Abstract: Mainstream transparency and accountability (T&A) mechanisms in the natural resources sector – and the forestry sub-sector in particular – have, to a large extent, outpaced research while the relevant theoretical development is underactive behind research. As a result, the sector is characterized by various technical and apolitical T&A systems and interventions that are not embedded in robust conceptual frameworks or well defined theory. This article employed several conceptual metaphors and propositions in the natural and non-natural resources sectors and the notion of thinking and working politically (TWP), to develop a framework for advancing, integrating and assessing T&A. The researcher proceeded to test its practicability in an alleged ‘best case’ of participatory forest management (PFM) in Tanzania – the latter is also a foundational requirement for the Reduced Emissions for Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) initiative. The empirical lessons relating to several T&A pillars, pathways and mediating factors are expounded in the article.
Keywords: Transparency; Accountability; Theoretical framework; TWP; PFM; REDD
(link requires access to the journal 'International Forestry Review')