‘In Local Collaboration we Trust’: The Dynamics of Trust Network Relationships in Collaborative Natural Resource Management in Tanzania

Mathew Senga


The existence of relational trust among network actors can facilitate collective action and enhance the successful collaborative practices of natural resource management. This paper uses a stochastic actor-oriented modelling approach to provide two simple models for dynamics of trust relationships in a network of Village Conservation and Development Committee (VCDC) in Amani Nature Reserve, Tanzania. By simultaneously modelling network (social selection) and behaviour (social influence) this paper tests the hypothesis of whether or not actors with similar attribute(s) tend to trust similar influential actors on the decisions about issues related to local collaborative practices of natural resource management. Results show that homophily (the tendency of individual network actors to associate and bond with similar others) effect for actor attribute and behaviour (influence on decisions of natural resource management) average similarity have an important role to play on selection, maintenance or dissolution of trust ties among VCDC actors in the context of collaborative practices of natural resource management. This paper contributes theoretically and methodologically to a discussion on importance of trust in interaction of actors involved in collaborative practices of natural resource management, particularly in developing countries such as Tanzania. The literature within such framework is still underdeveloped.

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