Agriculture and Human Values 22 (2):149-167 (2005)

Understanding stakeholders’ perceptions and motivations is of significant importance in relation to conservation and protected area projects. The importance of stakeholder analysis is widely recognized as a necessary means for gaining insight into the complex systemic interactions between natural processes, management policies, and local people depending on the resource. Today, community and group-based participatory inquiry approaches are widely used for this purpose. Recently, participatory approaches have been critiqued for not considering power relations and conflict internal to the community. In this article, we suggest that the five-step Rapid Stakeholder and Conflict Assessment methodology addresses this critique. The objective of the methodology is to provide a facilitator with a comprehensive foundation on which to plan and conduct subsequent participatory project development. The RSCA integrates elements of soft systems and critical systems thinking. Qualitative research interviews and cognitive mapping of stakeholders’ mental models are used for collection of empirical material and analysis. The RSCA methodology is demonstrated in a case study concerning buffer zone management in the coastal wetlands of southern Vietnam. The case study shows that the RSCA methodology can provide an efficient way of obtaining a holistic and critical understanding of a complex resource management situation, thus potentially enhancing project performance in an instrumental as well as an ethical sense.
Keywords Buffer zone management  Cognitive mapping  Conflict assessment  Mangrove forest  Natural resource conservation and development projects  Participatory approaches  Shrimp farming  Soft systems thinking  Stakeholder analysis  Vietnam
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Reprint years 2005
DOI 10.1007/s10460-004-8275-z
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Business & Society: Ethics and Stakeholder Management.Archie B. Carroll - 2002 - South-Western College Pub./Thomson Learning.

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