Information brokerage in Caribbean coral reef governance networks

Rachel A. Turner, Johanna Forster, Angelie M. Peterson, Robin Mahon, Clare Fitzsimmons

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Poor connectivity between diverse resource users and complex wider governance networks is a challenge in environmental governance. Organizations that ‘broker’ interactions among these relationships are expected to improve governance outcomes. Here, we used semi-structured interviews and social network analysis to identify actors in positions to broker coral reef-related information to and from resource users and to assess the performance of these brokers. Representatives (n = 262) of actor groups were interviewed, including local and national government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community organizations and resource user groups from 12 communities across four Caribbean countries, to map information-sharing networks and to identify brokers. Broker performance was assessed through separate interviews with coral reef resource users (n = 545). The findings show that marine NGOs were the highest-functioning brokers. Where such local-level organizations were absent, government agencies in reef management roles acted as brokers, but their performance was lower. Actors in brokerage positions did not always effectively share information, with broker performance being positively correlated with network brokerage scores. The results further our understanding of the roles of brokers in different governance contexts. Identifying those in brokerage positions and supporting their roles in connecting local resource users to wider governance networks could encourage functional brokerage and enhance reef management outcomes.
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-294
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Conservation
Issue number4
Early online date6 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Caribbean
  • Keywords:
  • brokerage
  • coral reefs
  • governance
  • information sharing
  • natural resource management
  • social network analysis

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