Understanding Community Capacity Using Adaptive and Reflexive Research Practices: Lessons From Two Canadian Biosphere Reserves

Sharmalene Mendis-Millard, Maureen G. Reed
2007 Society & Natural Resources  
Community-based ecosystem management requires understanding a community's capacity. We argue that communities can make important contributions not only to specific assessments of community capacity, but also to the conceptualization of the term itself through community-based research methods that are both adaptive and reflexive. A research initiative that illustrates such practices is reported here. We begin by describing our initial conceptual framework of community capacity that identified
more » ... ource capitals and mobilizing factors. In focus groups, residents of two Canadian biosphere reserves used this framework to assess their capacity to meet biosphere reserve mandates and to provide critical reflections that helped to drive revisions to the framework. Our new framework is more sensitive to temporal and spatial dimensions of capacity, local social relations, and local culture. We conclude that adaptive and reflexive community-based offer methodological alternatives for research, help advance conceptions of community capacity, and help produce social change.
doi:10.1080/08941920601171915 fatcat:tgv3inzj4rebpbvcztm5bnl3um