Pre-conference Workshops

Introduction to the Commons, Collective Action, and Property Rights

General Description
This preconference workshop will help participants with no specialized background on commons to become familiar with the basic commons and core theoretical principles, as well as able to apply this to their own work. 

The workshop will answer questions regarding what are commons, their importance, and examples of traditional and contemporary commons.  It will draw upon the work of Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom, the CGIAR program on Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi) and others, to address topics such as:
  • Common Pool Resources and Common Property
  • The role of collective action and property rights in managing the commons
  • Different forms of property rights and legal pluralism
  • Institutional design, including Ostrom’s Design Principles for governing the commons
  • Enclosure of commons and moves to restore the commons
  • Indicators for ‘secure access’ to commons

Target Workshop Participants
The following groups would be particularly interested in attending this workshop:

  • Practitioners who wish to gain an overview of the different theoretical strains regarding commons.
  • Government officials, especially those working on commons’ issues and other issues pertaining to natural resource management in the global South.
  • Students who would like to gain an understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects regarding CPRs; in the especial context of the global poor.
  • Activists and grassroots level workers who wish to understand the implications of the legal frameworks on securing access to CPRs.

Workshop Goals
The goals of the workshop are:

  • Imparting the participants with an understanding of the theory of commons.
  • Understanding the potential of Community Based Property Rights in securing the lives and livelihoods of the global poor; and identifying the constraints of such approaches
  • Strengthen the ability of participants in applying the theory of the commons to their own work.

Workshop Methodology
The workshop will include:

  • Presentations of theoretical materials and case studies
  • Group discussions applying lessons to participants’ own work
  • The Commons Game
  • Video presentation of “Crafting Institutions for Self-Governing Irrigation Systems” - Elinor Ostrom video illustrating eight fundamental rules of CPR governance and management.
Agenda and Topics

Duration : Full-day class
Size : 40 participants
Materials : Workshop participants will receive copies of core readings and a complementary copy of a new volume: Resources, Rights, and Cooperation: A Sourcebook on Property Rights and Collective Action
Workshop Leader/s : Leticia Merino, Ruth Meinzen-Dick
Supporting Organization/s : CGIAR Program on Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi), UNAM

Agenda

  • Welcome and introductions
  • Overview of commons theory: Leticia Merino, UNAM
  • Video presentation of “Crafting Institutions for Self-Governing Irrigation Systems” (Elinor Ostrom video illustrating eight fundamental rules of CPR governance and management)
  • Collective action and property rights: Ruth Meinzen-Dick, CAPRi
  • Collective Action Game: Ruth Meinzen-Dick
  • Presentation of Case Studies: Leticia Merino
  • Group discussions applying lessons to participants’ own work
As updated on 20th October 2010.


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