Introduction to GBA Plus
Illustrating the GBA Plus process: Forest sector case study
6 - Develop options and make recommendations
Now that you have researched who could potentially be affected by the program and considered stakeholder perspectives, you can further define the issues identified in the GBA Plus. For example:
- Communities and workers may not be affected equally by changes to the economic activities in the forest sector, given the industry’s diversity and uneven decline. Some communities have already begun to diversify in unique ways.
- Population data shows Indigenous peoples, who have traditionally occupied some of the lowest-skilled and precarious jobs in the forest sector, will make up an increased proportion of the working-age population. The data also suggests that Indigenous women in particular could face key challenges in terms of workforce attachment.
- In Indigenous communities, the forest represents both a means of economic survival and a traditional source of spiritual well-being. If they are not considered, economic diversification strategies could jeopardize local traditions and traditional land management practices.
How will you use that information to develop and justify options?
You can demonstrate to senior management and decision-makers that diverse consultation and meaningful analysis have taken place by using the results of your GBA Plus to inform options and recommendations.
The new program for advancing innovation and economic diversification will be promoted uniformly across all forest-dependent communities, regardless of local settings, circumstances and population.
The GBA Plus shows that this option could lead to unequal impacts as it does not account for the diversity of the sector itself, or for the unique economic activities of individual, forest-dependent communities. This may be particularly true for forest-dependent Indigenous communities, where the land may have traditional uses and cultural significance. It may also not address the issue of women’s under-representation in the sector, or the lack of diversity in senior management positions.
Think big! Although not ideal, a uniform approach is often the selected option. In many cases, elements of an initiative may fall outside the scope of federal control. When this is the case, it is imperative that the reason for selecting this option be indicated, along with the limitations and consequences of a uniform approach. Also consider looking ahead and indicating how data and analysis could be applied over time and in the future (e.g. create incentives for other levels of government to apply GBA Plus).
One component of the initiative could focus on better engaging the skills of certain groups, including women and Indigenous peoples, who have been traditionally under-represented in the high-skilled and management sectors of the forest industry.
Also, the initiative could encourage women’s greater participation in the industry by promoting family-friendly policies and focusing on skilled training for key groups.
Adding these elements to the proposal responds to what we have learned about the concentration of women and Indigenous peoples in lower-skilled and precarious work, and also about the socio-economic barriers faced by certain groups.
In addition to recruiting diverse workers, the initiative could focus on encouraging partnerships with communities and other levels of government to develop local options for economic diversification. It could also require the inclusion of front-line workers and women in decision-making structures.
Consideration could be given to how existing diversification efforts in new areas, such as bio-energy, as well as traditional practices, might be leveraged. This could include how to use local traditional knowledge and practices to inform innovation.
Incorporating all of these elements responds to the under-representation of certain groups in management. It also responds to what we have learned about forest-dependent communities that may have diverse economic practices and traditions with respect to forest use.
Using an approach that draws on information obtained through GBA Plus means that innovation and economic diversification efforts will be more likely to reflect and support the diverse needs, skills and potential workforce of each forest-dependent community.