Including Local Voices in Global Discourse: Case Studies from Boumba, Niger

Mueller, Jocelyn - Tufts University, Boston, USA

Studies of traditional, indigenous or local knowledge reveal that these experiential place-based knowledge systems can provide valuable information for local-level policy and practice. Including local voices, knowledge and experts through participatory methods can refine globally-based initiatives to suit local realities, empower local actors and improve overall program success and sustainability. Based on interdisciplinary participatory research in Boumba, Niger, this paper highlights examples where the input of local knowledge and local actors also helped to refine conservation and development theory. We propose that through an iterative participatory process, local knowledge can both improve local actions and refine global discourse and theory.