Adaptability in social-ecological systems – Dissertation Claudia Konrad

Posted by on Mai 2, 2016 in Allgemein
Adaptability in social-ecological systems – Dissertation Claudia Konrad

Dissertation title: Adaptability in social-ecological systems. A comparative case study on forest-related livelihoods under the implementation of incentive-based policies in Ecuador

The Socio Bosque program is an incentive-based policy of the Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment that promotes direct payments to landowners for forest areas under conservation. The empirical case study refers to the province of Napo in the Northern Amazon region. This area is considered to be a biodiversity hotspot and an important carbon reservoir, and thus, is one of the priority regions for implementing the Socio Bosque program.

As local livelihoods at the study site are subject to an increasing vulnerability caused by diverse macro-level factors (such as deforestation, migration, and oil extraction), the capacity in social-ecological systems to reorganize in response to changing conditions by testing and revising institutional arrangements – understood as formal rules, informal norms, and enforcement characteristics –  gains highly in importance. Thus, the study focuses on the question, if the Socio Bosque program has the potential to promote adaptive governance.

In short, the study examines how the outcomes of the program are shaped by the national strategy design, approaches of implementation exercised by national agencies and local user groups, and resulting interactions between the variables of the social-ecological system. According to research on polycentric governance and complex adaptive systems, I assume that the outcomes of the program depend essentially on the existence of self-organized entities that interact and coordinate across multiple sectors and scales.

1st supervisor: Prof. Dr. Michael Schönhuth

2nd supervisor: Prof. Dr. Ulli Vilsmaier


Since Mar 2011: Trainer for Global Education & Empowerment, freelancer

Apr 2012 – Oct 2014: Regional Coordinator, Engagement Global, Bonn

Oct 2009 – Oct 2010: Junior Consultant at the Ministry of Environment Ecuador, German Development Service, Bonn (now GIZ)

Nov 2007 – Sept 2009: Research Assistant, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Institute of Medical Sociology


Since Nov 2012: PhD Candidate, Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Trier

Feb – Apr 2013: Visiting Scholar, Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University Bloomington, USA

Oct 2005 – Sept 2009: Master of Arts (MA), Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Hamburg

Oct 2002 – Sept 2004: Studies in Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Münster


Certificate for Trainers for Global Education, Engagement Global, Bonn (Jan 2012 – Jul 2014)

Certificate for Advanced Studies in Comparative Institutional Analysis and Development, Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington (Feb – Apr 2013)

Certificate in Environmental Mediation, University of Hagen (Apr 2011 – Mar 2012)

Academic affiliations

Cluster on Transformation Research, Heinrich Böll Foundation

German Association for Latin American Studies (ADLAF)

International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC)

International Network for Social Network Analysis (INSNA)

Lectures & conference contributions

„El impacto del Programa Socio Bosque sobre la adaptabilidad en sistemas socio-ambientales: Resultados preliminares de un estudio enfocado en socios colectivos“, Ministry of Environment Ecuador, Quito. Aug 12, 2015

„Adaptability in social-ecological systems: Kooperationsnetzwerke zur kollektiven Verwaltung von Waldschutzgebieten in Ecuador“, PhD Workshop Transformation Research: My Theory. My Method, Leuphana University of Lüneburg. Apr 24, 2015

“Pagos por servicios ambientales: Una estrategia para integrar la protección del medio ambiente y la lucha contra la pobreza?” Ministry of Environment Ecuador, Quito. Mar 14, 2014

„Strategien zum Klimaschutz global denken: Ursachen von Entwaldung und Walddegradierung im Amazonastiefland Ecuadors“, PhD Workshop Demokratisierung – Bedingung und Folge des Energiewandels, Heinrich Böll Foundation, Berlin. June 1, 2013

“Land tenure, institutional diversity, and forest resources in the Sumaco Biosphere Reserve, Ecuador: Presentation and discussion of a research proposal”, Colloquium Series, Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington. Apr 12, 2013


„An introduction to VennMaker – a tool for qualitative social network analysis“, Mixed Methods Research Workshop, Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington. Feb 21, 2013

„Die sozialen Folgen des Klimawandels in Lateinamerika“ (panel discussion), event organization by Lateinamerika-Zentrums, Bonn, in cooperation with Werkstatt 3, Hamburg. Dec 11, 2012


Qualitative approaches to social network analysis. Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Graduate School, Complementary Studies Program, Summer Term 2015

Research interests

Collective action, self-governance, common-pool resources, participatory research methods, social network analysis