Skills needed for using social science research tools in natural resource management: Personal experience from gender research in the “Beyond timber project” in Cameroon


This dataset contains charts of different participatory research tools drawn from gender and age differentiated groups as well as results of focus group discussion carried out separately with men and women of different age groups. The study was conducted in five villages, three in the East Region and two in the South. Villages were selected based on their location (proximity to logging areas, easy access by road and to markets) and composition (similar size of village, different ethnic groups). Participatory research tools such as Seasonal Activity Calendar (SAC) and Access and Control Matrix (ACM) in addition to Focus Group Discussions (FGD)– were selected for comparison with household surveys used in the other components of the Beyond timber project to represent both quantitative and qualitative, and conventional and participatory research methods. Data collection with the use of each tool was done in gender and age segregated groups in each of the sampled communities. These participatory methods and tools were used to: - Examine participants’ knowledge differentiated by gender and age on the collection / gathering / harvesting, processing and management of forest resources and their uses (medicinal, cultural, domestic and social); - To bring together the knowledge of women and men from different ages to inform the broader project about how communities use, manage and benefit from forest resources. FGD segregated by gender and age were held in each community. A number of 5 -10 participants took part in the different group discussions. The participants were split into four groups: (i) younger women (15 - 35 years of age), (ii) older women (> 35 years of age), (iii) younger men (15 - 35 years of age) and older men (> 35 years of age). Gender and age were selected as analytical variables to ensure a wider range of experiences with respect to forest resources