." Scholarship in the north/west theorizes that boundary organizations, and their compliments of boundary objects, boundary work, and boundary agents, enhance the linkages between various forms of knowledge (e.g., scientific, indigenous, political) and action (e.g., policies, behavioral changes, decisions), thus increasing the usefulness of information for decisions and therefore improving outcomes. The ICRAF/Harvard research sought to explore how well these northern/western concepts apply in the challenging context of linking knowledge with action in Indonesian agroforestry problems. Specifically, they researched an ICRAF program called RUPES (Rewarding Upland Poor for Environmental Services).
The purpose of this workshop was threefold:
Findings from the workshop indicated that significant differences exist between northern/western notions of boundary organizations, boundary work, and boundary agents and the RUPES (Rewarding Upland Poor for Environmental Services) model. These findings suggest that future efforts to link knowledge with action for sustainable development should consider the following observations when designing their institutions and organizations to achieve desired policy objectives. What follows is a summary of the most important discoveries from the workshop.
Keywords: sustainable development, environmental policy, sustainability, boundary work, boundary organizations, agroforestry systems, watersheds
JEL codes: Q01, Q56