Socioeconomic module
Entry costs
Collective action
Knowledge & attitudes

Management and socio-economics of tsetse control

Collective action

All bait technologies require collective action to be effective:

• Insecticide-treatment of cattle has to be carried out by a high proportion of livestock-owners, on a high proportion of cattle, at a determined frequency (these parameters can be calculated by Tsetse Plan).

• Targets and traps have to be protected from damage by humans, livestock and wildlife, and periodically treated. If this is not to be a recurrent cost to government or a donor, it will have to be done by collective instititutions.

Collective action is managed by collective institutions. Institutions are not necessarily organisations with membership and explicit rules but may also informal or unwritten rules which govern individual behaviour and expectations. In many cases, collective institutions will already exist which have the potential to manage tsetse control, although they may require strengthening. In other cases new and formal collective institutions will need to be created.

Some donor agencies and researchers increasingly use the term “social capital” to refer to “the social resources on which people draw in pursuit of their livelihood objectives”. Social capital is built by membership of networks and more formalized groups, and more generally by participation in relations of trust and reciprocity (DFID 1999). There is therefore a strong overlap between the strength of social capital in a community and the potential for collective action.

It should be emphasised that intervening in livestock owners' capacity for collective action will be useless unless the chosen tsetse control strategy will be profitable in the medium-term. If it is profitable, (and if issues of transitional costs and cashflow can be managed), implementing agencies may find that issues of collective action can be managed more easily than they expect, through existing institutions. This applies especially to the “problem of free-riding” (in this case the perceived problem that cattle owners in an area cannot be excluded from the benefits of tsetse control, but that participation in the costs of tsetse control cannot be enforced upon them). Not only does the supposed problem reflect a theory of human nature that does not necessarily always accord with reality, but it also underestimates the extent to which informal community sanctions on would-be “free-riders” can be effective.

For methods to investigate the existing potential for collective action in tsetse control, and the need for strengthening those institutions or creating new ones click here.

For methods to increase the effectiveness of collective action click here.

DFID (1999) Sustainable Livelihoods Guidance Sheet 2.3.1 Social Capital.

Dransfield, R.D. & Brightwell, R. (2004). Community participation in tsetse control: The principles, potential and practice. pp 523-536 in:- The Trypanosomiases (eds. I. Maudlin, P.H. Holmes & M.A. Miles). CAB International, Wallingford, UK.






French FlagFrench site