South Asia Exchange Programme - Practitioners’
Exchange Programme

IASC 2011 aimed at a match between academic focus and practitioner experiences and sought to provide spaces for practitioners such as NGOs and activists to learn from the latest advancements in commons theory and research. This was taken forward through the South Asia Exchange Programme (SAEP) and the Practitioners' Exchange Programme (PEP), an exchange programme with the overarching objective of encouraging a pool of practitioners and scholars who would be sensitized towards issues of commons and continue to work for them. The SAEP was supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) as part of of its 40 years in Innovating for Development; and the PEP was supported by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

Young scholars and practitioners from the SAARC countries and China who were presenting papers at the conference were chosen based on merit, topical balance, and considerations of regional balance and gender equity, and invited to be part of a special programme that would help them gain valuable understanding of the complexities in commons management and governance through workshops and field visits specially designed for them. The Exchange Programme was held from January 717, 2011. It was an eclectic group of 25 participants, comprising of people from different academic and professional standings. The common thread running through all the partners was that they were all working on commons either in their academic positions or in their professional capacities.

Three Complimentary Bodies of Scholarship

Derek Armitage, 2008, Governance and Commons in a Multi-level World, International Journal of the Commons

Programme Design

The programme was conducted in three parts as given below -
  • Thematic workshop on Common Property Resources, January 7 - 9, 2011
  • Pre conference workshop and Conference Sustaining Commons: Sustaining Our Future, January 10-14, 2011
  • Field visit, January 15-17, 2011
The program was administered in a graduated manner, with each component adding value to the others and thereby furthering the participants' learning. Before the Conference, scholars shared their experiences and discussed various issues in a systematic manner through the workshop. While designing the program, it was borne in mind that participating scholars might need a level of orientation about the various issues pertaining to commons, so that they can harness the most from the Conference.

Political Ecology Perspective

  • Coastal Common and Fisheries by Mr. Shreeji , Center for Environment Education
  • Food Security and Commons by Ms. Soma, PhD Fellow, IIT Bombay

Political Ecology Perspective

  • Forest and Grazing Land Commons by Ms. Harini Nagendra, IFPRI
  • Commons in Watershed Development by Mr. K J Joy, SOPPECOM
  • Commons and Sustainable Living by Prof. Ashwini Chhatre, University of Illinois

Political Ecology Perspective

  • Alternative Strategies to Manage Commons: System Dynamics by Prof. Peter Hovmand, Washington University
  • Commons: Game by Ms. Ruth Mienzen-Dick, President, IASC