Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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What is technography?
Jansen, K. ; Vellema, S. - \ 2011
NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 57 (2011)3-4. - ISSN 1573-5214 - p. 169 - 177.
african food security - sierra-leone - technology - governance - participation - perspective - standards - knowledge - systems - world
Technography has recently been proposed as an interdisciplinary methodology for the detailed study of the use of skills, tools, knowledge and techniques in everyday life. This paper argues that technography is a useful methodological approach for the integrative study of social–technical configurations. Technography focuses on how teams or networks of farmers, technicians and engineers, amongst other actors, solve problems. The key characteristics of the technographic approach are discussed, using examples drawn from agricultural production. The concept of performance helps to distinguish technography from some common agronomic as well as social science approaches to technological change. We conclude that technography, which is basically a methodology, needs to be complemented with a social analysis of concrete political, economic and cultural processes that co-evolve with technological change.
A Systematic Approach to Cultural Explanations of War: Tracing Causal Processes in Two West African Insurgencies
Richards, P. - \ 2011
World Development 39 (2011)2. - ISSN 0305-750X - p. 212 - 220.
sierra-leone - qualitative research - liberia - reform
Many accounts of cultural factors in armed conflicts are dependent on circumstantial details. Alternative quantitative approaches suffer from confusion of correlation and cause. This paper describes and exemplifies a third approach to the analysis of cultural factors in war—causal process tracing. Six key steps in implementing causal process tracing are outlined and applied to recent episodes of armed conflict in Côte d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone. The virtue of the method lies in establishing a systematic framework for the comparison and evaluation of cultural mechanisms, thus providing an escape from hazards associated with subjective regression
Ritual dynamics in humanitarian assistance
Richards, P. - \ 2010
Disasters 34 (2010)Suppl. 2. - ISSN 0361-3666 - p. S138 - S146.
sierra-leone - rights - war
Those who intervene in crises must take care to ensure that assistance does not undermine the processes through which social cohesion is generated or restored. From a neo-Durkheimian analytical perspective, feeding creates social loyalties as well as saves lives. Humanitarian agencies provide practical assistance to livelihoods, but they need also to create space for the ritual agency on which social cohesion depends. Attention to the rituals of food distribution helps humanitarian actors to address a potentially damaging dissociation between social and material facts. A post-war food security project in Sierra Leone is used to illustrate the point. The lessons of this intervention have implications for the organisation of humanitarian assistance at all levels, both international and local. The paper argues that establishing space for ritualisation within humanitarian programmes is an obligation for those who wish to do no harm
How Does Participation Work? Deliberation and Performance in African Food Security
Richards, P. - \ 2007
IDS Bulletin-Institute of Development Studies 38 (2007)5. - ISSN 0265-5012 - p. 21 - 35.
Participation is considered an important tool of development. Two mechanisms of participation are distinguished - deliberative and performative. Deliberative participation is vulnerable to capture by elites. A postwar agricultural reconstruction project in Sierra Leone experimented with a performative approach to participation, Technological dynamics served to focus attention on alternatives to patrimonial value systems. The article advocates further experiments in linking deliberative and performative participation.
The history and future of African Rice: food security and survival in a West African war zone
Richards, P. - \ 2006
Afrika Spectrum 41 (2006)1. - ISSN 0002-0397 - p. 77 - 93.
sierra-leone - glaberrima - adaptation - rights
The paper analyses farmer coping strategies under war-time conditions in Sierra Leone in order to identify why food-insecure farmers continue to value African Rice. African Rice has an important association with 'sokoihun' (forest enclaves). These enclaves - written in the history of the landscape - became once again important as war swept over rural communities in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone in the 1990s. The 'sokoihun' teach a lesson about innovation under adversity. War-affected rural populations might benefit from improving African Rice through genetic contribution from Asian Rice, reversing a mainstream institutional breeding strategy. In general, it is concluded that pro-poor plant improvement would benefit from careful contextual analysis and prior consultation with the food-insecure
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