Information networks and power: confronting the "wicked problem" of REDD+ in Indonesia
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) is a priority issue for forest and climate policy in Indonesia, and REDD+ policy-making activity has been characterized by considerable public consultation. Despite this engagement, discussions on REDD+ in Indonesia are reported to have remained top-down, a disconcerting pattern when adaptive governance and transformational change require cross-scale and cross-sectoral communication. Explicitly modeling the patterns of information exchange related to REDD+ can clarify these claims and help identify potential barriers to the transformational change needed to implement REDD+. We used data obtained through semi-structured and structured interviews held in 2011 with representatives from a broad range of organizations (N = 64), formally or informally involved in the national REDD+ policy processes in Indonesia, to study REDD-related information exchange. Adopting a social network analysis approach, we found that (1) organizations perceived as most influential in REDD+ policy formulation, often, but not exclusively, those with institutional authority over particular aspects of REDD+, tend not to seek information from other actors and (2) organizations exchange information primarily within three clusters of similar organizations, with weak connections between clusters. This evidence suggests weak information exchange between the national government, national civil society, and transnational actors. We contend that the emergence of brokers able to connect these different clusters will be crucial for effective and inclusive REDD+ governance in Indonesia.