This website introduces a range of Power Tools – “how-to” ideas that marginalised people and their allies can use to have a greater positive influence on natural resources policy. This website presents:
- 26 power tools based on experience from around the world - Start on the Guide to the Tools page
- Discussion of power tools in theory and practice - See the What is a Power Tool? and the Strengths and Limits of Tools in Practice pages, plus individual tools
- Related research on policy tools in action - Look at Related Research pages
- A directory of the many other websites that contain policy tool resources - Consult Directory of Tools Links page
Rationale and aims
Many people’s lives involve the day-to-day management of natural resources. Such intimate interaction creates awareness of the technical, social and political obstacles to good management. Yet many of these people never have the opportunity to contribute to the definition of policies and institutions that govern their use of natural resources. The policy gap between the powerful and marginalised does not just involve the lack of available channels for participatory dialogue. Even when such channels exist, communication may fail due to fundamental differences in perception, expression and power between groups.
The Power Tools initiative set out to develop, test and circulate existing and new tools to bridge some of the key gaps in policy processes and content. These policy tools – tips, tactics and approaches – are designed to provide some practical help to people working to improve the policies and institutions that govern access to and use of natural resources.
The International Institute for Environment and Development together with many partner organisations around the world developed the Power Tools series from experience in working on policies and institutions in natural resource management. The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGIS) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ) have provided support for the work.