The GFI Indicator Framework provides a comprehensive menu of indicators for identifying strengths and weaknesses in forest governance. The indicators are designed to be applicable for a wide range of users interested in assessing or monitoring forest governance. Examples could include government agencies wishing to assess the effectiveness of policy implementation, legislators seeking to identify priorities for legal reforms, or civil society organizations seeking to monitor government performance. In order to facilitate easy uptake and use by helping users identify priority areas of interest, the GFI Indicators are organized into six thematic areas, and further divided into subthemes (see figure).
Each GFI Indicator is designed to evaluate a particular law, process, activity, or institution in detail (see sample GFI Indicator below). In addition to the GFI Framework, we have developed a GFI Guidance Manual to help users navigate decisions about how to design and implement forest governance research using the GFI Indicators. It also provides detailed indicator-by-indicator guidance to support the data collection process.
GFI Partner Governance Assessments
The GFI Indicators were field-tested by GFI’s civil society partners in Brazil, Cameroon, and Indonesia between 2010 and 2012. The partners’ experiences helped improve the indicators and generated practical lessons about assessment design and governance data collection. Tips and lessons from the pilot assessments on conducting a governance assessment are featured in the GFI Guidance Manual.
In addition, GFI assessment results have been used to support civil society advocacy for forest governance reforms in partner countries. For example:
GFI Brazil engaged actively in the process of designing the Mato Grosso state REDD+ law passed in January 2013. Key inputs included language on social and environmental safeguards, benefit sharing, and transparency and accountability mechanisms.
The GFI Indonesia network launched a multi-stakeholder process that included government, civil society, and academic representatives to build consensus towards an Indonesian version of the indicators. The Indonesian version has subsequently been used to train local NGOs to assess and monitor governance.
GFI Cameroon partners have used GFI assessment results to influence the development of Cameroon’s Readiness Preparation Proposal. GFI Cameroon recommendations and messages have been used to push for improved participation and representation of civil society in the REDD+ process, and for the use of indicators to monitor governance as part of the REDD+ process.