The thousand headed monster: Interrogating the competing voices in México's PES programme

Janik Granados Herrera

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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This research is focused on the analysis the role and relevance of the Operational Rules (ORs) and the work of external intermediary professionals, called Technical Advisors (TAs) as two components in the implementation of the National Payment for Environmental Services (PES) programme in Mexico. The objectives of the research are 1) to identify the key components involved in the implementation of the programme; 2) to analyse the evolution of the PES programme through the examination of its ORs, and the influence of actors and events in shaping this evolution; 3) to analyse the significance of the establishment of relationships between actors and rules in PES, emphasising the role of the TAs; and 4) to analyse how the dynamics occurring between formality and informality have contributed to the persistence of the PES programme over time.

ORs change annually, through a variety of mechanisms. Over eleven years, the definition of PES has been simplified gradually. The role of CONAFOR has become ambiguous, and the obligations and responsibilities of the beneficiaries have increased. Various actors influence the evolution of the OR of the PES programme. The influence of actors decreases as they approach local levels. Changes in ORs reflect the power struggles, negotiations and tensions between the high-level actors for the prevalence of their interests and approaches.

The expected roles of TAs as intermediaries in PES are: a) preparing applicants for enrolment in the programme, b) accompanying and guiding the implementation, and c) monitoring and reporting beneficiaries’ activities. Many of their tasks are carried out through informal practices, some of which have a negative impact on the implementation, so their performance is often questioned by CONAFOR. According to their own vision, TAs perform multiple roles at the local level, some of which go beyond the scope of CONAFOR. The TAs disagree with the generalisation of TAs' blame in PES, as they consider that CONAFOR has contributed to the problem. TAs actually have indirect influence in ORs through a) their intervention of beneficiaries’ decision-making, b) their personal choice about their own roles at the local level, c) their influence in shaping relationships, d) their ability to interpret and adapt the changing ORs to local conditions, and e) their individual preferences in selecting lands and beneficiaries to work with.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Clancy, Joy Sheila, Supervisor
  • McCall, M.K., Supervisor, External person
Award date6 May 2021
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-5166-3
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2021


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