Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

RESEARCH ARTICLE: The Changing Dynamics of Local Institutions in Fishing Communities in Mozambique: Responses to Policy—Public Participation and Decision Making

  • Ana Menezes (a1), Richard Smardon (a1) and Tenreiro de Almeida (a2)

This study analyzes local institutions plus the practice of participatory decision making for promoting community development in fishing communities in Mozambique. This study covers the evolution of institutions and its impact at the household and community level particularly after the structural adjustments of 1987, which promoted new institutions at central and local levels, as well as the practice of participatory decision making. We combined participatory appraisals, focus-group discussions, and participant observation methods with quantitative data from structured surveys of representative samples for data gathered. Assisted by mode-of-regulation model and community power theory, our results demonstrated that since the policy shift in 1990, and particularly after 1994 (when public participation and decision making were introduced), central and local institutions were created, with some communities showing better results than others. By working together and depending on each other as social support networks, as well as by working with the government, people within fishing communities are generating secondary benefits by jointly building social infrastructure and community consensus to better cope with the impacts of adverse social and economic stresses that often occur in coastal regions of Mozambique. Specific stakeholder perspectives are accessed and analyzed for four time periods from 1987 to 2006.

Environmental Practice 11:32–51 (2009)

Corresponding author
Address correspondence to: Ana Menezes, SUNY–ESF, Syracuse, NY 13210; (email)
Address correspondence to: Richard Smardon, SUNY–ESF, Syracuse, NY 13210; (email)
Address correspondence to: Tenreiro de Almeida, Maputo-Mozambique, (email)
Hide All
W. N. Adger 2003. Social Capital, Collective Action, and Adaptation to Climate Change. Economic Geography 79(4):387404.

J. M. Baland , and J. P. Platteau , eds. 2000. Halting Degradation of Natural Resources: Is There a Role for Rural Communities? FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) and Oxford University Press, New York, 440 pp.

E. M. Burke 1968. Citizen Participation Strategies. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 34(5):287294.

R. Chambers 1994. The Origins and Practice of PRA. World Development 22(7):953969.

R. Chambers 1997. Editorial: Responsible Well-Being—A Personal Agenda for Development. World Development 25(11):17431754.

H. Crawley 1998. Living Up to the Empowerment Claim? The Potential for PRA. In The Myth of Community: Gender Issues in Participatory Development, ed. I. Gujit , and M. K. Shah . Intermediate Technology, London2434.

J. Fraga 2006. Local Perspectives in Conservation Politics: The Case of Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, Yucatân, México. Landscape and Urban Planning 74(3–4):285295.

S. Jentoft 1989. Fisheries Co-management: Delegating Government Responsibilities to Fishermen's Organizations. Marine Policy 13(2):137154.

B. Jessop 1997. Survey Article: The Regulation Approach. The Journal of Political Philosophy 5(3): 287326.

A. Krishna 2004. Escaping Poverty and Becoming Poor: Who Gains, Who Loses, and Why? World Development 32(1):121136.

P. Stone 2003. Is sustainability for development anthropologists? Human Organization 62(2):9399.

G. Wood , and A. Malik . 2003. Poverty and Livelihoods. In Lessons in Development: The AKRSP Experience. Aga Khan Rural Support Program, Islamabad. Available at

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Environmental Practice
  • ISSN: 1466-0466
  • EISSN: 1466-0474
  • URL: /core/journals/environmental-practice
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 7 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 108 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 18th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.