German students analyse governance networks in Himalaya-Hindukusch-Pamir Region

In a new collaboration between InWent (Capacity Building International, Germany), teamconsult (Company for Project Management and Organisational Development, Germany) and IFPRI, we will train and support German students to use Net-Map to understand the complex formal and informal networks of mountain governance in the Himalaya-Hindukusch-Pamir Region.

This is part of the ASA student exchange program organized by InWent. The students will work in close collaboration with policy makers from Nepal, Tadschikistan, China-Tibet and China-Xinjiang, who participate in InWent’s Program “Planning and Management for Sustainable Regional Development of Mountain Regions”. The participants from Asia are living and learning in the European Alps Region for one year to develop their expertise in sustainable mountain governance.

I’m excited because this will be the first use of Net-Map in Asia. In their first preparatory meeting the students will pre-test the method with our guests from the Himalaya Region. They will ask concrete (but hypothetic) questions such as: “Imagine a road was to be planned, cutting through this protected area, who would be the different actors who could influence the decision making process?” and draw a Net-Map together with a group of participants from the country to which they will be posted.

So the student who is going to go to Nepal will start to understand some of the intricacies of Nepalese political processes by discussing them with local policy makers. Also, we hope that the participants get to know each other through this exercise and it will be easier for the students to arrive in the foreign country and start building their research network, if they have an entry point. As this is the first time we use Net-Map in this cultural setting, the workshop in March will give us invaluable insights into the cultural applicability of the method and help us to adapt it for this specific use.

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