Evaluating Stakeholder Collaboration and Group Maturity in Community-Based Conservancies in Kenya

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Evaluating Stakeholder Collaboration and Group Maturity in Community-Based Conservancies in Kenya
Maynard, Lily T
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University of Florida
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Master's ( M.S.)
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University of Florida
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Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
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Collaboration ( jstor )
Communities ( jstor )
Conservation programs ( jstor )
Ecology ( jstor )
Environmental conservation ( jstor )
Focus groups ( jstor )
Maturity groups ( jstor )
Maturity stage ( jstor )
Wildlife ( jstor )
Wildlife management ( jstor )
Wildlife Ecology and Conservation -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
collaboration -- community-based -- conservation -- maturity
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
born-digital ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Wildlife Ecology and Conservation thesis, M.S.


Community-based conservation can use evaluation to support adaptive governance and inform management decisions. To evaluate community conservancies, we compared two older, well-established conservancies over ten years old, with three that were recently formed in Maasai group ranches in the southern Rift Valley of Kenya. We used the Nominal Group Technique (NGT) to identify and rank perceptions of the conservancies using SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analyses in 10 focus groups and 30 key informant interviews with direct (management committees and game scouts) and indirect community stakeholders. The SWOT analyses resulted in 747 items in total, which were then collapsed into three ecosystem management themes: ecological, institutional, and socio-economic areas of the projects. Results show different perspectives on the conservancies' successes and failures in older and younger programs, and between the management committees and game scouts. We identified areas of collaboration between community leaders and conservation professionals using the Potential for Collaboration Index (PCI). PCI scores ranged from high collaboration (0.05) to low (0.62), with most scores between 0.25-0.4. Areas where stakeholders' perceptions and PCI scores overlap highlight opportunities for participatory conservancy management to build on already shared perspectives. We examined how Kenyan conservancies mature over time and tested a model of group maturity related to program success (Pretty & Ward, 2001). Conservancies' maturity changed over time, with older programs having higher maturity scores than younger programs, while stakeholders within the same conservancies did not differ. Our results support a continuum of maturity which would take into account complexity of the groups' experiences and characteristics as they mature. Conservancy management plans can focus on distinct issues that vary with stage of maturity to enhance their conservation potential. We compared the Nominal Group Technique adapted for illiterate audiences to conventional focus group discussions through 10 stakeholder meetings in rural populations in Kenya. The Nominal Group Technique elicited 544 ideas through reflection and round robin approaches from 55 participants with four discussion questions in contrast with 142 ideas from the same individuals with four open-ended group discussion questions. NGT enabled diverse participation in communities with possibly low-levels of formal education. ( en )
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Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2015.
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by Lily T Maynard.

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© 2015 Lily Maynard


To the Maasai communities in th e southern Rift Valley of Kenya who inspired this project with their tireless commit ment to conservation


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am enormously grateful to my advisor, Susan Jacobson, who has guided me in my study of human dimensions of wildlife. She always encouraged me to study further and push for the research which will have an impact, and has cheered for me throughou work. I am also indebted to my committee members: Martha Monroe for challenging me while developing my knowledge about new areas of conservation behavior, and for her willingness to support me throughout my time at UF, and Brian Child for sharing his expertise in working with African communities and guiding me towards new methods for tackling conservation and natural resource management questions. The UF Tropical Conservation and Development (T CD) program provided a welcoming community and numerous opportunities to find common research questions and interests through the diverse students and faculty engaged in the program . The Center for African Studies and the FLAS fellowship made my time at UF financially possible, and encouraged me to improve my skills to work in Kenya through language and cultural studies. lab for mentoring me through the research process and supp orting my many questions along the way. Also, I am thankful for the many graduate students with whom I shared courses, from the TCD program and the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation department; I learned s o much from our shared learning, discussions , and p roblem solving, so thank you. This research would not have been possible without many generous funding supporters: the TCD Field Research Grant, Cathryn Hilker and the Angel Fund, W.


5 Roger Fry, the Vogel Trust and Rendigs, Fry, Keily, and Dennis, Jim and Marcia Kennedy, Shawn and David Brevard, Shailah Stewart and Chris Souris, Sugi Stewart, Marian Leibold, Sandra Degen, Dick Walton, Dotty Shaffer, Molly Shaffer, Peggy Shaffer, Anne Byers, Dick Whitney, Tina Douglass, Jan Portman, and Jim Heekin. This larg e project was expensive, and each of these people inspi red me to overcome challenges with their gen erosity and their belief in me and this project. I am thankful for the many people in Kenya who made my research possible. John Kamanga and Samantha De Toit of SORALO were integral to the community connections and research structure. The diligent efforts of Sanguet Pelo and Peter Tajeo made the focus groups and interviews go as smoothly as possible. All of the supportive leaders and community members in the M aasai group ranches inspired me to ask questions and learn more. Their commitment to conservation of resources, wildlife, and their culture is unbending. Their willingness to continue after feeling the costs of coexisting with wildlife is incredible to wit ness. They have taught me so much, and have inspired my field of study and my career goals. Finally, my ma from my family and friends . Their help and patience made th e hard work of planning, fun draising, field work , and writing materialize into completion. Thank you for believing in me.


6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 9 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 11 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 12 CHAPTER 1 POTENTIAL FOR STAKEHOLDER COLLABORATION: EVALUATING COMMUNITY ................................ .......... 14 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 14 Community based Natural Resource Management ................................ ................ 15 CBNRM in Kenya ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 16 Need for Evaluation ................................ ................................ ................................ 17 SWOT Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 18 Potential for Collaborati on Index ................................ ................................ ............. 21 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ............................... 22 Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 23 Study Sites ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 23 Focus Groups and Interviews ................................ ................................ ........... 24 Sampling ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 25 Nominal Group Technique ................................ ................................ ................ 25 Key Informant Interviews ................................ ................................ .................. 26 Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 27 Results ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 28 Strengths ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 29 Weaknesses ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 31 Opportunities ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 33 Threats ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 35 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 37 Conservancy Age Comparison ................................ ................................ ......... 38 Stakeholder Comparison ................................ ................................ .................. 40 Benefits ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 42 Land Subdivision ................................ ................................ .............................. 43 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 45 Conclusions and Recommendations ................................ ................................ ...... 45 2 THE INFLUENCE OF GROUP MATURITY IN COMMUNITY BASED CONSERV ANCIES IN KENYA ................................ ................................ ............... 59 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 59


7 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 60 Group Maturity ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 62 Group Maturity Model ................................ ................................ ............................. 63 Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 65 Study Sites ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 65 Focus Groups ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 67 Documentation Methods ................................ ................................ ................... 68 Group Maturity Measurement ................................ ................................ ........... 68 Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 68 Results ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 69 Group Maturity Measurement ................................ ................................ ........... 69 Maturity Variables ................................ ................................ ............................. 70 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 73 Maturity Variables ................................ ................................ ............................. 73 How to Structure Maturity ................................ ................................ ................. 76 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 79 Conclusions and Recommendations ................................ ................................ ...... 79 3 STAKEHOLDER PARTICIPATION: ADAPTING THE NOMINAL GROUP TECHNIQUE IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES FOR ILLITERATE PARTICIPANTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 84 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 84 Nominal Group Technique ................................ ................................ ...................... 84 Application of NGT in the Developing World ................................ ........................... 87 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ............................... 89 Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 89 Nominal Group Technique ................................ ................................ ................ 90 Analysis of NGT Data ................................ ................................ ....................... 91 Results ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 91 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 92 Benefits of NGT ................................ ................................ ................................ 95 Limitations of NGT ................................ ................................ ............................ 96 Conclusions and Recommendations ................................ ................................ ...... 97 APPENDIX A NOMINAL GROUP TECHNIQUE AND FOCUS GROUP QUESTIONS ............... 105 B KEY INFORMANT SEMI STRUCTURED INTERVIEW ................................ ........ 108 C NOMINAL GROUP TECH NIQUE FACILITATION GUIDE ................................ .... 111 D CBNRM AND NGOS ................................ ................................ ............................. 113 E ADDITIONAL KEY INFORMANT INTERVIEW RESULTS ................................ .... 115 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 117


8 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 126


9 LIST OF TABLES Table page 1 1 Strengths discussed in all focus groups, categorized into three ecosystem management themes with the sum of the weighted ranks. ................................ . 48 1 2 Top strengths discussed by old er and younger conservancies. ......................... 48 1 3 Sum, mean ranking, and PCI scores for the strengths discussed by the older and younger conservancies ................................ ................................ ................ 49 1 4 Top strengths discussed by direct stakeholder groups. ................................ ...... 49 1 5 Sum, mean ranking, and PCI scores for the strengths discussed by the direct stakeholder groups ................................ ................................ ............................. 49 1 6 Weaknesses discussed in all focus groups, categorized into three ecosystem management themes with the sum of the weighted ranks. ................................ . 50 1 7 Top weaknesses discussed by older and younger conservancies. .................... 50 1 8 Sum, mean ranking, and PCI scores for the weaknesses discussed by the older and younger conservancies ................................ ................................ ....... 51 1 9 Top weaknesses discussed by direct stakeholder groups. ................................ . 51 1 10 Sum, mean ranking, and PCI scores for the weaknesses discussed by the direct stakeho lder groups ................................ ................................ ................... 51 1 11 Opportunities discussed in all focus groups, categorized into three ecosystem management themes with the sum of the weighted ranks. ............... 52 1 12 Top opportunities discussed by older and younger conservancies. .................... 52 1 13 Sum, mean ranking, and PCI scores for the opportunities discussed by the older and young er conservancies ................................ ................................ ....... 53 1 14 Top opportunities discussed by direct stakeholder groups. ................................ 53 1 15 Sum, mean ranking, and PCI scores for the opportunities discussed by the direct stakeholder groups ................................ ................................ ................... 53 1 16 Threats discussed in all focus groups, categorized into three ecosystem management themes with the sum of the weighted ran ks. ................................ . 54 1 17 Top threats discussed by older and younger conservancies. ............................. 54


10 1 18 Sum, mean ranking, and PCI scores for the threats discussed by the older and younger conservancies ................................ ................................ ................ 55 1 19 Top threats discussed by direct stakeholder groups. ................................ .......... 55 1 20 Sum, mean r anking, and PCI scores for the threats discussed by the direct stakeholder groups ................................ ................................ ............................. 55 2 1 Group maturity score for each group ranch and stakeholder group. ................... 81 2 2 omparing the stakeholder groups and the older and younger conservancies ..................... 81 2 3 Average group ma turity scores for each group ranch in comparison with the maturity stage. ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 81 3 1 NGT and focus group questions compared in this study. ................................ ... 99 3 2 Sum of ideas discussed for the NGT using four SWOT questions, and sum of ideas generated for four focus group (FG) open ended discussion questions by the management committees and the game scouts. ................................ ..... 99 E 1 ................................ ....................... 115 E 2 .......... 115 E 3 ........ 115 E 4 Interviewee respon ................................ ....... 115 E 5 have? .................. 116


11 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1 1 Map of the conservancies in the southern Rift Val ley of Kenya: Loita, Olkiramatian, Shompole, Empaash, and Olorgesailie. ................................ ....... 56 1 2 Potential for Collaboration Index values across older and younger s for t SWOT analys e s within three ecosystem management categories ..................... 57 1 3 Potential for Collaboration Index values across two stakeholder groups analyses within three ecosystem management categories ................................ ................ 58 2 1 Conceptual model of group maturity, adap ted from Pretty and Ward (2001) ...... 82 2 2 Map of the conservancies in the souther n Rift Valley of Kenya: Loita, Olkiramatian, Shom pole, Empaash, and Olorgesailie ................................ ........ 83 3 1 Map of the CBNRM conservancies in the southern Rift Valley of Kenya. ......... 100 3 2 Adaptations for illiterate participants au gmenting the standard NGT stages .... 101 3 3 Photos of NGT sessions, the cards used for ranking, and an example of a list after voting was complete ................................ ................................ ................. 102 3 4 Ph otos of research assistants assisting participants through the ranknig process and writing their ideas . ................................ ................................ ........ 103 3 5 Comparison of the mean number of items discussed in response to NGT disc ussion questions and an open ended focus group questi ons ..................... 104


12 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Grad uate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science EVALUATING STAKEHOLDER COLLABORATION AND GROUP MATURITY IN COMMUNITY BASED CONSERVANCIES IN KENYA By Lily Maynard May 2015 Chair: Susan Jacobson Major: Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Community based conservation can use evaluation to support adaptive governance and inform management decisions. To evaluate community conservancies, we compared two older, well establi shed conservancies over ten years old, with three that were recently formed in Maasai group ranches in the southern Rift Valley of Kenya. We used the Nominal Group Technique (NGT) to identify and rank perceptions of the conservancies using SWOT (strengths , weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analyses in 10 focus groups and 30 key informant interviews with direct (management committees and game scouts) and indirect community stakeholders. The SWOT analyses resulted in 747 items in total, which were then collapsed into three ecosystem management themes: ecological, institutional, and socio economic areas of the projects failures in older and younger programs, and between the manageme nt committees and game scouts. We identified areas of collaboration between community leaders and conservation professionals using the Potential for Collaboration Index (PCI). PCI scores


13 ranged from high collaboration (0.05) to low (0.62), with most score s between 0.25 0.4. for participatory conservancy management to build on already shared perspectives. We examined how Kenyan conservancies mature over time and tested a mo del maturity changed over time, with older programs having higher maturity scores than younger programs, while stakeholders within the same conservancies did not differ. Our results support a continuum of maturity which would take into account complexity of the plans can focus on distinct issues that vary with stage of maturity to enhance their con servation potential. We compared the Nominal Group Technique adapted for illiterate audiences to conventional focus group discussions through 10 stakeholder meetings in rural populations in Kenya. The Nominal Group Technique elicited 544 ideas through ref lection and round robin approaches from 55 participants with four discussion questions in contrast with 142 ideas from the same individuals with four open ended group discussion questions. NGT enabled diverse participation in communities with possibly low levels of formal education.


14 CHAPTER 1 POTENTIAL FOR STAKEHOLDER COLLABORATION: EVALUATING COMMUNITY Summary Community based conservation projects can use evaluation to support adaptive governance and inform management decisi ons. T o evaluate community conservancies, we compared older, well established programs, which are over ten years old, and recently formed conservation areas in Maasai group ranches in the southern Rift Valley of Kenya. We used Nominal Group Technique (NGT ) to identify and rank perceptions of the conservancies using SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analyses in 10 focus groups and 30 k ey informant interviews with directly and indirectly involved community stakeholders. The NGT documen t ed followed by sharing with the group and finally ranking from the collective lists. Both qualitative and quantitative analyses were used. The SWOT analyses in the focus groups and interviews resulted in 747 items identified in t otal, which were then collapsed into the three ecosystem management themes. Results show disparate perspectives between the management committees and game scouts on con P We also used a Potential for Collaboration Index (PCI) to assess how collaboration between community leaders and conservation professi onals can occur most effectively. This assessment is adapted from the Potential for Conflict Index with an emphasis on similarities between stakeholders instead of conflict and disparities


15 (Vaske et al., 2010). This redesigned index visualizes and quantifi es essential overlaps between the perceptions of the stakeholder groups . PCI scores ranged from high collaboration (0.05) to low collaboration (0.62), with most scores between 0.25 0.4. PCI scores overlap highlight opportunities for participatory conservancy management to build on already shared perspectives. In this way, the results of the conservancy evaluation can promote increased stakeholder collaboration i n the community based projects. Community based Natural Resource Management Community based natural resource management (CBNRM) is a prevalent and often successful approach to conservation in Africa (Ghimire & Pimbert, 1997; Charnley & Poe, 2007; Horwich, 2007; Manfredo, 2008). Unlike top down approaches from governments and external organizations, the resident community drives the conservation institutions. These effecti ve management frameworks emphasize participatory approaches and include communities, individuals, and stakeholder groups previously restricted from decision making discussions (Berkes, 2004). Decentralization due to increased local involvement promotes cultural autonomy and sustainable use economy (Agrawal & Gibson, 1999) . Rural, marginalized people are often the ones to coexist with wildlife and experience the costs, so conservation must be paired with additional benefits. For example, resolving human wildlife conflict in community based programs has depended on devolved management programs and traditional livelihood practices , which promote coexistence (Western, Waithaka, & Kamanga, 2015). However, if programs conflict with local livelihoods or resource needs, if communities are not receiving direct benefits from


16 the pro ject, or if they are dependent on outside organizations to manage projects, some community members may ignore or weaken conservation and the projects may not succeed (Woodhouse & Woodhouse, 1997; Mugisha & Jacobson, 2004; Mutandwa & Gadzirayi, 2007; Amoah & Wiafe, 2012 ). Flexible and transparent decision making, which emphasizes stakeholder participation, is vital to ensure the use of the best practices in com munity based conservation and to allow for trust, empowerment, and equity (Berkes, 2004; Reed, 2008 ). Community participation in decision making and local engagement influences compliance with conservation rules and the achievement of program objectives (Andrade & Rhodes, 2012; Brooks, Waylen, & Borgerhoff Mulder, 2012). Being inclusive and increasing k nowledge enables communities to manage their environment and natural resources independent ly, therefore training and capacity building to make this possible is very important. Collaboration among stakeholders strengthens CBNRM projects. Engaging diverse l innovative community benefits to the program (Masozera et al., 2006). Collaboration between professional managers and community members also helps identify sources of human wildlife con flict and opportunities for improved protected area management (Decker et al., 2005). CBNRM in Kenya CBRNM projects i n Kenya are widespread, with over 150 conservancies set up by communities for conservation and sustainable use separate from government pa rks or reserves ( Western, Waithaka, & Kamanga, 2015 ). These institutions are vital for wildlife conservation as over 70 al


17 parks, with over 40% found inside community and private conservancies ( Wester n et al., 2009; Western, Waithaka, & Kamanga, 2015 ). While communities historically have not played a role in the design or management of the parks in Kenya because most of the wildlife is on private or communal lands, CBNRM is an important effective optio n for active stewardship of the wildlife in the landscape ( Mburu & Birner, 2007; Murphree, 2009). Recently, CBNRM projects have been receiving increased support in Kenya. The ts, and supports land tenure and community involvement (Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013). The act requires the formalization of the conservancies by necessitating the official registration of conservancies and the creation of approved manage ment plans (2013). Already existing conservancies must meet these new requirements. In the southern Rift Valley of Kenya, five Maasai group ranches have established conservancies on their communal land: Shompole, Olkiramatian, Olorgesailie, Loita, and Emp aash Olorenito (Figure 1 1). Need for Evaluation Assessments of community relationships with protected areas are necessary to facilitate the function of groups to allow for incorporation of local input into management decisions. Meek (2013) found significa nt differences between different local environmentally responsible behavior, with distinct differences in perceptions of governance structure, knowledge, economic benefits, a nd resource use rights. Situation specific research can promote an understanding of economic, cultural, and


18 experiential factors, which influence the support or opposition of conservation policy (Brown & Decker, 2005). Evaluation of the factors affecting community conservancies can identify the problems to be addressed by protected area management and educational outreach, and promote accountability while preventing program inefficiencies (Ferraro & Pattanyak, 2006; Margoluis et al., 2009). The relevance o f conservation interventions for resources, wildlife, and livelihood needs depends on an analysis of the communities themselves (Browne Nunez & Jonker, 2008; Solomon, Jacobson, & Liu, 2011; Amoah & Wiafe, 2012). As a result of the Wildlife Act in 2013, th e five Kenyan conservancies in the southern Rift Valley must register and prepare formal management plans. They need rapid evaluation of the projects, since to date these conservancies have not officially documented their programs. An effective management plan will be based on primary data from the communities, with which the issues and the project goals can be understood in order to allow for appropriate actions and management (Braun & Amorim, 2014). SWOT Analysis The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities , and threats (SWOT) analysis collects the information necessary to assess the current and potential successes and failures of a project to inform project planning. A dapted from business management (e.g. Learned et al., 1969), a SWOT analysis is useful for these discussions, as it allows for the inclusion of current positive and negative features of the programs as well as the perceptions of any potential positive directions and problems for the future. The SWOT method has been used for strategic planning a nd evaluation in corporate a nd


19 governmental organizations , and more recently has been a pplied for CBNRM programs ( Kotler, 1999 ; Kurt ti la et al., 2000; Braun & Amorim, 2014). Field diagnosis and discussions with stakeholders provide the data for an evaluati successes and challenges at multiple scales (Scolozzi et al., 2014). SWOT analysis supports CBNRM evaluation because its rapid data collection establish priorities for conservancy actions (WWF, 1999; Hockings et al., 2000; Masozera et al., 2006). The SWOT analysis enable both perceptions to be collected about bo th current and anticipated positive and negative features of the project, which exceeds other project evaluation techniques , such as importance performance analyses which are often used in natural resource management (e.g. Vaske et al., 2009). After evalua ting conservancies in Brazil, Braun & Amorim (2014) recommended augmenting the SWOT analysis with complementary information about the community and the issues within the conservancy for greater understanding and support for decision making, such as wildlif e, resources, and geographic locations. A quantitative method improves SWOT analyses, which lack systems for analytically weighing the importance of the topics discussed; the Nominal Group Technique (NGT) for counting and ranking ideas satisfies this deart h (Kur tti la et al., 2000; Scolozzi et al., 2014). We used the Nominal Group Technique (NGT) to record ideas about the conservancies , by having participants in a group setting share their ideas individually, followed by group discussion and finally, rankin g the importance of ideas. Adapted techniques for illiterate audiences were followed for the NGT ranking exercise, using


20 research assistants to aid individuals in answering questions and ranking from the The NGT method integrates lo cal stakeholders and communities in strategic planning process and naturally leads to their involvement in management decision success. Mountjoy et al. (2014) identified k ey capacity indicators of successful CBNRM projects using NGT to collect the perspectives of conservation practitioners. The perspectives of the multiple stakeholders sheds light on the projects from different angles and ensures that their distinct interes ts are documented in preparation for the CBNRM projects and perspectives on the strengths and weaknesses, so collecting the different opinions is essential to support effectiv e ecosystem management (Gutrich et al., 2005). Ranking ideas within each SWOT category results in practical topics and features for management and communication outreach to address in each community, in addition to specific issues for comparison between st akeholders and the communities. The SWOT factors were divided into broad categories based on three contexts of ecosystem management : the ecological, socio economic, and institutional perspectives of the project (Meffe, 2002). The ecosystem management frame work focuses on comparing these project areas . Reconciling the differences between these contexts promotes concurrent development, protection , and utilization (Kellert, 2000). Ecosystem management endeavors to support natural ecosystem health and biodivers ity , and to


21 find acceptable solutions to problems through stakeholder involvement in deliberation and decisions towar ds the goal of sustainability. The integration of the ecological, socioeconomic, and institutional perspectives guides the project to supp ort both conservation and sustainable use through collaboration (Meffe, 2002). Many stakeholders contributing to management decisions and project objectives encourage local ownership of the policies, innovative problem solving, and support for management o verall; thus, stakeholder collaboration is an important step for ecosystem management (Meffe, 2002). Collaborative ecosystem management requires clear definitions of organizational h as their objectives and structure, leadership roles, opportunities for inclusion, and facilitative partnerships (Bonnell & Koontz, 2007). Management plans to prepare for next steps, achieve goals, and incorporate stakeholders are vital. Potential for Co llaboration Index For further analysis, the Potential for Collaboration Index (PCI) assessed how collaboration between community leaders can occur most effectively using their perspectives. Stakeholder collaboration can vary in scale, from local to regiona l and national levels; evaluating collaborative projects can determine which activities the objectives, institutional features, and policy issues (Margerum, 2008). This assessment is an adaptation of the Potential for Conflict Index (Vaske et al., 2010), with an innovation through its shifted emphasis on positive interactions and similarities between stakeholders instead of c onflict and disparities . This redesigned i ndex synthesizes the results and describes essential overlaps between the perceptions of the stakeholder


22 groups , rather than extremes or controversial topics which have been the focus of Potential for Conflict studies to date (e.g. Vaske et al., 2010). Thi s index displays the central tendency, dispersion, and distribution of results (Manfredo, Vaske, & Teel, 2003). The NGT process for SWOT analyses may identify important variables t hat can influence collaboration . Collaboration has been shown to lead to mo re effective decision the community is engaged (Wondolleck & Yaffee, 2000). The exploratory information compiled in this study will enable an evaluation of the current participat ion in and managemen t issues for the conservancies. It will inform opportunities to improve the projects through increased collaboration and building of social capital between stakeholders. Research Questions How do stakeholder perceptions differ between older and younger CBNRM conservancies? How do stakeholder groups directly involved in CBNRM programs, the managers and the game scouts, differ in their perceptions of the conservancies? How do indirect stakeholder groups from the community perceive the C BNRM conservancies compared to direct stakeholders? We predict the amount of knowledge and participation in conservation issues will vary between younger and older communities and between stakeholder groups within a community. Comparing these sites will e lucidate the effectiveness of the programs in spreading conservation ideas and practices over time, based on the assumption that higher functioning community based projects will be more inclusive of community


23 members and have higher program organization, c ollaboration, communication, and efficacy in meeting its goals and curbing threats. In addition to answering our research questions, another objective of this study is to use these data to construct the Potential for Collaboration Index to highlight suppo rts to stakeholder collaboration and conservation. R esults will inform recommendations for the conservancy management plans to document necessary actions for communities, and their NGO and government partners, to increase benefits and decrease costs in ord er to support more effective conservancies. Methods Study Sites The southern Rift Valley of Kenya contains 15 Maasai group ranches, or land shared communally based on pastoralist traditions of mobile livestoc k herding. Between May and August 2014, 10 NGT focus group sessions involving 55 participants and 30 semi structured interviews were carried out in five of the group ranches in the region . The 950,000ha region contains valuable species diversity and lies between Maasai Mara National Reserve and Ambosel i National Park s (Western, 2014) . The ecosystem is mix ed grasslands, shr ub lands, and savanna woodlands, with abundant and diverse carnivore populations and all savanna herbivore species, except black rhinoceros (Schuette, 2013). While a few of the group r anches have subdivided the land into individually owned parcels with modern development, the arid ecosystem with average rainfall of only 600mm support s traditional livestock based livelihoods , communal resource use and decision making, and seasonal mobili ty (Sundstrum, Tynon, & Western, 2012 ).


24 Five Maasai group ranches in this region have set aside conservancies , which support resource and environmental conservation, and also act as grazing refuges for livestock during dry seasons . Of these conservancies , Olkiramatian and Shompole are over 10 years old and well established with tourist facilities, while the conservancies in Empaash Olorenito, Loita, and Olorgesailie are younger than 5 years old. The age difference between the conservancies alongside local projects created distinct categories of older and younger conservancies. Focus Groups and Interviews Between May and August 2014, 10 NGT focus group sessions involving 55 participants and 30 semi structured interviews were c arried out in five Maasai group ranches in the South Rift Valley of Kenya to collect the perspectives of multiple stakeholder groups. In order to document the ideas of those who directly participate in the conservancies, conservancy management committees a nd game scouts employed by the projects were recruited for focus group sessions. Opinions of other important stakeholders in the same communities who indirectly influence the programs and represent wider community perspectives were documented using semi st ructured, key informant interviews. The opinion leaders included The focus group and interview questions were developed, translated into Maasai language , and back translated with six Maasai research assistants fo llowing Behling and Law (2000) , and pilot tested twice. Focus groups and interviews were conducted in Maa, the Maasai language and transla ted into English. Notes taken in Maa and English


25 were combined and verified for accuracy when compared to audio recordings of the meetings. Sampling Non random, purposeful sampling was used to select participants from each stakeholder group for the focus groups and interviews. The two focus groups in each community consisted of the members of the group ranch conservation committee and separately the members of the community scouts. Based on current stakeholder theory, managers in an organization have poten tially distinct perspectives due to their governance role, so the two stakeholders met separately to establish a homogeneous and comfortable atmosphere (Tullberg, 2013). The key informants were selected as the leaders of their respective stakeholder group: Government chief, traditional age set chief, women, church pastor and school head teacher of the church and primary school closest t o the conservancy . Several screening criteria were used for the focus groups and informant interviews: participants must h ave (1) lived on the group ranch for at least five years; (2) be adults over 18 years old; and (3) did not include men and women from the same household, e.g. husband and wife, sister and brother, etc. Nominal Group Technique For th e direct stakeholders, we used the Nominal Group Technique (NGT) to record ideas about the conservancies. This non traditional focus group technique started with individual brainstorming to produce a qualitative list of factors and attitudes in response to the four questions in the SWOT analysis. Individual deliberation and written ideas were then finally individual ranking of idea importance from the overall list. The NGT rankings


26 per group resulted in weight ed values for the ideas discussed, thus enabling a quantitative comparison of perspectives and issues among stakeholders, as well as the combination of stakeholder identities to compare perceptions of conservation programming between communities. The resul ts for each component of the SWOT analysis were categorized into ecosystem management themes: ecological, institutional, and socio economic contexts (Meffe, 2002). Once ideas we re in comparable categories, determining their importance was done by calculati sum of the weighted ranks . Statements ranked h ighest in importance received a score of 1, items ranked second were 2, and third were 3 . Then, the ranks were reversed to proportionately reflect their weight (i.e. , rank of 1 has a weight of 3 while a rank of 3 has the lowest weight of 1 ) and calculating the sum for each category in each group. Then themes were sorted from highest to lowest sum of importance. Topics without high rankings still provided valuable qualitative data for all of the pa , but the themes and issues with highest sum of weighted rank s and most frequent ranks by participants had the highest priority. For each focus group, refreshments of lunch and tea were provided for participants, as is required in the Ma asai culture. Transportation was not provided, but the participants determined the location of the meeting. The focus groups lasted four five hours. Key Informant Interviews To collect the perspectives of opinion leaders of indirect stakeholders , we used key informant interviews with questions following the SWOT framework used in the NGT. Individuals such as church leaders and head schoolteachers are not numerous in a population but they can represent important perspectives consistent with others in the


27 c ommunity who only indirectly effect conservancy management (Wojcik, 2011). Six specific opinion leaders were sampled in each community to collect the perceptions and experiences of the wider community. The semi structured interview format and the purposef ul sampling of specific community group leaders ensured cross case comparability between communities (DeCicco Bloom & Crabtree, 2006). Key informant interviewees were approached and a meeting time and place was established, based on recommendations from Di Cicco Bloom & Crabtree (2006). The interviews lasted on average 45 minutes (range: 30 80 min). Analysis Data were analyzed qualitatively to look for salient themes and synergistic group effects (Berg, 2004). Ideas were coded into concepts by two researcher s and cross verified for agreement, then into groups of categories, followed by overarching themes as recommended by Bazeley (2009). Quotes used in the results section are transcribed passages from Maasai interviews. Quantitative analyses included finding frequencies, similarities, and relationships between the topics listed and the ranked values distributed by the different groups. To compare the ranked data of the SWO T questions from the NGT data, we to lo ok for relationships between stakeholder groups and communities. Attempts were made to statistically control for confounding variables during data analysis. All statistical analyses used Microsoft Excel software, version 14.3.8. Significant results are ind icated at an alpha level of 0.05. Potential for Collaboration Index


28 The SWOT data were analyzed with the Potential for Collaboration Index to show the differences between stakeholder perspectives. To use the PCI , topics with overlapping scores from diff er ent stakeholder groups represent opportunities to implement collaboration in a multi stakeholder management structure , as consensus already exists , thus participatory decision making discussions about these topics are possible. Results with similarities be tween stakeholders on the PCI will be the target for management and outreach interventions to establish collaborative management structures. T he PCI showed the central tendency and dispersion of responses for each stakeholder group on a 0 to 1 scale. A sc ore of 0 occur s if all respondents give the same answer and have the highest potential for collaboration, in contrast with 1, if all responses are different and have the least potential for collaboration. Bearing in mind the shift of the focus toward colla boration over conflict in this study, the PCI values were calculated using the formula from Vaske et al. (2010). This analysis identified the perceptions of the programs which overlapped among stakeholder groups to support topics on which to focus for futu re collaborative management and decision making. Results The SWOT analyses in the focus groups and interviews resulted in 747 items identified in total, which were then collapsed into the three ecosystem management themes. The following results are organ ized for each category of the SWOT analysis : ( 1) to assess the age research question by comparing the older and younger conservancies; and ( 2) to present the similarities and differences between the ommittees, game scouts, and the indirect stakeholder opinion leaders.


29 Strengths The focus groups discussed a total of 97 different strengths. Socio economic strengths had the highest overall ranking, including benefits for the community such as educationa l scholarships and employment, as well as community ownership of and control over their land a 1 ). Conservancy Age Comparison The top strengths emphasized by both the older and younger conservancies were several socio economic of their land, its availability and their style of governance, as well as benefits from the su pport the conservancy (Tab le 1 2 ). The older conservancies also focused on ecological characteristics such as their current wildlife populations and forest structure, and the presence of tourists. The younger conservancies highlighted the natural resources they have and their curre nt efforts to conserve their environment, including their forests and water sources. from the younger conservancies (P=0.0019 3 ). While there is some overlap in the ranking of the strengths, the older conservancies r anked socio economic issues higher , and the younger conservancies had higher mean ranks for ecological and ins titutional strengths (Figure 1 2 A). With a possible range from 0 to 1, t he older conservancies displayed the most potential for collaboration regarding institutional strengths with a PCI score of 0.22, while the younger conservancies intermediate PCI scores for the three ecosys tem management themes (Table 1 3 ). Stakeholder Co mparison


30 The highest ranked strengths discussed by the committees and scouts overlapped regarding community land ownership and governance over it, and the community participation in the conservancy, including its engagement and willingness to su pport the institution (Table 1 4 ). However, the strengths within the three ecosystem management categories ranked by the management committees and game scouts were not statistically different (P= 0.1276 5 ). The game scouts had the mos t potential for collaboration for institutional topics with a PCI score of 0.18, and the management committees varied in their responses and rankings more to have intermediate PCI scores throughout (Table 1 5 ). Ecological and socio economic strengths overl apped in mean ranking of importance for the committees and game scouts (Figure 1 3 A). Key informant interviews with the leaders of indirect stakeholders in the communities supported the perspectives of the directly involved stakeholders. Overall, the lead ers also described the communal land as an important strength. M any leaders said the unified community, which is willingly participating in conservation, was a clear strength for the projects. Across the stakeholder types and communities, the leaders parti cularly emphasized the benefits provided to the community by the conservation funding for food and books at the primary school as well as the waterhole for all livestock and wil dlife as a widespread benefit to the community, thus a strength of the conservancy. Scholarships in Olkiramatian and job opportunities in Shompole were reported as important benefits.


31 Weaknesses The focus groups discussed 84 current weaknesses. Most weak nesses fit in the socio economic context, specifically disunity in the community, which includes political conflict and disagreement s between generations (Table 1 6 ). Conservancy Age Comparison The most pertinent weaknesses for the older conservancies were different from the younger conservancies (Table 1 7 ). The groups only overlapped in their discussion of a lack of education throughout their communities about conservation. Socio economic weaknesses were most urgent and highly ranked by the older conserv ranked higher by the younger conservanci es. This difference was statistically significant (P=0.0023, 8 ). The older conservancies had the most potential for co llaboration regard ing ecological weaknesses (PCI= 0.25) and younger conservancies had the most potential for collaboration for socio econ omic topics (PCI=0.3; Table 1 8, Figure 1 2 B). Stakeholder Comparison The management committees and scouts brought up different weaknesses within the conservancies; the committees focused on marketing, political conflicts and management problems, while the scouts reflected on disunity in the community and a lack of capacity through equipment and education. Both groups hig hly ranked a d earth of game scouts (Table 1 9 ). The management committees discussed institutional weaknesses while socio economic issues were more important to the game scouts (P< 0.0001, test, Table 1 10 ).


32 Ecological weaknesses had highe r mean ranks for the scouts, while institutional issues had higher means from the comm 3 B). Both stakeholder groups had similar values for socio economic weaknesses. Managers had high potential for collaboration on institution al topics (PCI=0.10), and socio economic weaknesses had more shared perspectives for th e game scouts (PCI=0.29; Table 1 10 ). Key informant interviews with community leaders in the same communities ervancies. Political conflicts and disagreements between leaders stood out in Shompole, as the head teacher and traditional chief both discussed misunderstandings leading to failed tourist projects and jealousy about distribution of benefits. In Loita, the and traditional chiefs of both older and younger age sets felt poor management capacity stemmed from lack of education and untransparent management endeavors. Empaash and Olorgesailie, which consist of subdivided land, discussed the s elling of plots and the lack of communal approaches to resources as major weaknesses. Other important weaknesses shared by many leaders interviewed were the lack of benefits reaching community members directly, drought and lack of reliable natural resource s, and human wildlife conflict. For example, the head teacher in Loita stated that human wildlife conflict is the even interfering in schools, and so they are contrib uting to a downfall of academic


33 when walking in the forest and created a signif icant concern for the conservation Opportunities The focus groups elicited future, with the socio economic theme having the most numerous and highest ranks, including benefit s to the community, a unified community behind their conservancies, and tourists (Table 1 11 ). Conservancy Age Comparison The top opportunities shared and ranked by the older and the younger conser vancies were similar (Table 1 12 ). The older conservancies Table 1 13 ). The younger conservancies had a much higher mean ranking of ecological opportunities than the older conservancies, while the other management c at egories overlapped (Figure 1 2 C). The older conservancies displayed the most potential for collaboration on socio economic opportunities (PCI=0.2) while younger conservancies shared more perspectives on ecological topics (PCI=0.29; Table 1 13 ). Stakeholde r Comparison The management brought up opportunities for the conservancies unique from those discusse d by the game scouts (Table 1 14 ), though both groups highly ranked direct benefits reaching the community, improved conservancy management, and external partnerships with such groups as facilitators, organizations, and the government. ranked institutional opportunities highly; however, the management committee valued


34 ecologic significant ly (P=0.0036, 15 ). The managers showed the most potential for col laboration regarding ecological opportunities for the conservancies (PCI=0.22), while the institutional topics had the most potential for collaboration for the g ame scouts (PCI=0.21; Table 1 15; Figure 1 3 C). Key informant interviews with stakeholder lead ers in the communities also emphasized the importance of benefits from the conservation project. The leaders in Olkiramatian discussed the value of increased education to increase awareness of conservation and the conservancy. Shompole leaders anticipated functional tourist facilities and improved revenue. The younger traditional chief in Loita shared a desire for supportive partnerships with knowledgeable facilitators to help the conservancy prepare for climate change and sustaining their natural resources . Leaders in Olorgesailie desired a plan for the equal sharing of benefits throughout the community. The methods of providing benefits in Empaash were seen as most effective, having already built a waterhole and funded the primary school in order to promot e goodwill toward the conservancy; the leaders were grateful for these programs, while anticipating an expansion of additional funds and infrastructure such as roads and electricity. The stakeholder leaders anticipated improved conservancy management. Thi s opportunity ranged from formalizing the conservancy in Loita, to strengthening the further sale of land plots in Olorgesailie in order to sustain the Maasai community and pr omote support for the conservancy. The government chief in Olorgesailie supported


35 The first opportunity is for us to make sure that the idea of conservation gets actually implemented here and the management committee of our conservancy also becomes very strong, so that we have a lot of money and a strong Also, leaders di scussed improved unity among themselves, especially between chiefs, politicians, and the conservancy management committee. The younger age set for our conservancy would be if all leaders and elders would come together in decision making and to share one voice for everything done in the conservation area and in the community. Then everything can be successful. This act encompasses everything, so no other opportunities are Threats ecological issues representing the majority of the challenges discussed and ranks (Table 1 16 ). Human wildlife conflict and poaching were the most numerou s and highest ranked threats across all focus groups and conservancies. Conservancy Age Comparison The top threats discussed by the older and younger conservancies were similar, with emphasis on human wildlife conflict, poaching, and changing ecological c haracteristics from growing wildlife populations and threats to environmental resources (Table 1 17 ). ecological and institutional threats as more important than the older conservanc ies


36 ( p =0.0001, 18 ). Despite ecological challenges being discussed the most overall, the older conservancies had high collaboration scores for institutional threats (PCI=0.05) and socio economic threats (PCI=0.15), while the you nger conservancies had the most potential for collaboration for institutio nal topics (PCI=0.22; Table 1 18; Figure 1 2 D). Stakeholder Comparison The top threats discussed by the management committee and game scouts were similar, including human wildlife conflict, poaching, lack of compensation for conflict with wildlife, and lack of commun ity benefits overall (Table 1 19 ). The ranking of future threats to the conservancies did not differ statistically between the stakeholders working in the institutions ( P=0.2547, 19 ). The management committees had high potential for collaboration for institutional threats (PCI=0.06) while the most potential for collaboration for the scouts was displayed for ecologic al threats (PCI=0.33; Table 1 20; Figure 1 3 D). The key informant interviews with the community leaders also highlighted human wildlife conflict as a major threat for the conservancies, as it was discussed as a result of increasing wildlife populations and human populations, increas ing droughts, we will continue conserving wildlife, but the wildlife won't know we're taking care of them. They will increase in number, leading to more livestock


37 Environmental destruction was another important threat to the conservancies from the perspective of t he community leaders. The pastor and head teacher discussed their fears of increased logging in Loita, saying increased human populations could create a demand for building materials and space for agriculture, and thus exacerbating forest destruction as we ll as damage to their water sources. In Shompole, the head human activities engaged in agriculture will decrease rivers especially as people use generators to pump away water to the far ms. This puts [wild] animals at risk and they may have to move away from the conservancy to find water. The people in Shompole grow maize and other crops; if one person starts pumping water, what happens when thousands of Discussion The us e of NGT coupled with SWOT analysis questions provided a framework for examining opportunities for collaborative management of CBNRM. Environmental management and natural resource governance structures have been evaluated using SWOT analyses (Lozano & Vall es, 2007 ; Nikolaou & Evangelinos, 2010; Martins et al., 2013 ). Conservation planning has also found SWOT to be an effective evaluation tool compared to other analytical methods i n increas ing program efficiency and benefits to the communities over managemen t costs (Kajanus et al., 2012). This study distinguishes between communities just starting their conservation programs and those that have well established conservation projects , providing useful information for CBNRM programs that vary widely in their st ages of participation. The distinct issues discussed by the older and younger conservancies in the SWOT analyses highlighted that each group must address their specific problems. For


38 example, a younger conservancy can first focus on ecological issues for c onserving their environment and resources as well as improving institutional features of their organization in order to succeed. Older conservancies must ensure these two themes are addressed, while additionally they must work toward discussing their socio economic issues, including emphasizing benefits, political interactions, and their role in the community. The study identified strengths and weaknesses perceived by each stakeholder group. The management committees and game scouts shared some perspective s and differed at other times, meaning more communication between stakeholder groups is necessary to improve these projects with collaboration. The Potential for Collaboration Index enabled an analysis of factors with collective agreement and other areas for managers and scouts to focus future interventions. Collaboration focuses on the interaction among actors, and the emphasis on inclusion, power sharing and joint decision making in this study will help facilitate the participatory CBNRM processes (Berke s, 2010). Conservancy Age Comparison P erceived important features of the conservancies currently differ, which can be explained by the age and performance of the conservancies. E cological and institutional issues were more highly ranked by the younger co , because these conservancies are still developing as organization s; ecological support for the environment and resources as well as actively creating the institutional structures, partnerships, and infrastructure in the conservanc y are major objectives for these projects, so they are focused on these areas when in the first years of developing the conservancies. This is why the younger conservancies highly ranked such topics as


39 community participation in the conservation project an d its protection of the environment, which are primary features of community based conservancies . In contrast, the socio economic issues were more valued by the olde participants; as older institutions, they had already established their ec ological and institutional features and were now developing their socio economic role in the community, including providing benefits to the community and resolving conflicts between political groups or community leaders . Consequently, external support for a younger conservancy should support their work for all three management themes, while the older conservancies can focus their management plans on socio economic opportunities. Opportunities highly ranked by participants were benefits for the community, v aluable, external partnerships, and unified community working together to support the conservancy, so these can be the focus for promoting project improvement and stakeholder collaboration. Threats to the conservancies in the three ecosystem management the mes were ranked highly, so all of the topics should be included in discussions of preparation for future threats. This similar ity in the conservancies suggest that collaboration will be possible through th eir complementary perspectives if partnerships are built between the communities. This is especially true for the ecological issues such as human wildlife conflict, poaching, and fear of large wildlife populations discussed extensively by both types of conservancy. The PCI scores for the study were often large for all contexts and conservancies. The high variation in perspectives, as reflected in the large PCI scores, could be effectively addressed through inclusive discussions and methods to encourage the stakeholders to work together within their conserv ancies. For example, the disparate


40 weaknesses perceived within the conservancies should be targeted specifically based the community, lack of management and scout capacit y, and lack of benefits including compensation for human wildlife conflict and education about conservation. In contrast, younger conservancies should target such weaknesses as the urgent issue of land subdivision, the lack of management capacity, educatio n, and conservancy infrastructure. Stakeholder Comparison conservancies, the management committees and the game scouts differed when describing current weaknesses and future opportunit ies for the conservancies, while , possibly due to the clarity of strengths to be recalled at a similar rate des pite stakeholders with different roles in the same projects. T hese similar perspectives could be a catalyst for collaborative activities when tackling issues since they are important for both groups. For example, such perceived strengths as community land ownership and the participation of the community overall in the conservancy were shared by both groups, so emphasizing the shared perspectives will be important to set the stage for collaboration. As the institutional strengths discussed by the groups were more important for the game scouts, this difference in perspectives about the institutional issues is consistent with the different roles the management and the scouts play in the conservancy; we might expect them to think about the conservancy differentl y from their


41 distinct roles : manager s overseeing the institution in comparison with scouts implementing and enforcing rules on the ground. The committees and scouts differed significantly in their perceptions of the con the conservancies, which were reflected in the perceived current problems. Perhaps this difference in ranking of the ecological weaknesses, which was highly ranked as important by the scouts and less so for the committees, the ground, witnessing environmental problems such as degradation and poaching. In contrast, the committees were focused on institutional features and aspiring for economic improvements. For example, instituti onal weaknesses were ranked higher for the committee and they had high potential for collaboration , which suppor ts an interpretation that the committee is consistent in their perceptions of weaknesses, an important feature for future action by these manage rs. Socio economic weaknesses were relatively similar for both groups and had overlapping ranks, so these weaknesses could be the focus for collaborative activities between the stakeholder groups, including such weaknesses as political conflicts and disuni ty in the community, as well as ways to improve the capacity of both management and the scouts. Collaboration needs strong organizational capacity and clear policies to structure their interactions (Mburu & Birner, 2007). After joint participation has been established, it will ensure that they address the different perspectives on ecological and institutional themes. Perspectives of future opportunities which differed between the management committees and the scouts highlighted the distinct perspectives of these stakeholders. Earlier studies using the Potential for Conflict Index to assess stakeholder perceptions


42 of wildlife management agencies and hunting found that the most important factor which influenced the range of perceptions was their specific beli efs about topic, and not demographic features of the participants or prior experience with the topic (Donnelly & Vaske, 1995). Though the stakeholder groups differed significantly, the institutional and socio economic ranks of importance were similar and s hould be the focus for collaboration in the conservancies when addressing their potential for the future. Similar issues highly ranked by both groups included community unification and participation within the project, as well as improved partnerships and increasing benefits and management capacity. The management committees and the game scouts were similar in their perspectives on potential threats to the conservancies. Overlapping perspectives revealed that ecological and socio economic issues both ranke d more highly on average than institutional threats. Human wildlife conflict, poaching, and lack of compensation and benefits overall were threats discussed by both groups, so these should be the focus of management plans. Issues which were agreed upon by the different stakeholders should be addressed first to establish collaboration within the project management. After setting up participatory decision making structures founded on these shared perspectives, topics with more diverse perspectives that may l ead to conflict can be addressed later. Benefits Wildlife collaborations strengthen when local communities had access to benefits from the wildlife (Mburu & Birner, 2007). All of the stakeholders in all of the communities in this study expected benefits t o reach their community and eventually themselves directly. Only 11 of 30 community leaders reported receiving benefits, and these


43 included the existence of shared resources, improved grazing, and access to water which are protected by the conservancies ( A ppendix E ). Direct, individual benefits such as school scholarships, economic revenue, and employment with tourism are expected to increase. The current lack of direct benefits is a problem that needs to be addressed s prior to frustrating them or decreasing their engagement. Often communities have highly unequal distributions of the paltry economic benefits from CBNRM programs (Norton Griffiths, 1997). For example, Kenyan board members of one community conservation p roject were found to be misappropriating project funds for personal gains (Kellert, 2000). Consequently, unequal sharing of benefits is a real issue for the communities in the southern Rift Valley. A community based project in Tanzania also showed that ben efits are mostly reaching the community livelihood, or even conservation (Sachedina, 2008). If such unequal distribution of benefits occurs in the southern Rift Valley communit ies, and the community leaders in this study expressed few benefits overall, than any benefits reaching the community themselves might be expected to be minimal. Transparent and organized benefit distribution must be implemented in order to support the peo ple bearing the costs of living with wildlife or else the conservation efforts may not be successful. Land Subdivision Subdivided land into individual land tenure has greatly influenced communities founded on traditions of shared resources and communal de cision making. Subdivision reduces traditional knowledge and resource access as well as mobility for pastoralists,


44 and it can lead to the degradation of the environment (Western et al., 2009). In subdivided communities, the elite capture of benefits and na tural resources, and the exclusion of community members is even more threatening (Sundstrom, Tynon, & Western, 2012). These threats are multiplied when land parcels are sold to outsiders; neighbors of different cultures could be less likely to support indi genous, pastoralist livelihoods (Sundstrum, Tynon, & Western, 2012). The individual decision making inherent in subdivided land ownership is a large barrier for collaborative ecosystem management. Communities must combine traditional thinking with innova tive practices to create decision making and management plans resources for their use. The Maasai cultural promotion of conservation in the southern Rift Valley has supported the influences the success of CBNRM (Waylen et al., 2010; Meek, 2013). Stakeholder networks and associations encourage the exchange of social capital and aid in overcoming the subdivided lan d tenure barrier. Exchanges in information and support benefit individuals and communities through bonding ties among families and peers and bridging ties to outsiders (Pretty & Ward, 2001; Galvin, 2008). Social capital stimulating collaboration is still p ossible in subdivided communities, as was shown by Empaash Olorenito and Olorgesailie, two subdivided sites , which work in collaborative management structures. Furthermore, horizontal ties between the communities across the region, especially within the ol der and younger categories, could find means to improve the programs.


45 This study helps c ollaborative management creates common purpose among stakeholder networks for social learning and social capital exchange, as well as capacity process, policy and struc ture building (Schustler, Decker, & Pfeffer, 2003). Stakeholder participation in CBNRM in Tanzania has been found to be the most desirable management structure , which supports the needs of community stakeholders (Kijazi & Kant, 2011). In this study, the yo unger projects showed their need for supportive forums for discussions between stakeholders, which will build trust and work towards the success of the projects collectively (Childs et al., 2013). Limitations In the three month period, the purposive sampl ing of scouts and committee members for 10 focus groups in five conservancies provide d insight into these stakeholder groups. While almost the entire groups were present in the focus groups, r esources did not allow for randomized sampling for interviews wi th indirect stakeholders to have data representative of the perspectives of the communities overall. Instead, these methods provide a snapshot of a specific time and place for the study . T he appropriateness of these quantitative and qualitative methods was selected based on preliminary research in the region and consultation with local informants from the host communities. However, t he evaluation of the conservancies w ould benefit from additional assessments of the conservancies current physical , ecological , and social conditions. Conclusions and Recommendations This study showed that combining NGT method with SWOT program evaluation questions is useful for CBNRM projects. Older conservancies have different issues and characteristics than the younger conserv ancies, and so internal and external support for


46 improving the projects should be aware of the distinct ecosystem management topics for these programs. The committees and the scouts provided their perspectives on the conservancies, highlighting similaritie s and differences in their experiences with the projects. The opinion leaders of the indirect stakeholders enhanced the assessment of the CBNRM with supportive perspectives and additional details. We recommend that community based conservancies consciousl y strive to work with local leadership and diverse stakeholder groups to promote transparency and increase collaboration in management to increase their efficacy by using the findings of the SWOT analyses and the Potential for Collaboration scores. While c ollaborative programs are site specific, structured according to the issues and context, and can be implemented first with stakeholders of a single community, exchanges between conservancies through regional partnerships will strengthen their success. The younger conservancies should focus on addressing ecological issues to meet their conservation objectives, as well as improving institutionally to strengthen as organizations. The older conservancies, after ensuring these ecosystem management contexts have been addressed, should move on to collaborate to solve socio economic problems in their conservancies. Deliberation and involvement of diverse community stakeholders will minimize these issues. Results from this study will be returned to the five group ra nches through a series of community meetings, which will include a summary of the research results in the Maasai language, participatory discussions about developing management plans for the conservancies, and opportunities for improved community collabora tion across stakeholder groups. P lans to structure future meetings to encourage dialogue between


47 the interested stakeholders will en sure this action moving forward as it will bring the community together to collaborate in their conservancy. Increasing comm unity inclusion and support for the conservancy will be vital to sustain the ecosystem and wildlife and encourage progress for the conservanc ies. This evaluation provides valuable information that will help these conservancies reach their potential to sup port the habitat and wildlife in the Rift Valley corridors between Maasai Mara National Reserve and Amboseli National Park. This study contributed to a proactive discussion and analysis of community driven projects in East Africa in the hopes of enhancing the conservation potential of conservancies by supporting the implementation of truly participatory policies.


48 Table 1 1 . Strengths discussed in all focus groups, categorized into three ecosystem management themes with the sum of the weighted ranks. Ecol ogical context Sum of ranks Institutional context Sum of ranks Socio economic context Sum of ranks Total Ecological characteristics 15 Community participation 16 Benefits for community 32 Environmental conservation 11 Conservancy characteristics 4 Commu nity land 15 No Poaching 6 Management 7 Culture 3 Resources 14 Partnerships' support 4 Government 1 Scouts 8 Positive attitudes 5 Society's characteristics 2 Tourists 17 Unified community 9 Total 46 39 84 189 Table 1 2 . To p strengths discussed by older and younger conservancies. Older Younger Community land Community participation Ecological characteristics Community land Benefits for community Resources Tourists Benefits for community Unified community Environmental conservation


49 Table 1 3 . Sum, mean ranking, and PCI scores for the strengths discussed by the older and younger conservancies Ecological Institutional Socio economic Total Older Sum 30 11 75 116 Mean 1.67 1.38 2.42 PCI 0.62 0.22 0.37 Younger Sum 15 22 37 74 Mean 2.14 1.83 2.18 PCI 0.6 0.4 0.45 Total Sum 45 33 112 190 Table 1 4 . Top strengths discussed by direct stakeholder groups. Table 1 5 . Sum, mean ranking, and PCI scores for the strengths discussed by the direct stakeholder groups (P= 0.1276, Ecological Institutional Socio economic Total Committee Sum 24 12 63 99 Mean 1.71 1.2 2.52 PCI 0.67 0.46 0.39 Scouts Sum 21 21 49 91 Mean 1.91 2.1 2.13 PCI 0.53 0.18 0.41 Total Sum 45 33 112 190 Committee Scouts Community land Community land Resources Ecological c haracteristics Community participation Unified Community Benefits for community Community participation Culture Positive attitudes


50 Table 1 6 . Weaknesses discussed in all focus groups, categorized into three ecosystem management themes with the sum of the weighted ranks. Ecological context Sum of ranks Institutional context Sum of ranks Socio economic context Sum of ranks Total Climate change 1 Disunity in community 1 Conflicts with other Communities 1 Drought 7 Insecurity 2 Corruption 6 Ecosystem destruction 3 Insufficient partners' S upport 2 Diseases 1 Floods 1 Lack of community participation 5 Disunity in community 28 Human wildlife conflict 10 Lack of conservancy infrastructure 5 Lack of benefits 2 Lack of resources 4 Need more scouts 10 Lack of education 8 Lacking wildlife 1 Poor management 14 Lack of funding 2 Poaching 4 Poor leadership 2 Lack of tourist facilities 1 Wildlife killed 1 Problems marketing 2 Lack of tourists 6 Scouts lack equipment 4 Land subdivision 7 No compensation 3 Superstitions 2 32 44 70 181 Table 1 7 . Top weaknesses discussed by older and younger conservancies. Older Yo unger Disunity in Community Land subdivision Need more scouts Lack of management capacity Poor management Lack of education No compensation Lack of conservancy infrastructure Lack of education Problems marketing


51 Table 1 8 . Sum, mean ranking, and PCI scores for the weaknesses discussed by the older and younger conservancies Ecological Institutional Socio economic Total Older Sum 3 41 68 112 Mean 1.5 1.64 2.43 PCI 0.25 0.39 0.4 Younger Sum 10 33 29 72 Mean 2.5 2.2 1.71 PCI 0.4 0.33 0.3 Total Sum 13 74 97 184 Table 1 9 . Top weaknesses discussed by direct stakeholder groups. Committee Scouts Problems marketing Disunity in community Political Conflicts Scouts lack equipment Lack of management capacit y Lack of education Poor management Need more scouts Need more scouts Land subdivision Table 1 10. Sum, mean ranking, and PCI scores for the weaknesses discussed by the direct stakeholder groups (P< Ecological Instituti onal Socio economic Total Committee Sum 7 55 34 96 Mean 1.75 2.04 2.13 PCI 0.52 0.1 0.48 Scouts Sum 6 19 63 88 Mean 3 1.46 2.17 PCI 1 0.58 0.29 Total Sum 13 74 97 184


52 Table 1 11 . Opportunities discussed in all focus groups, categorized int o three ecosystem management themes with the sum of the weighted ranks. Ecological context Sum of ranks Institutional context Sum of ranks Socio economic context Sum of ranks Total Ecological characteristics 1 Community Participation 16 Benefits for comm unity 35 Resources 13 Conservancy characteristics 14 Community land 1 Stop poaching 5 K enya Wildlife Service 1 Conservancy C haracteristics 1 Management 11 Culture 2 Partnerships 16 Resources 1 Scouts 11 Tourists 17 Society's characte ristics 1 Unified community 29 19 70 86 191 Table 1 12 . Top opportunities discussed by older and younger conservancies. Older Younger Benefits for community Benefits for community Management Unified Community Partnerships Resources Unified Comm unity Community Participation Tourists Partnerships


53 Table 1 13 . Sum, mean ranking, and PCI scores for the opportunities discussed by the older and younger conservancies Ecological Institutional Socio economic Tot al Older Sum 3 59 52 114 Mean 1 2.22 1.93 PCI 0.5 0.41 0.2 Younger Sum 13 54 42 109 Mean 2.17 2.16 1.83 PCI 0.29 0.39 0.52 Total Sum 16 113 94 223 Table 1 14. Top opportunities discussed by direct stakeholder groups. Committee Scouts Ben efits for community Unified Community Community Participation Partnerships Management Benefits for community Partnerships Management Culture Scouts Tourists Table 1 15 . Sum, mean ranking, and PCI scores for the opportunities discussed by the direct stakeholder groups ( Ecological Institutional Socio economic Total Committee Sum 15 60 60 135 Mean 1.88 2.35 1.82 PCI 0.22 0.56 0.31 Scouts Sum 1 53 34 88 Mean 1 2.04 2 PCI 0.33 0.21 0.45 Total Sum 16 113 9 4 223


54 Table 1 16 . Threats discussed in all focus groups, categorized into three ecosystem management themes with the sum of the weighted ranks. Ecological context Sum of ranks Institutional Context Sum of ranks Socio economic context Sum of ranks Total Drought 4 Insecurity 5 Agriculture 1 Ecological characteristics 14 Lack of funding 1 Conservation preventing development 1 Ecosystem destruction 9 Poor management 1 Diseases 5 Human wildlife conflict 48 Scouts lack equipment 1 Disunity in community 9 Lack of resources 9 Scouts threatened 1 Government 1 Poaching 20 Human population 3 Lack of benefits 4 Lack of education 1 Lack of tourists 4 Land subdivision 8 No compensation 3 Oil Exploration 1 Problems marketing 1 Weak partnerships 1 104 9 43 186 Table 1 17 . Top threats discussed by older and younger conservancies. Older Younger Human wildlife conflicts Human wildlife conflict No compensation Poaching Poaching Ecosystem destruction Ec ological characteristics Lack of benefits Land subdivision Ecological characteristics


55 Table 1 18 . Sum, mean ranking, and PCI scores for the threats discussed by the older and younger conservancies Ecological Instit utional Socio economic Total Older Sum 61 1 50 112 Mean 1.13 1 1.69 PCI 0.32 0.05 0.15 Younger Sum 79 14 25 118 Mean 2.14 1.75 1.79 PCI 0.28 0.22 0.6 Total Sum 140 15 75 230 Table 1 19 . Top threats discussed by direct stakeholder grou ps. Committee Scouts Human wildlife conflict Human wildlife conflict No compensation Poaching Lack of benefits Oil Exploration Ecological characteristics Land subdivision Poaching No compensation Lack of benefits Table 1 20 . Sum, mean ranking, an d PCI scores for the threats discussed by the direct stakeholder groups (P=0.2547, Ecological Institutional Socio economic Total Committee Sum 77 9 50 136 Mean 1.97 1.8 2 PCI 0.27 0.07 0.33 Scouts Sum 63 6 25 94 Mean 2.1 1.5 1.92 PCI 0.33 0.4 0.385 Total Sum 140 15 75 230


56 Figure 1 1 . Map of the conservancies in the southern Rift Valley of Kenya: Loita, Olkiramatian, Shompole, Empaash, and Olorgesailie. Figure courtesy of Peadar Brehony , 2015 .


57 Figure 1 2 when comparing the maturity stages. A) Strengths. B) W eaknesses. C) Opportunities. D) Threats. The center point of each bubble represents the scale mean, bubble size represent the PCI score. The scale on the y axis measures level of importance of the issues ranked by the participants from 0 (no importance) to 3 (highly important).


58 Figure 1 3 Op portunities. D) Threats. The center point of each bubble represents the scale mean, bubble size represent the PCI score, representing the variance in respondents answers. The scale on the y axis measures level of importance of the issues ranked by the part icipants from 0 (no importance) to 3 (highly important).


59 C HAPTER 2 THE INFLUENCE OF GROUP MATURITY IN COMMUNITY BASED CONSERVANCIES IN KENYA Summary The formation of community groups to conduct community based conservation projects has been a popular met hod for decentralized involvement and management of environmental resources in Africa . We examine how Kenyan conservancies mature over time in relation to the activities and structure of groups involved in community based projects. We compared two older pr ograms over ten years old with three younger conservancies under five years old. W e assessed the characteristics of ten stakeholder groups from five community based conservation projects: five conservancy management committees and five teams of community g ame scouts , to test a model of group maturity related to program success ( Pretty & Ward , 2001). C d over time, with older programs having significantly higher maturity scores than t he younger programs, while the maturity scores of the management committees and the game scouts did not differ within the same conservancies . While the group maturity model (Pretty & Ward , 2001) categorizes the groups into one of three maturity categories on a spectrum of least to most mature, our res ults support a continuum of maturity which would take into account complexity of the model due to its many variables which often differed for the group s . We found distinct issues for projects in different stages of maturity, which will inform the design o f conservancy management plans specific to their maturity stage in order to enhance their conservation potential. O rganizational factors explained the observed differences in group maturity, including internal decision making structure and activity schedul e, presence of leaders, and partnerships with other groups. Our findings


60 suggest that the progression of group maturity over time is associated with more successful activities, so we recommend assisting community based conservancies to focus on influential institutional variables in order to better improve their progress as a group, to in turn support their efficacy in achieving their conservation objectives. Introduction Community based natural resource management projects are popular structures for engagi ng communities in actively managing their environment, resources, and wildlife. From local traditional norms and institutions to modern mechanisms to promote decentralized community involvement, the large range of projects has examples worldwide and varyin g degrees of success in achieving their conservation goals (Berkes, 2004; Charnley & Poe, 2007; Manfredo, 2008). The success of community based projects depends heavily on organizational structure and institutional collaboration, in addition to concurrent socio economic development and environmental protection (Kellert, 2000). If communities do not participate in the programs, then the lack of collective support for the project results in increased environmental and resource degradation (Pretty & Ward, 2001 ). W hen communities develop social capital and trust around their conservation projects, they help to make the projects more sustainable through capacity building and long term involvement after locally investing in the projects (Andrade & Rhodes, 2012). F or example, the cooperation of diverse community stakeholders through collaboration within the projects and the exchange of knowledge between community members improves management and governance of environmental resources (Carcamo, Garay Fluhmann, & Gaymer , 2014). Also, groups working together for natural resource management have been found to be most effective in achieving their objectives when


61 they develop social capital and collectively promote the best management practices (Kilpatrick, 2007). These dece ntralized projects make economic benefits accessible to the communities themselves, unlike other top down or governmental approaches to conservation and development (Agrawal & Gibson, 1999). However, if the project structure is weak and the benefits are un dermined or captured elsewhere, the projects can fail as they lose community support (Woodhouse & Woodhouse, 1997; Mugisha & Jacobson, 2004). The performance of the conservation projects, for example their ability to achieve their conservation objectives, depends on features of the organization including the management decision making structure and participation of community stakeholders (Brooks, Waylen, & Borgerhoff Mulder, 2012). Building on the importance of organizational structure for functional proje cts, t he goal of this study wa s to determine if c ommunity based conservancies mature and which features of the groups involved in the projects, such as their interactions and activities, most influence their maturity and perceived performance for their con servation objectives . W e assessed the characteristics of ten groups from five community based conservation projects: five conservancy management committees and five teams of community game scouts. To assess conservancy maturity over time, the project compa red two older programs over ten years old with three younger conservancies under five years old. Focus groups were held with each group separately to test a model of group maturity related to program success originally proposed by Pretty and Ward (2001). B y assessing organizational structure, social capital, performance,


62 independence, and resilience, this study provides the first evaluation of group maturity in community based conservancies. Group Maturity Groups and organizations in a variety of fields h av e been shown to progress with challenges may change as they mature, defined by their performance, efficiency, organization, and production of social capital. To ensure t hat projects are able to achieve their objectives, it is important to identify areas for strengthening the programs and structure of the group (Curtis et al. , 1999). defining and self sustaining activity, making independence, self reflection, and group performance important features of group maturity. Social capital development and exchanges within the group and between groups, such as external partners , are also predicted to infl uence group maturity (2001). Westermann et al. (2005) operationalized supportive values and attitudes toward self (p. 1787). They found increasing maturity corresponded with increasing social capital and the presence of women within the group, thus highlighting the importance of diversity within a group to achieve successful community based collective action. While Pretty and W ard (2001) related group maturity to environmental management, group maturity has been rarely used for evaluating the issues faced by community based conservancies, specifically.


63 Group Maturity Model ty to assess the categorizes the groups based on the results into three stages t o specify their functioning and performance. According to Pretty and Ward (2001), all groups evolve through three progressive stages over time: reactive dependence, realization independence, and awareness independence. Defining the stages in this model dep ends on four constructs of worldview, internal rules and organizational norms, external links , and group lifespan (Figure 2 1 ). The worldview and sense ervancy. The factors describing internal norms and rules takes into account task organization, group decision making, project goals and preparation to achieve them, regularity of meetings, y; well established internal structures are related to more mature groups (Barham & Chitemi , 2008). The variable for external links and networks relates to links between additional organizations, partners, and facilitators and what their role is in working with the group; communication between stakeholders and a group coordinator to facilitate activities strongly influences organizational effectiveness (Curtis et al. 2000). The variable for internal conflict, and their persistence to continue developing objectives beyond the creation of the initial project. Adaptive governance depends on resilient groups which can overcome times of


64 crisis to rebuild trust and internally and externally resolv e conflict (Jehn & Mannix, 2001; Folke et al. 2005). The stages which categorize group maturity as a result of this model range from least to most mature in relation to group performance and independence. Consequently, groups in a more mature stage are pre dicted to be more effective in achieving planned outcomes than intermediate and lower stages. The reactive dependence is least mature, meaning the group was possibly created in response to a specific threat, it has simple goals to address this problem, and it depends on external organizations to support and facilitate their activities. The realization independence stage is the intermediate maturity level; it is characterized by increasing investment time in the group and developing internal norms and partne rships with other groups. The awareness independence stage is the most mature and stable, with established norms and structure, which are also adaptive for development and improvement over time, their goals expand and progress over time, and they are confi dent in their potential to achieve their objectives (Pretty & Ward, 2001). different management strategies and ways to engage with external partnership s. Since older g roups w ill have more opportunities for developing social capital and trust, structures for decision making, incorporating partnerships, and motivating leaders, we hypothesize that older, more well established projects will have higher scores in this maturity mode l. For example, group characteristics such as higher efficacy in achieving their conservation goals and increased inclusiveness of community stakeholders we predict to be indicators of these community based projects.


65 When presenting this maturity model, Pr etty and Ward (2001) also question whether there is the potential for a continuum of maturity changing steadily rather than their proposed three discrete stages. We use evidence from the five community based conservancies to compare the role of discrete st ages with a maturity continuum. In order to support the development of effective protected area management that sustains or enhances environmental viability and resource availability . We sought to achievement of the Methods Study Sites The study area is the southern Rift Valley of Kenya of approximately 950,000ha encompasses valuable ecosystem and species diversity (Western, 2014), and lies between two famous national park s, Maasai Mara National Reserve and Amboseli National Park. It consists of 15 traditional Maasai group ranches, or communal land shared by the mobile pastoralists who move seasonally with their livestock. The habitat is a mix of grasslands, shrublands, and savanna woodlands. The traditional pastoralists coexist with nearly intact savanna herbivore communities (except black rhinoceros) and diverse, abundant carnivore populations of over 20 species (Schuette, 2013). Although some of the group ranches have sub divided the rangeland for individual parcels and agriculture, the arid ecosystem with an average rainfall of approximately 600mm continues to support traditional livestock herding, communal decision making about resource use, and seasonal movements (Sundst rum, Tynon, & Western, 2012). The group ranches are divided into zones for human settlement, livestock grazing, and conservancies, which are also refuges for grazing livestock and settlement when


66 necessary during the dry seasons. Consequently, they have th e concurrent goals of conserving their livelihood, wildlife, and natural resources. Rather than co management, based programs driven by local leaders and decision makers (Reed 2008). In the face o f modernization and development, these community based conservation projects formally strengthen traditional Maasai conservation mechanisms. Five Maasai gr oup ranches in this region have conservancies with different ages, ecosystems, abundant wildlife popu lations, and resource use structures (Figure 2 2). Olkiramatian and Shompole are older than 10 years old and well established with such features as tourist lodges and fees for entering the conservancy. The two neighboring conservancies protect an ecosyste m near the Ewaso Ngiro R iver and the border of Tanzania with increasing wildlife populations, including increasing lion and elephant populations. Three other conservancies are younger than 5 years old. Empaash Olorenito was formed in 2009 when 16 men poo led their individual plots from the subdivided land into a formalized conservancy with the leadership of a Chairman and the help of lawyers from Nairobi and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). It is a hilly region close to Nairobi with large herds of eland a nd oryx, as well as the presence of hyenas and leopards. Loita formed in 2011 as a result of threats to the resources and endangered wildlife previously conserved only under traditional mechanisms . The Loita conservancy, called Entasekera forest, is loca ted in the mountains between the Rift Valley and the Maasai Mara game reserve. This forested region i s ecologically distinct from the other conservancies as it has m ore water and different species.


67 Olorgesailie was created in 201 1 due to the observed succ ess of conservancies elsewhere in Kenya and to slow the pressure of logging which is threatening the area mostly by outsiders using the road to Nairobi nearby. This conservancy consisting of a mountain and dry plains is the site for one of the few breeding sites in the world for and is home to diverse mammals including endange red African wild dogs . The age difference of two sites over ten years old and three conservanci es younger than five years old enabled us to group the conservancies into older and younger categories. Focus Groups During May to August 2014, we conducted ten focus groups in five group ranches in the South Rift Valley of Kenya which have community based conservancies, with 55 participants total who directly participate i n the conservancies. Non random, purposeful sampling was used to select participants from two distinct stakeholder groups: ranch conservation committee members and conservancy game scout members . These stakeholders are present in all conservancies in this area. The management committees are the leaders for the projects, who were elected into their position and make decisions as a committee about the conservancies. The game scouts are employed to patrol, monitor wildlife, and enforce the conservation and sus tainable use rules set up by the committees. Due to their distinct roles , which could foster disparate perspectives on the project as d escribed by Tullberg ( 2013) , we met with the two stakeholder groups separately to collect their unique perspectives, and create a homogenous and comfortable setting for discussion in the focus groups.


68 Documentation Methods Group sessions and individual interviews were audio recorded for subsequent analysis. Maasai research assistants conducted the focus groups and interview s in Maa, the Maasai language, which were then translated into English for the head researcher to ask questions and take notes. A second research assistant took notes in Maa, and the two sets of notes were later combined and verified in English. The interv iew guide was developed, translated, and back translated with the help of six Maasai research assistants, and then pilot tested twice for validity and appropriateness of answers intended for the variables. Group Maturity Measurement Open ended questions as sessed the level of group maturity in their activities and structure s in each stakeholder group in the conservancies, 12 open ended questions were used based on Westermann et al. (2005; Appendix A). Analysis Recordings were transcribed. Qualitative data analysis led to categorization of participant quotes and ideas into salient themes and categories which were coded by multiple researchers for accuracy (Berg, 2004; Bazeley, 2009). Matur ity model analyses followed the steps in Pretty and Ward (2001) and Westermann et al. (2005) which provided a three point scale for potential responses on answers to qu estions were coded from 1 to 3. Then, the mean score was taken for all variables within each construct, and the overall maturity score for each group was an average of the scores for the four constructs. A higher group score indicates greater


69 group maturit y. scores were emphasized as influential factors in conservancies performance, independence, and progress. Signific ant results from paired t tests, with which we paired the stakeholders from the same communities, are indicated at an alpha level of 0.05. Microsoft Excel software, version 14.3.8, was used for all statistical analyses. Results Group Maturity Measurement The maturity scores for the manager and scout groups in each conservanc y varied from 1.2 to 2.6 (Table 2 1). Four were classified as awareness independent groups ( scores above 2.4) , four were classified as realization independent groups ( scores between 2 to 2.4), and t wo groups were classified in the reactive dependence stage (score s below 2) , based on Pretty and Ward (2001). Three management committees and one group of game scouts scored in the highest awareness independence stage. The management committees in the older sites, Olkiramatian and Shompole, as well as the except ional committee in the younger Empaash Olorenito conservancy, were highly functioning and descriptive in their answers about all group maturity variables. One committee and three groups of scouts scored in the intermediate realization independence stage. T he younger conservancy in Loita was categorized as stage 2 for both stakeholder groups, as well as the scouts in Shompole and Olorgesailie . management committee and the scouts in Empaash Olorenito scored low, both of which are younger conse rvancies, and were identified as the reactive dependence maturity stage.


70 The stakeholder comparison showed no significant difference between the maturity scores of all of the management committees ( M = 2.16, SD = 0.41) and the game scouts ( M =2.17, SD =0.48; t(3)=0.28, p=0.80). T he older conservancies ( M = 2.43, SD = 0.58) had a higher score on average than the younger conservancies ( M =1.99, SD =0.36; t(3)=3.87, p=0.031). The older conservancies had an average maturity score placing them in the awareness inde pendent group, while the younger conservancies were scored as the reactive dependence stage though their average was close to the intermediate realization independent group (Table 2 2). Based on the combined stakeholders within each community, t he two olde r conservancies were identified as stage 3, highly mature in the awareness independence category, while Empaash and Loita were placed in the intermediate stage 2 , realization independence, and Olorgesailie was least mature in stage 1, reaction dependence ( Table 2 3) . These correspond to the age of the conservancy and support our predictions . Maturity Variables The variables in the group maturity model clarified further the observed differences between the conservancies and the stakeholders. Worldview Grou p worldview and self reflection on their objectives, roles, and responsibilities scored highly in many communities. However, the youngest project in Olorgesailie had undefined objectives and lacked a structure for organization or decision making within the management committee. Internal Rules and Norms


71 older conservancies, including factors such as program organization, decision making structure, and regularity of meetings. Two in teresting exceptions were found, however, through the well organized management committee in Empaash Olorenito and the Olorgesailie game scouts who follow a standard, militaristic organization and decision making; these sites have exceptional structure, wh ich exceed the maturity stage of The groups with clearer structure also valued their role in impacting the community, including Olkiramatian committee and scouts, the management committee in Empaash, and th e scouts in both Loita and Olorgesailie. This varied across the boundary of young and older conservancy, as it instead reflected on the projects with clearly distinguished roles in the communities. The older management committees and the younger scouts wer e confident in their roles . often vague and varied. The younger projects had more ideas for targets to improve their projects , yet overall the groups identified targets that lacke d planning or forethought on how to reach these goals. conservancies. The presence of strong leaders in the management committee or in the governance of the community who supp orted the conservancy helped both the older and younger conservancies increase in importance for the communities. External Links


72 The older conservancies were more likely to include non group members in their activities and meetings than younger conservanc ies. In contrast, none of the projects scored very highly with external partnerships. Though they were developing vertical partnerships with NGOs and government institutions, e.g. Kenya Wildlife Service, which could aid them in their natural resource manag ement efforts, these partnerships had not yet developed into productive, efficient relationships. They also are progressing in their development of horizontal partnerships between the group ranches involved in the southern Rift Valley land owners associati on, SORALO , to facilitate areas of their projects. Group Lifespan The management committees scored higher for group turnover because they had a plan to implement group additions and replacement due to the election of leaders into their positions. In contr making additions to the group possible, but lacked any predictable turnover. The conservancies had different mechanisms for dealing with conflict in the group. A formal system of discussion and con flict resolution are a part of the conservancy structure in Empaash Olorenito. In contrast, Shompole and Olkiramatian followed traditional mechanisms for conflicts and group resilience, which involves contacting group ranch and local leaders, e.g. group ra nch committees and community chiefs, to resolve the problem. In the youngest projects, Loita and Olorgesailie, members had unclear plans for resolving conflict within the conservancy groups and only spoke of inviting outside leaders to contribute if necess ary.


73 Discussion Community based conservancies have yet to evaluate the maturity of their governance institutions have sustain ed varying levels of success in supporting conservation and sustainable community development (Berkes, 2004; Charnley & Poe, 2007). Organizational and group structures, including social capital developing trust and env ironmental management objectives (Kilpatrick, 2007). The group maturity model (Pretty & Ward, 2001) successfully explained characteristics of the five conservancies organizati efficacy and inclusion of community. The model supported the prediction that increasing maturity correlated with project age. maturity scores suggests that stakeholder gr oup s in the same communities may mature at similar rates. Maturity Variables Several maturity variables identified differences between the older and younger conservancies, as well as the characteristics of the management committees and game scouts that influenced their group maturity scores. Internal rules and norms for the groups, such as their decision making structure, the regularity of group meetings, and their perceived role in the community, were particularly important for more mature groups. The management committees in Olkiramatian, Shompole, and Empaash Olorenito met regularly, had formal structures for decision making, and personally invested in conservation benefit programs for the


74 communities. For example, In Empaash Olorenito the committee members created a few projects t o benefit all community members: they paid for a dam in the conservancy to collect water for people, liv estock, and wildlife to share and they provided books, food, and a cook for the local primary school , which improved mat riculation. This exceptional, younger conservancy in Empaash Olorenito was built with clear management structure and transparent group norms; other beginning projects may find this to be important as they progress in their work. ion of target s for future group projects lacked structure and planning, the younger programs had more ideas of goals to improve their programs. If older conservancies have already accomplished many objectives, their projects working to sustain current proj ects could limit their ability to focus on new targets. Discussion of targets is important for the development of group maturity, in order to cons ciously consider new objectives and activities. Benefits, transparency, and leadership were additional influe ntial variables in the discussion of group maturity. Most projects lacked mechanisms to distribute benefits throughout the community, but they were hopeful this would be established. The conservancies should work to meet these expectations, a new target, a nd increase support for tourist lodge s and c ommunity programs which will lead to increased benefits. Howev er, current tourism facilities present in the older conservancies have untransparent benefit sharing processes, making them to be at risk of elite cap ture. Increasing transparency is a big issu e for Olkiramatian and Shompole as it will increase community trust in leadership . Strong, charismatic leaders can strengthen conservation organizations with a conscious focus on 2004).


75 Stakeholders are more likely to participate in the projects when strong, supportive leaders are present (Waligo, Clarke, & Hawkins, 2013). External links connecting the conservancy groups to other projects, NGOs, and governmental partners were impo rtant in determining group maturity. Older conservancies welcomed non group members to support their work, and younger projects should be open to contributions from non group members as they can provide new skills or innovative problem solving. For example , the older conservancyes collaborated with the NGO SORALO as well as the Kenya Wildlife Service to better improve the programs . They built social capital by exchanging information to bolster the projects. These partnerships can greatly augment their work, and should be a target for projects wishing to improve and mature. As projects mature, linkages to productive partnerships can be sustained as long as the benefits continue; facilitative roles may decrease but collaboration and resource exchange can still take place (Pretty & Ward, 2001). However, t he scouts throughout several conservancies were inactive and depended on instructions for planning their work and support from external partners, including basic resources and salaries. They overall had lower ma turity scores than the committees, possibly due to their dependence on outside input for their activities and objectives, or because their specific perspective on the conservancy could be more limited, as defined by their role. The dependence on others is inefficient and is a barrier relationships to develop their own capacity through social capital. Improvements to support the scouts and clarify the demands of their work for the managers will promote


76 developing their maturity with the enhancement of social capital within the conservancies and with external partners. Conflict resolution mechanisms and set frameworks for communication were also influential variables in determi ning group maturity scores. While the noticeable lack of crisis and conflict in the communities currently could have enhanced the maturity scores for the conservancies, the difference between the older and younger conservancies supported the range in matur ity scores and the differences in preparedness for conflict. Groups perform best with when low to moderate conflict occurs about group processes, relationships, and task, as long as the group has high levels of trust and norms which promote discussion to o vercome conflict (Jehn & Mannix, 2001). From traditional Maasai conflict resolution techniques in Olkiramatian, to formal organizational plans to resolve problems amongst the entire management committee in Empaash Olorenito, the more mature projects were m or e resilient to conflict events, as they have supportive mechanisms to resolve the problems, creating higher performing, independent projects. Younger projects can learn from older projects to build structures to overcome conflict which is inevitable in g roup collaboration. How to Structure Maturity The results of the maturity model which placed the management committees and game scout groups in one of three stages on the maturity scale show that group maturity stages can be mixed within the same communi ty, as the stakeholders can have unique activities and differing organizational structures. The influential variables of group organizational structure, leadership, and partnerships provide evidence that age is not the only determinant of maturity.


77 Overa ll, it support s our hypothesis that the greater experience of older groups have had enable them to score higher on the maturity scale than younger ones. However, a few groups with unique organizational characteristics and act ivities were exceptions to this prediction and grouping stakeholders to categorize their maturity level overly simplifies experience. For example, the management committee in Empaash Olorenito was a high performing an d organized group with strong leaders , which exceeded expectations for its young age. The presence of exceptions to the predicted maturity scale leads to the question: are the three maturity stages discrete or does group progress lie on a continuum? Pret ty and Ward (2001) identified this problem when presenting their model, but as of yet it has not be en resolved. stages by producing varying results with group scores exceed ing their expecte d placement . We argue that instead of three, progressive yet separate stages which can be achieved over time similar to steps on a staircase, a continuum of developing maturity, where unique projects can be placed depending on their experience and characte ristics , matches our results of the maturity framework scores. The placement of the conservancies into the maturity stages by their response scores correspond s to the age of the conservancy and our predictions for the study. However, these discrete stages do not take into account the diversity of the experience and factors within the conservancies for each of the stakeholder groups . Averaging the maturity of the management committees and the game scouts eliminates the differences in performance, social cap ital, and efficacy observed in this study. For


78 example, the mature management committee in Empaash Olorenito when averaged with the game scouts of low maturity, places the conservancy in the intermediate stage, which does not match the reality of the group The categorization of groups into distinct stages is helpful if one is hoping to focus only on a certain stage, for example when creating management interventions. Groups categorized in the intermediate maturity stage suggest the groups ar e developing in thei r function and structure toward achieving their goals of conservation, but they still depend on partnerships and external facilitators for their practice. Yet, the process of maturation can vary extensively for groups need ing support in different aspects of their organization and interactions in order to improve. Rather than producing discrete maturity categories using this model, the richness of the data collected by the four constructs in this framework lend themselves well to create a continuum of maturity. In this study, the five conservancies varied in their maturity, their experiences, charac teristics, and performance. G roups that were categorized into the same maturity stage had some similarities , which logically caused them to sh are the same category ; yet, the qualitative diversity of the groups that was documented by the open ended questions for this model is lost by the final distinct disparate issues whi ch must be addressed in unique ways, which is also true for intermediate maturity stage. A continuum of maturity would instead place the groups in the sa mple in a spectrum of m aturity . It would incorporate the rich qualitative data documented by the


79 questions for each variable by highlighting the specific characteristics which need improvement, as we have done while discussing the maturity variables . Limitations Though our stud y was limited in size , a larger sample is needed to test the usefulness of a maturity continuum. Thus would better enable comparison of groups and inform interactions to support group efficacy. Each variable in this model was relevant to assessing the acti vities and performance overall of the community based conservancies, but future studies should formally assess their efficacy in achieving their objectives and the goals of the conservancy as a way to improve the project assessment. Comparing the group mat community will better inform the relationship between the influential maturity variables Conclusions and Recommendat ions The differences brought to light by the group maturity model highlight organizational characteristics and opportunities to improve them. The model enabled an understanding of key features of the community based conservancies as well as a means to comp are the projects. The study showed that older conservancies tend to be more mature than younger ones . Also, different stakeholders working on the same project have different roles and experiences in the conservancies, and as a result differed in their grou p characteristics and maturity scores, even if they did not differ in the maturity levels. Additionally, this study led to identifying unique factors of these projects which ure of


80 decision making and management activities within the subdivided community of Empaash Olorenito is one important example. In contrast, dependence on outsiders to guide activities and decisions brought some maturity scores down, as was seen for the ga me sco uts in Shompole conservancy . These influential variables should be the focus of managers of these projects. Finally, this study contributed to the discussion about the group maturity model created by Pretty and Ward (2001) and determined that a conti nuum of group maturity would more appropriately account for the diversity of the data collected using the model for the different groups rather than the three discrete maturity stages. We recommend researchers and practitioners using this model to assess group maturity and opportunities for improvement to focus not on the final stages but the details of the results using the answers to the questions assessing the many maturity variables. Management strategies and interventions to improve community based co conservation objectives can be found with the rich data about the groups and by placing the conservancies on a continuum of maturity for comparison. This continuum will allow the r esearcher or manager to efficiently prioritize actions with the groups and projects.


81 Table 2 1. Group maturity score for each group ranch and stakeholder group. Stakeholder Age Category Group Ranch World view Internal norms and trust External links and networks Group lifespan Maturity Score Stage Committee Younger Empaash 3 2.6 2 2.5 2.53 3 Committee Younger Loita 3 2 2 2.5 2.38 2 Committee Older Olkiramatian 3 2.6 1.5 2.5 2.4 3 Committee Younger Olorgesailie 1 1.4 1 1 1.1 1 Committee Older Sho mpole 3 2.6 1.5 2.5 2.4 3 Scouts Younger Empaash 2 1.8 1 2 1.7 1 Scouts Younger Loita 3 2.2 2 1.5 2.18 2 Scouts Older Olkiramatian 3 2.8 2 2.5 2.58 3 Scouts Younger Olorgesailie 2 2.8 1 2.5 2.08 2 Scouts Older Shompole 3 2.4 1.5 2.5 2.35 2 Table 2 the stakeholder groups (t(3)=0.28, p=0.80) and the older and younger conservancies (t(3)=3.87, p=0.031). Worldview Internal norms and trust External links and networks Group lifespan Maturity Score Committee 2.6 2.24 1.6 2.2 2.16 Scouts 2.6 2.4 1.5 2.2 2.18 Older 3 2.6 1.63 2.5 2.43 Younger 2.33 2.13 1.5 2 1.99 Table 2 3. Average group maturity scores for each group ranch in comparison with the maturity stag e. Group Ranch Category Maturity Score Maturity Score Average Maturity Score Stage Olkiramatian Older 2.4 2.58 2.49 3 Shompole Older 2.4 2.35 2.38 3 Loita Younger 2.38 2.18 2.28 2 Empaash Younger 2.53 1.7 2.12 2 Olorgesailie Youn ger 1.1 2.08 1.59 1


82 Figure 2 1. Conceptual model of group maturity, adapted from Pretty and Ward (2001). variables.


83 Figure 2 2. Map of the conservancies in the southern Ri ft Valley of Kenya: Loita, Olkiramatian, Shompole, Empaash, and Olorgesailie. Figure courtesy of Peadar Brehony , 2015.


84 C HAPTER 3 STAKEHOLDER PARTICIPATION: ADAPTING THE NOMINAL GROUP TECHNIQUE IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES FOR ILLITERATE PARTIC IPANTS Summary Eliciting information from all stakeholders regardless of their educational background is important for research in developing countries. We compared the Nominal Group Technique adapted for illiterate audiences to conventional focus group d iscussions through 10 stakeholder meetings in rural populations in Kenya. The Nominal Group Technique elicited 544 ideas from 55 participants with four discussion questions followed by the ranking exercise to prioritize points , in contrast with 142 ideas f rom the same individuals with four open ended group discussion questions . Adapted research methods to facilitate participation by illiterate individuals in Nominal Group Technique discussions enabled effective planning and evaluation of community projects by engaging community members and prioritizing their ideas. T he use of NGT in developing countries is appropriate for rapid, exploratory data collection. Nominal Group Technique Successful community based natural resource management (CBNRM) projects need participation and deliberation among community stakeholders to promote effective organization and management (Brooks , Waylen , & Borgerhoff Mulder , 2012). Collaboration engages diverse stakeholders, fosters equity, empowerment, and trust among community mem bers, and promotes improved protected area management ( Berkes , 2004 ; Decker et al. , 2005; Masozera et al. , 2006; Reed , 2008). Without input about diverse community interests, programs cannot meet the needs of all members. Conflicting livelihood, resource, and environmental interests can lead to the failure of


85 these programs ( Woodhouse & Woodhouse, 1997; Mugisha & Jacobson, 2004; Mutandwa & Gadzirayi, 2007; Amoah & Wiafe, 2012). When research or management projects require the input of numerous community mem bers or across a breadth of research sites, Nominal Group Technique (NGT) is a strong option with which bot h in depth qualitative and quantitative data can be collected. The NGT has been shown to be an appropriate first phase of a project as exploratory da ta collection (Claxton , Ritchie , & Zaichkowsky , 1980). NGT is productive and efficient as it organizes ideas discussed into a hierarchy based on perceived importance, thus having the interpretation of ideas be inherent already in the data collection resear ch stage (Harvey & Holmes , 2012). It allows for rich understandings of the issues as well as the quantitative prioritization of the issues for more direct comparisons between responses and sites. Other social research methods are limited in their scope an d their ability to document multiple perspectives and opinions from several participants in a rapid manner. While in depth interviews c ollect individual perspectives in detail, open ended focus groups promote discussion and generate new ideas , yet this pub lic discourse may restrict individual contributions (DeCicco Bloom & Crabtree , 2006). Additionally, domineering individuals voicing personal interests can overpower conversations in open ended group settings ( Pelletier at al. 1999). N either of these resear ch options allows for any obvious quantitative documentation for comparison, however, the NGT method can achieve comparison and rapid analysis to help decision making, management, and policy changes.


86 NGT was developed in the 1960s as a tool to identify an d solve problems, as well as to facilitate effective group decision making in social psychological research (Van de ven & Delbecq, 1971). This technique is now used in diverse fields in the United States to generate ideas and document t he voices of all par ticipants. NGT applications have ranged from policy development and intra organizational decision ma king (Delbecq et al., 1975), to developing educational curricula (Davis, Rhodes, & Baker, 1998 ; Jacobson et al., 2005 ), planning recreation areas on public land (Clark & Stein, 2004), collecting perspectives from young people (MacPhail , 2001), prioritizing research goals for the clinical and health services (Vella et al., 2000), and engaging stakeholders in program development for national park outreach (Jaco bson et al., 2005), tourism (Spencer , 2010) , and health management (Wainwright, Boichat, & McCracken, 2014). In NGT, multiple participants are informants f or their groups or communities. Their views reflect the trends and issues surrounding the programs, management interventions, etc. which are being studied. This method for exploratory data collection documents informants perspectives through a process of individual deliberation , answers to questions, group discussion, and individual ranking from the gro up s exhaustive list. The results generate rich qualitative quotes alongside ra nkings of the topics discussed. The NGT method links quantitative and qualitative data collection methods, allowing for complex understanding of the topic. Quantitative data al one is fast and generalizable, yet it has limited depth; qualitative data complements the va lues for analytical comparisons with data that reveals emergent themes and details . Th is mixed methods technique allows collection of these complementary types of d ata


87 simultaneously, which is valuable in natural resource management (Woodward et al. , 2012). Mixed methods producing quantitative and qualitative data assist social scientists to be able to have impactful results , which can be understood by natural scien tists and practitioners of policy and management (Spoon , 2014). In this way, individual NGT meetings can be analyzed to quantify and prioritize the ideas of the participants, and multiple NGT meetings can be consolidated after qualitative coding ideas shar ed into themes. NGT produces tangible results that priorities for exploratory research issues to promote prompt action and decisions for managers and policy makers. Using NGT can engage community members, as this research method i n initial project planning allows for communication and collaboration where community proactively (Meffe et al., 2002; Stein & Anderson, 2002). These actions can lead to increas ed collective acceptability of new policies, making them more likely to succeed when compared to interventions which are set up as a reaction to problems or failing programs (Decker & Chase, 2001). Application of NGT in the Developing World While the NGT can be applied in any setting for diverse research questions, it is appropriate for research in developing countries. A variety of research methods mainly created in developed nations, such as randomized surveys, have been adapted for research in differen t cultures and developing countries. While data collection using these techniques is possible, there are limitations on the success of foreign methods in new cultures and contexts (Browne Nunez & Jonker, 2008). Therefore, the research


88 method of the NGT is more appropriate as it is participatory and can be adapted to local cultures. We test a research adaptation to accommodate illiterate participants in rural Kenya, where traditional norms may diminish participation in general discussions by segments of the population, such as women or younger people. In a study focused on collecting the perspectives of every participant, we ask whether NGT will improve participation and enable the collection of more participant ideas than the standard focus group discussion format. This study used the Nominal Group Technique and open ended discussion in structured focus groups in an evaluation of community based conservancies in Maasai group ranches in the southern Rift Valley of Kenya (Figure 3 1 ). These CBNRM projects are both traditional Maasai institutions through which natural resources are conserved for times of need, and modern programs for the conservation of wildlife to encourage tourism and generate revenue. Mountjoy et al. (2014) used NGT to identify key capacity indicators of successful CBNRM by holding sessions with conservation practitioners in Illinois. management plans for the conservancies, which will promote their sustainability into the future. We used NGT to collect the stakeholder perceptions necessary to evaluate the CBNRM programs and the opportunities for improved collaboration. We hypothesized that the participation in and knowledge about the conservancies will vary depen ding on would make it a challenge for all stakeholders to share their ideas publically. We sought


89 s technique, and sampled opinions leaders as expert infor mants through group discussions. Separate NGT sessions were held with conservancy management committees and game scouts in five different Maasai group ranches in the southern Rift Valley of Kenya. Th e NGT discussion asked four questions to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the conservancies . The group generated a list of ideas for each of the SWOT categories in the NGT and then each participant rank ed the top three most important items in each category. The NGT questions were followed by open ended discussion questions covering group maturity by assessing group activities, organizational structure, partnerships, and group lifespan (Pretty & Ward, 2001). Separate meetin gs were held for two stakeholder groups, the conservancy committees , who manage the CBNRM programs, and the game scouts, who patrol and enforce conservancy rules . Research Questions Can NGT be adapted for illiterate participants? Does NGT produce greater participation than open ended questions in group discussions ? Methods We conducted 10 focus groups with a total of 55 participants between May and August 2014 in five different communities. The number of invitations to join the meetings aimed for five to eight participants in the group discussions in order to be large enough for new ideas to be contributed and small enough for collaborative discussion (Aspinall et al., 2006).


90 Nominal Group Technique Several studies have documented the methods for the NGT ( e.g. Van de Ven & Delbecq, 1974 ; Clark and Stein, 2004 ). Appendix C describes in detail the step by step approach to NGT used in this study. Four NGT questions were followed by open ended group discussion about Group Maturity, of which the first four quest ions were used for comparison with the NGT results (Table 3 1). To accommodate illiterate participants, researchers emphasized clarity in every step of the NGT , with specific adaptations to the standard NGT stages ( Figure 3 2 and 3 3 ). Rather than the tra ditional NGT where individuals silently write their ideas before sharing with the group, one of two researchers met with each participant separately for each question to aid in writing down their ideas on individual pieces of paper . We also assisted the pa by explain ing the ranking of top three topics from the collective list (Figure 3 4 ). To emphasize the difference in each ranking card, the three ranking cards varied by number, color, size, a nd size of smile (Figure 3 3 B ). Such non verbal techniques using pictures are understandable to people without requiring reading and can be selected by participants to represent their ideas (e.g. Bradley & Lang, 1994). Through the four differing characterist ics, as well as thorough description of the process by the researchers , the illiterate participants used the cards with different value s to rank importance of the ideas (Appendix C ) . Their understanding of the differences in cards was interpreted through o pen discussion of any questions about the process and The NGT questions were designed, translated, and back translated by six Maasai researchers following Behling and Law (2 000), then they were validated and


91 answers were tested in two pilot tests. NGT sessions were translated from English by Maasai research assistants to Maa, the Maasai language. All sessions were audio recorded and detailed notes were taken in both English a nd Maa by separate researchers for later combination and verification in English. Analysis of NGT Data T he qualitative ideas discussed in the word s of the participants were summarized the ideas and coded based on the quotes , using standard qualitative ana lysis techniques ( Bazeley , 2009). Ideas were categorized into higher level coding and overarching topics and dimensions, to organize an understanding of the issues and ideas. Content analysis by two researchers verified that each category and the ir larger themes relate to NGT session quotes with the same ideas and meaning (Claxton , Ritchie , & Zaichkowsky , 1980). Themes common across all of the NGT sessions were used for quantitative compariso n . Counts of the top ranked ideas by participants using the stick y cards during the NGT discussions of the SWOT analyses revealed the ideas with highest priority. To compare the NGT with a conventional group discussion , we counted the frequency of ideas shared by the same participants to the first four of the Group Matu rity open discussion questions , which directly followed the NGT questions . Statistical analyses were run using Microsoft Excel software, version 14.3.8. Significant results are indicated at an alpha level of 0.05. Results The five management committee mee tings and five game scout meetings had a total of 55 participants , with an average of 5 people per stakeholder group meeting ( range : 3 7 ) . The NGT sessions produced 544 ideas for the four SWOT questions, in


92 contrast with 142 ideas from the same individuals to four group maturity, ope n ended questions posed during the group discussions ( n=10 , paired t test ( t(9)=5.53, p=0.0004 ; Table 4 2) . Furthermore, the NGT genera ted significantly more ideas in response to an average NGT question than the average open end ed group discussion question s with the same participants (NGT: M =13.59, SD =5.67; FG : M =3.44, SD =0.85; t(9)=5.53, p=0.0004 ; Figure 3 5 ). E very member in the group meeting was present for the NGT sessi ons and the discussion question s about group maturity; however , not every participant responded to the open discussion questions and so they did not contribute their perspectives . A t one Chairman, responded to the open discuss ion questions . In another meeting, a younger man and a woman voiced their ideas to only one question just when the elders of the group prompted them to speak. In addition, a team of game scouts deferred to their superior, having the Corporal answer most of the open ended questions for the group . Discussion Research in developing countries requires culturally competent methods that encourage participation and collect the appropriate data. Engaging stakeholders to deliberate and collaborate on projects can help to promote the group structures for social capital, equity, empowerment, and trust necessary for effective management of community conservancies (Reed, 2008; Brooks, Waylen, & Borgerhoff Mulder, 2012). The NGT methods for this study were uniquely a da pted to have visually apparent ranking scales and researchers assist participants with limited formal educational


93 backgrounds or illiteracy to engage in the idea sharing, discussion, and ranking process . These adaptations effectively engaged and encouraged participants to share their opinions . By collecting data individually from every participant in the NGT process for group discussion, this overcomes possible cultural or social barriers in a group setting. ctives was particularly significant in the traditional Maasai communities with distinct power hierarchies. The NGT process allowed for all participants to share their opinions and could promote their support of the development of plans for improving the co nservation project and the community overall. Maasai culture is very deferential to leaders and elders , so the reticence to speak after in response to the focus group questions was prevalent, but not unexpected. C ulture dictated th at women and younger participants respect men and , and the same was true for the game scouts who deferred to their superiors in the militaristic hierarchy of their teams. Care was given to show respect to the tradi tional leaders while also encouraging participation of all community members present in the NGT. The NGT sessions generated a large number of ideas within the SWOT analyses, which were approximately four times more than the number of items discussed in the focus group open ended questions with the same participants. This supports the findings of Van de Ven and Delbecq (1974), and provides support for the suc cess of NGT sessions to encourage participants to contribute their ideas over open group discussions when cultural and logistical limitations are present. By adapting this research method to make participation accessible to illiterate participants and non elite


94 stakeholders from the community, this exploratory research effectively collected numerous, dive rse ideas from participants who might have not been involved if other research methods had been used. d opportunities for follow up and further community ions in the results. The discussion and ranking within NGT can motivate future collaborations for the scouts and committees, both within their respective groups and within the community. This study led to recommendations for community action plans which pr omoted collaboration between community stakeholders in their conservancies to address issues revealed by the SWOT analyses and the group maturity framework. The diverse and plentiful ideas generated in the discussions will enable the design of management p lans for each conservancy using community meetings built on the ideas collected by this study. Using NGT, t he collective ideas around the SWOT analysis were an important capacity building feedback mechanism, which is vital to encourage strengthening CBNRM projects (Spoon , 2014). The NGT inspired dialogue about new issues which have not been addressed by the groups before, and reinforces deliberation and feedback of the results to the community immediately . Additional community wide feedback meetings are pl anned for each community to better encourage collaboration with stakeholders across the group ranches. The NGT results are important to help initiate effective man agement of conservation of the environment and the Maasai


95 Benefits o f NGT The NGT method has several benefits. It produces structured discussions and weighted data in ranks for analyzing comparisons. It collects a large amount of data from multiple sites or a broad area more quickly than a standard random sample interviewi ng process. It enables comparison between the items discussed by a group, as well as between different meetings and sites. While the data collection utilizes individual perspectives to diversify potential results, the participatory process within NGT allo ws for group discussion and reveals new opportunities for dialogue , which may not have been present in the community or session completion and immediate dissemination of results to the group promoting sa tisfaction with pa Holmes, 2012 , p. 190 ). The participants witness the trends in the results by participating in the process, and can continue the discussion around the highly ranked topics. As a result, NGT can motivate future collab orations between stakeholders and community memb ers as it inspires dialogue. This collaborative function of the NGT process enab les of the management or projects which may follow, e.g. community action, to then increase the abil ity of improving policies and program efficacy group discussion to encourage progress towards decision making (Claxton, Ritchie, & Zaichkowsky, 1980). Deliberative, par ticipatory research can promote new ideas and questions for participants, even the adoption of new preferences or changes in group decision making (Walton, 2013). NGT has the capacity for equal representation for all group members, as well as to promote a n environment supportive of initiating change, e.g. changes in perspectives


96 or specific behaviors (Davis, Rhodes, & Baker, 1998). The NGT collects data that could reflect on all members of a community, making the results possibly more reliable than a stan dard focus group for the design and implementation of management plans and programmatic changes. Unlike traditional focus groups which are at risk of having discussion dominated by only a subset of the participants, the NGT structure ensures areas for eq ual contributions. In a focus group, consensus or strength of opinions cannot be inferred or generalized (Sim , 1998), but since NGT participants rank their ideas, they actively prioritize the issues to highlight their importance and urgency for comparison with other groups. In addition, the NGT method can be more efficient in time and money, in comparison with separate key informant interviews. Having several participants meet in one location decreases costs and time for data collection. Limitations of NG T Some limitations of NGT include: NGT data is not represent ative of a larger population, so it cannot be used instead of surveys when generalizable results are needed . Rather, these data can be valuable to inf orm exploratory research, such as an initial p hase of a project, or to quickly collect opinions from purposely sampled participants. To continue to remind the illiterate participants of the ideas written on the many different pieces of paper is time consuming , and limited by the number of researchers . As a result, we recommend keeping the number of participants low when adapting NGT to assist participants through the research and discussion process. To do this in our study, groups were kept between five and eight, rather than around 15 as with


97 traditi onal NGT studies (e.g. Stein & Clark, 2004). Also there was a potential bias when participants were voting; seeing their peers voting for certain topics and asking for clarification from the researchers out loud could have skewed the ideas they voted for. To try to minimize this, we recommend having the participants vote concurrently rather than one participant at a time. Another limitation to this NGT was the language of discussion and time extended by translation. This study was held in two languages ; tr anslating from Maa to English slowed down t he translation process. If language translation is part of the research process, we recommend b eing clear about the length of time of the meeting from the beginning as well as providing food and refreshments to he interest. A single meeting event can also be a scheduling limitation . The session is long and requires the commitment of the participants to stay engaged throughout the process. If participants are unwilling to engage, the NGT process will be unsuccessful. Researchers must have access to well informed community members who function as entry points to the communities. We contacted individuals well ahead of time of scheduling the meetings. They faci litated connections with the n ecessary community leaders, identified participants , and organized the schedule of the NGT sessions. Conclusions and Re commendations This study adapted the NGT process to involve illiterate participants in the idea generating and discussion sessions. The guidance of researchers and clearly differentiated ranking cards helped this be successful, as it was accessible to the participants and feasible in the time and budgetary constraints of the study.


98 Since the NGT sessions generated significantly more ide as than open ended focus group questions wi th the same participants, this research method was effective in the rural setting with the Maasai people. The many ideas generated in the discussions helped to evaluate the current successes and failures of the project s and their maturity . It served to interpret the conservancies to design formal management plans. Participatory processes like the NGT should be followed up by capacity building and support for communities or groups to continue discussions beyond the research project, such as decision making and mana gement structures which welcome diverse stakeholder input in a sustainable manner. NGT methods can be applied to many research projects and management initiatives, such as natural resource management issues, perceptions of wildli fe and ecosystems, and comparisons of stakeholder perspectives. The adapted research technique from this study takes into account the influence of local culture an d diverse participants when collect ing data.


99 Table 3 1. NGT and focus group questions compared in this study. NGT: SWOT Questions Focus Group: Maturity Questions 1. What are the strengths ri ght conservation project? 2. What are the weaknesses conservation project? 3. What are the opportunities for improving the conservation project in the future? 4. What are the threats to the conservation project in the future? 1. As a group, what are your main roles/responsibilities? 2. What targets have you set as a group that you would like to reach in the conservation project? How will you achieve them? 3. As a group, if everyone within the group has to do an activity, how do you organize yourselves and make decisions? 4. How important is your role in your community? What do you do and what influence do you have? Table 3 2 . Sum of ideas discussed for the NGT using four SWOT questions, and sum of ideas generated for four focus group (FG) open ended discussion questions by the management committees and the game scouts. NGT Q1: S NGT Q2: W NGT Q3: O NGT Q4: T FG Q1 FG Q2 FG Q3 FG Q4 Committee 81 88 85 77 33 15 14 13 Scouts 64 57 50 42 21 22 13 11

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100 Figure 3 1 . Map of the CBNRM conservancies in the southern Rift Valley of Kenya. Figure courtesy of Peadar Brehony , 2015 .

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101 Figure 3 2. Adaptations for illiterate participants augmenting the standard NGT stages ( e.g. Jacobson et al., 2005).

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102 Figure 3 3 . A ) NGT sess ion with the conservancy management c ommittee in Empaash Olorenito. B ) T which vary in number, color, size, and size of smile. C) E xample l ist after voting was finished. D ) NGT session with t he game scouts in the Loita conservancy. Photos courtesy of the author , with permission of the subjects. A B C D

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103 Figure 3 4 . A ) Research assistant guides a participant through the ranking process and voices written ideas . B ) Research assistant documents the ideas of a participant on individual pieces of paper. Photos courtesy of the author , with permission of the subjects . A B

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104 Figure 3 5 . Comparison of the mean number of i tems discussed in response to NGT discussion question s and an open ended focus group qu estions by two stakeholder groups, the management committees and the game scouts. Paired t test, t(9)=5.53, p=0.0004 .

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105 APPENDIX A NOMINAL GROUP TECHNIQUE AND FOCUS GROUP QUESTION S 1. Can you tell me, when I ask you about the conservation proj ect in this group ranch, what are you thinking of? Amaa sa akiidim, atoliki naapirta olale SWOT using the Nominal Group Process: 2. Amaa tenarishata kanyio engolo a. Follow up with probe to discuss top ranked ideas: How is it a strength, where is it prevalent, what influences it? 3. Amaa tenarishata kanyio en a. Follow up with probe to discuss top ranked ideas: How is it a weakness, where is it prevalent, what influences it? 4. What are the opportunities for improving the conservation project in the future? Amaa teentae kakua a. Follow up with probe to discuss top ranked ideas: how is it an opportunity, where is it prevalent, what influences it? 5. What are the threats to the conserv ation project in the future? Amaa teramatere a. Follow up to discuss top ranks: how is it a threat, where is it prevalent, what influences it? Open ended Focus Group Questions 6. What are people al lowed to do in the conservation area? Kanyio oshi naishoro a. What are people not allowed to do in the conservation area? Kanyio oshi b. Are the rules too strict, exactl y right, or too flexible? Why? Amaa tena kelelek? Kanyio? c. Who set those rules? Kanyio oshi naitobiru inkitanapat?

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106 7. Do you think the conservation project and pastoralism work together? How? oitoi? 8. How important will pastoralism be in this group ranch in the future? Kaa oitoi enetipat eramatare oongishu tiatua emurua too 9. Are you content with the amount of wildlife you have? Amaa is hipano esiano a. IF YES: Which wildlife species are the focus of the conservation project? b. IF NO: Which wildlife species are you not happy with and in which direction shou ld their population change? c. What about lions? d. What about elephants? Oo sa iltomia? e. What about impala? Oo sa intarakuet? f. What about ostrich? Oo sa isidan? g. What about wil d dogs? Oo sa isuyian? Group Maturity Q uestions 10. As a group, what are your main roles? Amaa intae, anaa komitii teramatere olale 11. What targets have you set as a group that you would like to reach in the conservation projec t? Amaa kakua yiunot nai nena niyieu nitisip eramatere olale a. For each target when will it happen? Katenkata nabaa naiyieu nesipayu nena yiunot? b. Do you have an idea of how you will get there? Amaa iyata eduata naitabaya ine niyieuu? 12. As a gro up, if everyone within the group has to do an activity, how do you organize it? Kai oshi iko komitii teneitobiru intumorritin osiaitin enye? 13. Kai oshi inkoko n osiaitin inyi?

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107 14. How important is your role in the community? What influence do you have? Katiakua oitoi erayie irishat inti netipat termurua? Naa kaakitukuja iyatata? 15. How important is your role in making the conservation project work? Why? Katiakua oitoi 16. How might the committee work together to progress from their past work to make changes for future projects? Kai naai iko komitii, teneisho tenebo peetubulaa 17. How regular are the group meetings with all members? Kakatitin aja oshi iyatata intumorritin ormembai? 18. How often do you need to involve non group members in your activities in the conservation project? To do what? Kakatitin aja oshi i yiasiyasa isiaitin eramatare ilmembai lekomitii? Pee eas inyoo? 19. How often is there new turnover of group members? What happens to the project? Kanyio 20. When the group has an internal conflict or disagreement, how are you able to handle it? 21. Does this group work with external partners in facilitating you r work? Who? Amaa ele kiyama keesisho tenebo olaisotuak leboo? a. What is their role? Kakua isiaitin inyi? 22. Ketii 23. Thank you. D o you have any other questions or comments to share about the conservation project?

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108 APPENDIX B KEY INFORMANT SEMI S TRUCTURED INTERVIEW 1. Can you tell me, when I ask you about the conservation pro ject in this group ranch, what are you thinking of? Amaa sa akiidim, atoliki naapirta olale SWOT Questions 2. Amaa tenarishata kanyio engolon eramatere olale long a. From the strengths you shared, can you please rank the top three? 3. a. From the weaknesses you shared , can you please rank the top three? 4. What are the opportunities for improving the conservation project in the future? a. From the opportun ities you shared, can you please rank the top three? 5. What are the threats to the conservation project in the future? Amaa teramatere a. From the threats you shared, can you please rank the top th ree? Open ended Question s 6. Inyorr iyie 7. Would you want to expand the project? Why or why not? Inyorr naai iyie uesin? Kanyio? Kanyio pee itu? 8. Are there community meetings about the conservation project? Keetae a. Have you ever attended one of these meetings? Ishomo aikata nabo enena tumorritin? 9. How do you usually get informati project? a. From who?

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109 b. Which information sources? Tiakua oitoi? c. Which information source do you trust the most? ilkiliku linyoraa ol eng? 10. Have you ever had a question or an opinion about the conservation project you wanted to share? a. IF YES, who did you speak with? itangamayie? i. Were you listened to? ii. Did you get answers? Paa inoto iwalat? b. include you and others like you in decision making? Kamaa tenitu, kidimayyu nikelekenya olale tialo iyie tenebo l elo laijo iyie tempikata oo 11. Do you get any benefits from the project? In which way? Inotie dupoto olale 12. Do you ever go into the group ranch conservation area? Why or why not? emurua ino? Kanyio? Kanyio pee itu? 13. Iyielo a. What are people allowed to do in the conservation area? Kanyio oshi naishor b. What are people not allowed to do in the conservation area? Kanyio oshi c. Are the rules too strict, exactly right, or too flexible? Why? Amaa tena l inkitanapat, anaa kelelek? Kanyio? d. Who set those rules? Kanyio oshi naitobiru inkitanapat? 14. Do you think the conservation project and pastoralism work together? How? oitoi? 15. How impo rtant will pastoralism be in this group ranch in the future? Kaa oitoi enetipat eramatare oongishu tiatua emurua too

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110 16. Are you content with the amount of wildlife you have? Amaa ishipano esiano a. IF YE S: Which wildlife species are the focus of the conservation project? b. IF NO: Which wildlife species are you not happy with and in which direction should their population change? n c. What about lions? d. What about elephants? Oo sa iltomia? e. What about impala? Oo sa intarakuet? f. What about ostrich? Oo sa isidan? g. What about wild dogs? Oo sa isuyian? 17. Thank you. Do you have any other questions or comments to share about the conservation project?

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111 APPENDIX C NOMINAL GROUP TECHNIQUE FACILITATION GUIDE 1. Introduce researchers, participants, and purpose of the meet ing 2. Ask initial open ended question to set the topic for the discussion and make sure all participants are explicitly aware of the topic to be discussed throughout all questions. a. For example, we asked for the participants to describe their conservancy and its projects. All participants contributed ideas to this question until the description was exhausted and/or it appeared that group consensus was reached. 3. Introduce NGT method: a. Explain that this meeting will consist of a few questions for discussion as a group. b. We will ask a question and researchers and research assistants will speak c. of paper 4. Read, transla te, and explain the first question for consideration a. Welcome any questions or confusion about this question. 5. Meet one at a time with participants to answer first question and write their ideas on separate pieces of paper 6. Collect ideas by having each perso n tape their ideas to the wall, table, or available surface 7. Share their ideas with the group, with help from the researchers if needed 8. Once all participants have shared, ask the group if there were any repeating ideas? a. Explain that we now want a list of just unique / different ideas b. Everyone participates in deciding which ideas repeat and can be combined i. Read repeating / similar ideas then ask for group agreement on whether or not they should be combined ii. Tape same ideas on top of each other 9. E xplain the i dea of voting from this list of distinct ideas

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112 a. Each person gets to share which ideas they think are the three most b. Explain that 3 cards are similar to 3 votes with values differentiated as high, inter mediate, and low, along with differences in size, color, number, and size of smile. These are clearly different for participants with varying educations. c. Hand out cards to each person. 10. Researcher rereads each idea and points to each while reading, showin g where it is located for the illiterate participants 11. All participants get up to vote at the same time rather than one at a time a. Place card on top of the idea for which they want to vote b. Researchers aid the illiterate participants when needed, to ensure v otes are placed on their intended ideas 12. Review as a group, highlighting which ideas have the most votes a. Probe for explanation and details about importance: i. Are votes spread across many ideas? ii. Are there a few heavily ranked ideas? iii. Welcome a discussion of their observations and explanations. 13. Repeat the process for the rest of the questions for the NGT 14. Conclude with an opportunity for additional comments and questions about the topic and any questions.

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113 APPENDIX D CBNRM AND NGOS Collaboration regionally between community based projects is also possible, and creates a level of governance between local and government levels to have dialogues and participation. NGOs can facilitate collaboration between community based projects to promote sharing and problem solving at a regional level (Prager , 2010). These regional institutions, such associations between communities or NGOs which facilitate sharing perspectives, are able to share approaches and lessons, while issues and management structures are s till often site specific (Marshall, 2008; Childs et al., 2013). The projects adapt and improve as a result of their participation in social capital exchange and collaborative problem solving both within their communities through stakeholder discussions and between projects in regional partnerships (Pratt Miles, 2013). The bridging ties of social capital between communities and NGOs bolster Furthermore, n ongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have been shown to ervation projects by helping to facilitate objectives and providing important resources (Measham & Lumbasi , CBNRM projects have been most effective when they share values and goals in addition to working with appropriate loc al cultural institutions, such as community committees and leaders (Waylen et al. , 2009). When collaboration occurs in CBNRM between stakeholders with distinct interests, values, and perceptions of the project and their resources, conflicts are inherent. When forming a project group, clarifying methods for conflict resolution is an important prior to the formation of conflict, in order to quickly resolve the issue with all

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114 participants. When vertical collaboration occurs between local and regional organiz ations, or between community projects and NGOs, there is a risk of different objectives and project structures. These differences can lead to conflict followed by decreased community commitment and participation (Prager, 2010). Distrust and hidden conflict can develop so participatory CBNRM programs must prepare structures to deal with conflict and support stakeholder deliberations to ensure discussion and decision making which support their interests. An example of a bridging organization in the southern Rift Valley of Kenya, which especially in capacity building for the game scouts on the g round and facilitating communication between communities in order to help their productivity as a functioning association. This is an example of community based co management which shares responsibility when working together on managing the project and pro tecting the

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115 APPENDIX E ADDITIONAL KEY INFORMANT INTERVIEW RESULTS Table E ve you ever attended one of the community Re sponse Count No 20 Yes 10 Table E Response Empaash Loita Olkiramatian Olorgesailie Shompole No 4 3 6 6 2 Yes 3 3 0 0 5 Table E Response Government Chief Head teacher Older traditional chief Pastor Women's group chairlady Younger traditional chief No 3 3 3 4 5 4 Yes 2 2 1 2 1 1 Table E think Predicted Change Empaash Loita Olkiramatian Olorgesailie Shompole Decrease 6 7 6 8 5 Increase 0 0 0 0 1 No change 3 1 2 1 3

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116 Table E e amount of wildlife you Change Lions Elephants Impala Ostrich Wild Dogs Decrease 6 10 0 0 15 Increase 21 18 26 33 13 No change 11 10 12 5 10

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125 World Wildlife Fund (WWF). (1999) . International Work shop on Management Effectiveness of Protected Areas. June 14 16 1999, CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica Hosted by WWF Central America Regional Office.

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126 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Lily Maynard was born in Cincinnati, OH in 1988. She grew up surrounded by wildlife in the Cincinnati Zoo where her father is the director. Being taught to find awe in all species solidified her lifelong commitment to conservation. S he received a b achelor s degree in biology and e nvironme ntal science from Smith College in Massachusetts and she s tud i ed savanna ecology and conservation in Kruger National Park in South Africa with the Or ganization for Tropical Studies in 2010. She taught environmental education in Belize with the Coral Reef E d Ventures program in 2009 and 2010, and in the After several safaris in East Africa with her family, she worked for conservation projects in African communities. In Kenya from 2011 2013, she managed and collected data about Maasai coexistence with lions with Rebuilding th e Pride and the South Rift Association of Land Owners (SORALO) . In 2012 she joined Working Dogs for Conservation in surveying carnivore populations in Botswana in partnership with Ch eetah Conservation Botswana and the Zambian Carnivore Progamme in Liuwa Plains National Park in Zambia. While working in Africa, she saw humans as the actors in conservation and shifted away from animal behavior and ecological research interests. She is co mpl eting her m in the Wil dlife Ecology and Conservation D epartment focused on the H uman Dimensions of Conservation, linking conservation and community resource management issues. She has a lifelong commitment to c onserving wildlife and to communicating with people about the environment.