‘Managing our Common Resources’ is the first of a series of online courses focusing on different aspects of commons, in particular their management, governance and sustainability.
‘Managing our Common Resources’ will be delivered by the University of Gloucestershire through an online distance learning approach over a six-week period.
Once participants have registered for this online course they will be able to access a Moodle site which will hold a range of materials (readings, video and audio pods, exercises) and provide discussion forum space for online learning. The course provides a structured approach that takes participants through the materials with regular on-line discussion support.
The course will start by an exploration of what we mean by the term ‘commons’, explore the notions of co-operation, self-interest and rational choice, and also tackle mis-understandings – particularly in relation to the concept of the ‘tragedy’ of the commons. From there we will move into an exploration of the meaning of property and property rights, markets, private and public goods, and issues related to exclusion and rivalry.
Forest Commons in India

Forest Commons in India Course participants will be challenged to explore the nature of property rights, and the obligations of owners to the wider society.
From Week 4 onwards, participants will explore the role of trust and the characteristics of rules and institutions as foundations for collective action. The nature of communities and different user groups will be examined for their effects on managing shared resources as we explore how to create commons communities and the opportunity costs of collective action.
The final section of the course will explore the means for strengthening institutions and the design principles for commons governance.

Overview of the course

Weeks 1 – 3

Shared resources and the concept of commons
Property and property rights
Markets for goods and resources
hazards of open commons

The hazards of open commons

Weeks 4 – 6

Institutions – the foundation for collective action
Communities and user groups
Strengthening institutions for commons governance

Learning outcomes

  • Participants who complete the course will improve their understanding of the concept of the commons and explore the application through a wide range of case studies of both ‘traditional’ (e.g. grazing pasture, fisheries, forests) and ‘new’ commons (e.g. urban open space, the internet, genetic resources).
  • Participants will have an increased awareness of the possibilities, difficulties and benefits of cooperation, and improve their understanding of the nature of property rights, and the roles of institutions.
  • Participants will start to develop the skills needed for designing the institution arrangements needed for good commons governance.

Who will benefit from taking the course?

  • Practitioners involved in commons managemen
  • Policymakers with responsibilities for management or oversight of use and access to commons resource
  • Community and non-government groups involved in creating or developing institutional arrangements for managing shared resource
  • Academics with an interest in improving their understanding of commons resource management ad governance

Administrative details

This online course will run over the following period:
Start: 23rd March 2015
End : 30 April 2015
Cost: £80
Please Note:  Students will obtain a certificate of completion but at this point there is no opportunity to take the module for academic credit. This course is the first in a series that will be delivered both in Spanish (through UNAM), and in English through the University of Gloucestershire  The Universities will be developing opportunities for gaining academic credit through additional work and assessment.
Please email cmarkey[at]glos.ac[dot]uk if you need more information, or call +44 1242 714122
Once you are registered you will be given an Associate Student number and be able to access the course materials on the Moodle site from 22nd March until the 7th May 2015.
There are no special IT requirements in order to be able to access the materials.
The course is sponsored by IASC and has been made possible by a development grant from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
22/03/2015 to 29/04/2015