This paper reports and reflects on the pilot application of an 11-step policy learning protocol that was developed by Cashore and Lupberger (2015) based on several years of Cashore's multi-author collaborations. The protocol was applied for the first time in Peru in 2015 and 2016 by the IUFRO Working Party on Forest Policy Learning Architectures (hereinafter referred to as the project team). The protocol integrates insights from policy learning scholarship (Hall 1993, Sabatier 1999) with Bernstein and Cashore's (2000, 2012) four pathways of influence framework. The pilot implementation in Peru focused on how global timber legality verification interventions might be harnessed to promote local land rights. Legality verification focuses attention on the checking and auditing of forest management units in order to verify that timber is harvested and traded in compliance with the law. We specifically asked: How can community legal ownership of, and access to, forestland and forest resources be enhanced? The protocol was designed as a dynamic tool, the implementation of which fosters iterative rather than linear processes. It directly integrated two objectives: 1) identifying the causal processes through which global governance initiatives might be harnessed to produce durable results ‘on the ground’; 2) generating insights and strategies in collaboration with relevant stakeholders. This paper reviews and critically evaluates our work in designing and piloting the protocol. We assess what seemed to work well and suggest modifications, including an original diagnostic framework for nurturing durable change. We also assess the implications of the pilot application of the protocol for policy implementation that works to enhance the influence of existing international policy instruments, rather than contributing to fragmentation and incoherence by creating new ones.
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Vol. 19 • No. 3