This report presents the results of a randomized evaluation of the impact of the Community Rangers Program (CRP), a community-based forest protection program implemented in Aceh, Indonesia, in 2011-2014. Fauna and Flora International (FFI) implemented the CRP with funding from the Consolidating Peaceful Development in Aceh (CPDA) Trust Fund of the World Bank. The evaluation was undertaken by a team of independent researchers based at universities in the United States.
The CRP therefore had two primary and complementary objectives: (1) to improve the economic and social integration1 of at-risk youths in Aceh by creating an alternative to illegal logging, and (2) to enhance environmental awareness and protection at the community level in Aceh. It aimed to achieve these goals through a set of reinforcing activities in which it identified atrisk youths, trained them to work as forest rangers, and tasked them with undertaking activities designed to promote environmental protection, as well as the youths’ standing and integration within their communities.
The results show that the CRP succeeded in improving economic outcomes for rangers on a number of dimensions. The economic outcomes of interest included both objective measures of wellbeing (income and household poverty), as well as more subjective measures associated with perceptions of economic status and economic conditions. Overall, the program had positive and significant effects on all subjective measures of economic welfare.