Prophets and profits in Indonesia's social forestry partnership schemes: Introducing a sequential power analysis

Muhammad Alif K. Sahide, Micah R. Fisher, Supratman Supratman, Yusran Yusran, Andita A. Pratama, Ahmad Maryudi, Yubelince Runtubei, Adrayanti Sabar, Bart Verheijen, Grace Y. Wong, Yeon Su Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Studies on power dynamics have helped to develop a better understanding of the role of actors and interests influencing community forestry initiatives. This article introduces a sequential power analysis as a framework for expanding research on power dynamics to better understand the various stages that shape benefit sharing outcomes in community forestry. The research is based on the increasingly popular “partnership” scheme in Indonesia, but the framework is introduced as a method for potential application in other community forestry contexts. The framework is based on three parts. It first historicizes the actors in what we term the “power background.” Thereafter we examine the arrival of a partnership scheme described as “power delivery”. Third, we highlight a process of “power adjustment,” which serves to explain the way actors achieve benefit sharing outcomes. Our research draws from a diverse set of partnership schemes from four sites across five different comparative variables. We find that the framing of power delivery allows us to identify the key actors that serve as the messengers of partnership schemes (the prophets) promoting the terms of project implementation. In the latter stages however, power adjustment determines the outcomes, which are contingent upon benefit-sharing arrangements (profits). Not only does our sequential power analysis help to enrich studies of power dynamics in community forestry, we also show that the current implementation of the partnership scheme in Indonesia is unlikely to result in more equitable outcomes, but rather serves to strengthen the position of existing powerful actors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102160
JournalForest Policy and Economics
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Indonesia
  • Partnership [kemitraan]
  • Sequential power analysis
  • Social forestry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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