An approach to the methodology of anthropological and socio-cultural analysis of the area of influence of the Vida Nativa GS1 Reserve


A brief summary of the methodology implemented by the Community Relations Area of NIDEPORT to learn about the communities located in the GS1 reserve’s area of influence.

Delimitation of the GS1 Reserve Area of Influence

The “Vida Nativa GS1 Reserve” is a 25,000-hectare property belonging to Forestal Belga S.A, located in the municipality of San Pedro.

The area of influence of the project covers the area of the project or site (Vida Nativa GS1 Reserve) and the places Gentile, Piñeiro, Alegría, Cruce Caballero, Tobuna and Tekoa Alecrín.

Cruce Caballero and Tobuna are the main rural agglomerations, of which it is possible to find official census information. The rest of the sites are considered dispersed rural groupings, and, therefore, not possible to be censed.

Identification and analysis of stakeholders

The stakeholder identification and analysis process consisted, first of all, of brainstorming with the collaboration of key informants, who were able to provide a local and situated vision on the relevant actors that may have an influence and/or be affected by the project. This allowed for a preliminary classification of distinguished sectors by gender, ethnicity, level of wealth or well-being, livelihoods, but also community-based organizations, local government influencers, public organizations, and others.

Secondly, after this preliminary identification, field research was continued with a mixed – or triangulated – multistage design.  Broadly speaking, this strategy brought together interviews of maximum variation; under the logics of “key actor”, “snowball” and “focus group” with censuses of rural households in places, towns and native communities; with a random sample selection by conglomerates for towns and places of the community, and with a directed sample selection and by conglomerates for community groups.

Mixed strategy implemented:

  • Meetings with stakeholders based on a sample conducted for convenience.
  • Ethnographic approach: participant observation, descriptive and detailed record of social daily life, open anthropological interview, intercultural dialogue.
  • Semi-structured interviews on focal topics (human capital, degree of dependence on the forest, economy, social capital, climate change) through a chain sampling or “snowball”.
  • Thematic focal interview or focused discussion group, for issues related to agriculture and indigenous habitat and perception of local problems in Cruce Caballero.
  • Participatory rural evaluation: SWOT matrix of self-diagnosis of community organization.
  • Survey of rural households. 3 household censuses were conducted:
  1. The first was a pilot census or ex ante test, in the rural areas surrounding the property by means of a non-probabilistic sample of maximum variation with criteria of gender, income difference and place of residence. 
  2. The second household census with a sample of 60% of the households of the Tekoa Alecrín (24 households), under a sample by conglomerates. The type of sampling used in this case is the culturally appropriate methodology achieved through intercultural dialogue with the council of authorities of the community group.
  3. The third household census will be carried out at the end of October, in Cruce Caballero, Paraje Piñeiro, Colonia Alegría and Tobuna, following a probabilistic sampling procedure, in this case random by conglomerates.
  4. Georeferencing and cartographic updating of homes, places of community infrastructure, shops, community spaces, access points, roads, routes, services, sites of cultural interest and other points of interest to the local population. The methodology combined geolocation, interviews with community members, and use of geographic processing software.

Some analytical conclusions

This methodology of mixed strategy allowed to identify the resident population of the surrounding rural areas that are outside the limits of the site of Vida Nativa GS1 Reserve as a community, as they share language and culture, religious beliefs, way of life, type of occupation and income scale, reproduction patterns, access to public education and health systems, etc.

As community groups, women, indigenous peoples, and people with greater economic and social vulnerability were identified, in terms of income, livelihoods and/or cultural values which differ widely from those of other groups. 

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