Esther Mwangi

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= Forest Commons governance scholar and advocate


Below is only a sample collection of elements and activities taken from Esther Mwangi's CV:

Currently working at the Forests and Governance Program. Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). Jalan CIFOR, Situ Gede, Bogor Barat 16115, Indonesia

Contact via [email protected]


  • PhD, Public Policy. 2003. Indiana University, Bloomington.Concentrations: Public Policy, Environmental Policy, Comparative Politics. Dissertation Title: “Institutional Change and Politics: The transformation of Property Rights in Kenya’s Maasailand.”
  • M. Phil, Environmental Studies. 1992. Moi University, Kenya. Biological Sciences Division.

Positions held:

  • Scientist, Center for International Forestry Research. Key responsibilities:Lead the development and implementation of a property rights and tenure strategy, including approaches and methodologies & Lead the mainstreaming of gender into the organization’s research
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Kennedy School of Government and Center for Environment, Harvard University. Sept 2007-August 2009. Conduct research titled The Commons in Transition: Looking Back, Thinking Ahead for Environmental and Livelihoods Sustainability.
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Environment & Production Technology Division, IFPRI. August 2004-July 2007

Coordinated and managed global project on Collective Action and Property Rights for Poverty Reduction for the CGIAR systemwide program on Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi).

Recent Presentations:

  • Panelist: The green revolution 2.0: Poverty, Agriculture and Environment in Africa panel. Environmental Grant makers Association meetings, 26th September, Alburqueque, NM. 2007.
  • Workshop on Forest Governance and Decentralization in Africa: A Country-led Initiative in Support of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF). 8-11 April 2008, Durban, South Africa.
  • The Tragedy of the Commons by Garrett Hardin 40th Anniversary. A Restrospective Symposium. Adrian College Policy Institute. Adrian, Michigan. November 21st, 2008. Paper titled: “Mitigating the tragedy of the anti-commons? Tracking new institutional arrangements in East Africa’s privatized rangelands.”

Publications and Reports

  • 2010. With Helen Markelova. Collective action for market access in Africa. Review of Policy Research.
  • 2010. Bumbling bureaucrats, sluggish courts and forum-shopping elites: Unending conflict in the transition to private property. European Journal of Development Research.
  • 2009. Property rights and governance of Africa’s rangelands: A policy overview. Natural Resources Forum 33: 160-170.
  • 2009. With Helen Markelova. Collective action and property rights for poverty reduction: A review of methods and approaches. Development Policy Review. 27(3):301-331.
  • 2009. With Elinor Ostrom. Top down solutions: Looking up from East Africa’s Rangelands. Environmen 51(1):35-44.
  • 2009. With Ruth Meinzen-Dick. The pitfalls of formalization: Cutting the web of interests. Land Use Policy. 26: 36-43.
  • 2008. With Elinor Ostrom. A Century of Institutions and Ecology in East Africa’s Rangelands: Exploring the Links between Institutional Robustness and Ecological Resilience in Kenya’s Maasailand. In, Volker Beckmann and Martina Padmanabhan (Editors) Institutions and Sustainability: Political Economy of Agriculture and the Environment. Essays in Honor of Konrad Hagedorn. Springer-Verlag.