Integrated assessment of farming systems: communicating results. Santiago Dogliotti

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A presentation from the WCCA 2011 event held in Brisbane, Australia.

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Integrated assessment of farming systems: communicating results. Santiago Dogliotti

  1. 1. Integrated assessment of farming systems: communicating results Ing. Agr. Ph.D. Santiago Dogliotti Workshop Integrated Assessment of Farming Systems Brisbane 27 September 2011
  2. 2. Integrated assessment of farming systems: communicating results <ul><li>Integrated assessment is ‘…a structured process of dealing with complex issues, using knowledge from various scientific disciplines and/or stakeholders such that integrated insights are made available to decision makers .’ Rotmans (1998) </li></ul><ul><li>‘… research on sustainability assessment in agriculture has so far neglected the knowledge of utilizing the results of assessments to achieve their implementation …’ Binder et al. (2010) </li></ul><ul><li>(both cited by Bezlepkina et al. (2011) Editorial of the Agricultural Systems’ special issue on Integrated assessment of sustainability of agricultural systems and land use). </li></ul>Workshop Integrated Assessment of Farming Systems Brisbane 27 September 2011
  3. 3. Integrated assessment of farming systems: communicating results <ul><li>‘ Model outcomes appeared not to match questions of farm managers monitoring and learning from their own and other farmers’ practices’ Sterk et al., (2006) </li></ul><ul><li>‘… if the aim is to improve farming systems by supporting farmers behavior change, model-based approaches seem to have delivered surprisingly little observable benefit to date…” Woodward et al. (2008) </li></ul>Workshop Integrated Assessment of Farming Systems Brisbane 27 September 2011
  4. 4. Integrated assessment of farming systems: communicating results <ul><li>Integrated assessment is ‘…a structured process of dealing with complex issues, using knowledge from various scientific disciplines and/or stakeholders such that integrated insights are made available to decision makers .’ Rotmans (1998) </li></ul><ul><li>‘… research on sustainability assessment in agriculture has so far neglected the knowledge of utilizing the results of assessments to achieve their implementation …’ Binder et al. (2010) </li></ul><ul><li>(both cited by Bezlepkina et al. (2011) Editorial of the Agricultural Systems’ special issue on Integrated assessment of sustainability of agricultural systems and land use). </li></ul>Workshop Integrated Assessment of Farming Systems Brisbane 27 September 2011
  5. 5. Integrated assessment of farming systems: communicating results After Bawden (1995) and Checkland (2000) Workshop Integrated Assessment of Farming Systems Brisbane 27 September 2011
  6. 6. Integrated assessment of farming systems: communicating results Workshop Integrated Assessment of Farming Systems Brisbane 27 September 2011
  7. 7. Integrated assessment of farming systems: communicating results <ul><li>Consequently, the task of developing sustainable farming systems demand a shift in paradigm about how innovations in complex systems, in which the human being is an integral part of the system, are developed and adopted (Leeuwis et al., 2002). </li></ul><ul><li>In participatory approaches innovations are developed within the context of application and with direct involvement of those who are taking decisions about production systems structure and functioning, mainly the farmers and their families (Gibbons et al., 1997, Leeuwis, 1999). In this new paradigm, changes in agricultural practices towards more sustainable production systems are seen as a result of a collective learning process of all actors involved in the process of change </li></ul>Workshop Integrated Assessment of Farming Systems Brisbane 27 September 2011
  8. 8. Integrated assessment of farming systems: communicating results <ul><li>So, instead of looking for how to improve ‘ results communication ’ or how to ‘ make insight available to decision makers ’ , we should better ask ourselves: </li></ul><ul><li>How integrated assessment of farming systems could foster collective learning processes and switch from regarding a farm just as a researched system and farmers and other stakeholders just as subjects whose behavior researchers try to understand, to regarding farms as researching systems and farmers as active participants of solutions development and selection? </li></ul>Workshop Integrated Assessment of Farming Systems Brisbane 27 September 2011
  9. 9. Integrated assessment of farming systems: communicating results <ul><li>The 'Prototyping' approach (Vereijken, 1997): </li></ul><ul><li> relevant improvements in the design and testing of new techniques for organic and integrated production, but did not involve the farmers in the setting of objectives and targets nor in the design of alternatives (Sterk, 2005). </li></ul><ul><li>The MESMIS framework (Masera et al., 2000): </li></ul><ul><li> involve stakeholders from the beginning of the evaluation process and proved to be very useful tools to identify bottle necks or critical points in the agricultural systems but they do not contribute to the design of solutions to the identified problems (Lopez Ridaura, 2005). </li></ul><ul><li>Bio-economic simulation models: </li></ul><ul><li>excellent tools to integrate fragmented information and knowledge from various sources (scientists, experts, farmers), can support the design and evaluation phases of participatory research on sustainable farming systems (i.e. Mc Cown et al., 2002; Meinke et al., 2001) </li></ul>Workshop Integrated Assessment of Farming Systems Brisbane 27 September 2011
  10. 10. Integrated assessment of farming systems: communicating results <ul><li>The FARMSCAPE approach improved farmers monitoring and evaluation abilities using tools such as </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Soil characterization and sampling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Climate forecasts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Simulation modeling </li></ul></ul><ul><li>‘… The active participation of farmers and their advisers, working in the context of their own farming operations, were the key ingredients in the design, implementation and interpretation of the FARMSCAPE approach to decision support. The attraction of the APSIM systems simulator to farmers contemplating change was that it allowed them to explore their own system in a manner equivalent to learning from experience…’ Carberry et al., (2002) </li></ul>Workshop Integrated Assessment of Farming Systems Brisbane 27 September 2011
  11. 11. Integrated assessment of farming systems: communicating results <ul><li>Agent-based modelling and role-playing games (i.e. the ComMod approach): </li></ul><ul><li>‘… because of the complexity of the management problems, the results of the collective design and of the game sessions showed that modelling and simulation can be very useful to accompany a collective learning process… However there is a need to demonstrate that such an approach is able to initiate collective agricultural land management in the real world…’ Souchère et al. (2010) </li></ul>Workshop Integrated Assessment of Farming Systems Brisbane 27 September 2011
  12. 12. Integrated assessment of farming systems: communicating results <ul><ul><li>The EULACIAS experience with vegetable family farms in South Uruguay: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- results from explorative simulation study used to raise interest among stakeholders to initiate a learning process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- participatory on-farm research process in which farmers were involved from diagnosis to evaluation, with frequent interactions among farmers and researchers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- diagnosis, design and evaluation were aid by simulation models, but models were not used to interact with farmers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- dynamic monitoring and evaluation to adapt project planning to increasing insight by farmers and researchers and to unexpected developments </li></ul></ul>Workshop Integrated Assessment of Farming Systems Brisbane 27 September 2011
  13. 13. Workshop Integrated Assessment of Farming Systems Brisbane 27 September 2011
  14. 14. Integrated assessment of farming systems: communicating results <ul><ul><li>Significant impact on the sustainability of the participants farms and on farmers practices was achieved with this approach, however </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How could we reach at least a significant part of the farms and farmers community? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should we engage the extension services, both leaders and agents in a similar co-innovation process? </li></ul></ul>Workshop Integrated Assessment of Farming Systems Brisbane 27 September 2011
  15. 15. Integrated assessment of farming systems: communicating results Workshop Integrated Assessment of Farming Systems Brisbane 27 September 2011
  16. 16. Integrated assessment of farming systems: communicating results <ul><ul><li>In cases where low resource endowment and/or extremely constraining socio-economic context do not allow much room for improvement by individual farmers actions (no solutions at farm level) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do we achieve impact on policy makers and policy design? </li></ul></ul>Workshop Integrated Assessment of Farming Systems Brisbane 27 September 2011

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