Decoupling in governance: the land governance network in a region of the Colombian Andes

Peer Reviewed
30 September 2023

Luisa Díez-Echavarría, Clara Villegas-Palacio, Santiago Arango-Aramburo, Driss Ezzine-de-Blas


Land governance requires coherence not only in terms of policies but also between its governance functions to achieve the desired goals. In this study, we focus on the functions that direct influence land use (boundary setting and resource appropriation; project formulation and financing; and monitoring, evaluation, and learning), which are expected to form a feedback loop necessary for adaptive co-management. We evaluated the degree of coherence of these three functions (as an approach to efficient management) via geo-located multilayer social network analysis and using an area of the Rio Grande and Chico basin in the Colombian Andes as the case study. According to the results, there is a conflict between production and conservation goals, necessitating collaboration among actors and institutions from various levels. The social network analysis revealed that the three functions are not articulated; instead, there exist two feedback loops (one per goal) in the boundary setting and resource appropriation function, leading to such conflict. The imposition of a governance system on the community by a few actors is recognized as the root of this conflict; hence, the need to move toward a governance with the community by promoting active participation in the various functions and interactions within them. We recommend future studies to assess the impact of governance networks on land-use actions to identify the reasons for land-use change and propose new strategies.


  • Actors in land governance are classified based on key factors for successful resource management, called governance functions.
  • Efficient management in a governance system depends on the coherence of governance functions.
  • Geo-located multilayer social network analysis allows for determining if there is efficient management.
  • In an adaptive co-management context, a governance social network with different goals generates different feedback loops.

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Publication reference
Díez-Echavarría, L., Villegas-Palacio, C., Arango-Aramburo, S., & Ezzine-de-Blas, D. (2023). Decoupling in governance: the land governance network in a region of the Colombian Andes. Land Use Policy, 133, 106880.

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Publication | 18 September 2023