The mission of the FLARE network (Forests & Livelihoods: Assessment, Research, and Engagement) is to establish a Community of Practice that advances the state of knowledge of the intersection of forests and livelihoods. In bringing together stakeholders – researchers, practitioners, donors, and decision makers – FLARE will leverage efforts that enrich the understanding of forest-livelihood interactions.
The goals of FLARE are to:
Undertake assessments of forest sector initiatives.
Develop low-cost tools and methods to generate usable information for decision making.
Gather, promote and share policy and research findings related to forests and livelihoods.
Promote the adoption of tools, knowledge, and methods that enhance monitoring efforts and the efficacy of initiatives targeting forest-related livelihoods.
FLARE will focus on three core questions:
THEORY: What are the most pressing conceptual, political, and practical issues concerning forests and livelihoods?
How do forests contribute to livelihoods, and how does governance shape forests and livelihoods?
What theories of change explain forest use, livelihoods, and governance?
IMPLEMENTATION: How are initiatives aimed at improving forest and forest-related livelihoods outcomes being designed and implemented?
What are the key mechanisms through which more effective forest governance can be achieved? When are the specific mechanisms being used, and where are they most effective?
What assumptions underlie, or are being perpetuated by, these initiatives?
How do power, inequality, representation, accountability, and framing affect the governance of forests and livelihoods?
IMPACTS: What are the best approaches to assess the effectiveness of initiatives to shape forests and livelihoods outcomes, especially by estimating changes in forest conditions and human wellbeing?
Who benefits from initiatives in local to global scale forest and agroforest landscapes?
What are the most useful indicators to assess forest and forest-related livelihood outcomes?
What are the best approaches to assess effectiveness and to improve knowledge of forest and livelihoods-related initiatives?
How can existing datasets and studies be leveraged to estimate the impacts of initiatives?
How and with what positive effect can the variety of methods and approaches to assess change (from place-specific descriptive and analytical studies to large-N statistical and modeling approaches) be combined?
To meet its goals, FLARE will:
Undertake horizon-scanning exercises to identify important questions in the domain of forests and livelihoods, with particular focus on impact assessment of initiatives;
Identify individuals and groups working on common themes, and establish working groups to produce reports, papers, and policy briefs;
Support processes and products (e.g., workshops, papers) that focus on the questions above;
Organize meetings and conferences linked to key forests and livelihoods themes.