Power Tools: for policy influence in natural resource management


Many people’s lives involve the day-to-day management of natural resources. Such intimate interaction creates awareness of the technical, social and political obstacles to good management. Yet many of these people never have the opportunity to contribute to the definition of policies and institutions that govern their use of natural resources.

The policy gap between the powerful and marginalised does not just involve the lack of available channels for participatory dialogue. Even when such channels exist, communication may fail due to fundamental differences in perception, expression and power between groups.

Project objectives

The Power Tools initiative set out to develop, test and circulate existing and new tools to bridge some of the key gaps in policy processes and content.

These policy tools – tips, tactics and approaches – are designed to provide practical help to people working to improve the policies and institutions that govern access to and use of natural resources.

The tools are presented on the website: www.policy-powertools.org

The website presents:

  • 26 power tools based on experience from around the world
  • Discussion of power tools in theory and practice
  • Related research on policy tools in action
  • A directory of the many other websites that contain policy tool resources


Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation


The International Institute for Environment and Development together with many partner organisations around the world developed the Power Tools series from experience in working on policies and institutions in natural resource management.


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