Staff Publications

Staff Publications

  • external user (warningwarning)
  • Log in as
  • language uk
  • About

    '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.

    We have a manual that explains all the features 

Current refinement(s):

Records 1 - 20 / 104

  • help
  • print

    Print search results

  • export

    Export search results

  • alert
    We will mail you new results for this query: keywords==training
Check title to add to marked list
Capacity development for food policy analysis: What works best? Adding evidence from IFPRI's experience
Kuyvenhoven, A. - \ 2018
Development Policy Review 36 (2018)S1. - ISSN 0950-6764 - p. 113 - 137.
capacity development - collaborative research - evaluation - food policy - IFPRI - impact assessment - institutional development - training
This article presents major results of a meta-assessment of experience of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) with different kinds of capacity strengthening (CS) activities for food policy analysis. Collaborative research, on-the-job-training, and ID support for building data systems and analysis came up as best-practice approaches. Equally successful were new initiatives such as visiting fellow programmes, thesis support schemes, and delivering CS work embedded in country or thematic programmes. Challenges emerged as well: how to address the low CS impact of formal training and work with local collaborators, the uncertain results for outreach and strengthening capacity of organizations over individuals, especially in the policy cycle, and the best way to enter into partnerships and create incentives to deliver and sustain CS. Some policy implications are indicated.
The Impact of Social and Financial Education on Savings Attitudes and Behavior Among Primary School Children in Uganda
Supanantaroek, Suthinee ; Lensink, Robert ; Hansen, Nina - \ 2017
Evaluation Review 41 (2017)6. - ISSN 0193-841X - p. 511 - 541.
attitudes - children - financial literacy - intervention - saving and spending - social and financial education - training
Background: Saving plays a crucial role in the process of economic growth. However, one main reason why poor people often do not save is that they lack financial knowledge. Improving the savings culture of children through financial education is a promising way to develop savings attitudes and behavior early in life. Objectives: This study is one of the first that examines the effects of social and financial education training and a children’s club developed by Aflatoun on savings attitudes and behavior among primary school children in Uganda, besides Berry, Karlan, and Pradhan. Research design: A randomized phase in approach was used by randomizing the order in which schools implemented the program (school-level randomization). The treatment group consisted of students in schools where the program was implemented, while in the control group the program was not yet implemented. The program lasted 3 months including 16 hours. We compared posttreatment variables for the treatment and control group. Subjects: Study participants included 1,746 students, of which 936 students were from 22 schools that were randomly assigned to receive the program between May and July 2011; the remaining 810 students attended 22 schools that did not implement the program during the study period. Measures: Indicators for children’s savings attitudes and behavior were key outcomes. Results: The intervention increased awareness of money, money recording, and savings attitudes. It also provides some evidence—although less robust—that the intervention increased actual savings. Conclusions: A short financial literacy and social training can improve savings attitudes and behavior of children considerably.
Agronomic and socioeconomic sustainability of farming systems : A case in Chencha, South Ethiopia
Dersseh, Waga Mazengia - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Paul Struik, co-promotor(en): Rogier Schulte. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463436830 - 157
potatoes - solanum tuberosum - ethiopia - food security - farming systems - mixed farming - sustainability - optimization - efficiency - farm surveys - household surveys - socioeconomics - self sufficiency - profits - training - agronomic characteristics - productivity - soil fertility - rotation - animal feeding - improved varieties - inorganic fertilizers - aardappelen - ethiopië - voedselzekerheid - bedrijfssystemen - gemengde landbouw - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - optimalisatie - efficiëntie - bedrijfsonderzoeken - huishoudonderzoeken - sociale economie - zelfvoorziening - winsten - opleiding - agronomische kenmerken - productiviteit - bodemvruchtbaarheid - rotatie - diervoedering - veredelde rassen - anorganische meststoffen

Potato has multiple benefits and thus can play a vital role in ensuring food security in Ethiopia. However, for diverse reasons, its productivity is low. The farming systems in Ethiopia in which potato is grown, are predominantly mixed farming systems.

Most of the research in Ethiopia is focused on crop-specific constraints and thus there is limited research in which the interrelations between crop and livestock management practices are investigated. There is also not enough research focused on combined analysis of soil nutrient and animal feed balances and agronomic and socioeconomic efficiencies at farm level.

This study assessed production constraints and agronomic and socioeconomic sustainability of the farming systems in South Ethiopia and explored the possible synergetic options to alleviate major constraints. More specifically, the study intended to quantify the variation in input and output among farms, to identify constraints hindering expansion of potato production, to evaluate the sustainability of the farming systems at farm level, to identify constraints of sustainable intensification, and to explore synergetic solutions for the major constraints. Different research approaches were used ranging from lab analysis, household surveys, group discussions, to farm surveys.

Results showed that constraints related to input and product use in potato production vary across households indicating a need for a pluriform advisory model recognizing (and building upon alleviation of) the diversity of constraints identified in this analysis. The sustainability of the farming system is constrained by low agricultural productivity, low soil fertility, poor labour efficiency and limited economic return associated with improper crop rotation, inappropriate soil fertility management practices, shortage of animal feed, labour- and economically inefficient farm practices and labour shortage. However, there is ample scope to overcome the major constraints and simultaneously to optimize farm management.

The core messages of the study can be summarized as follows:

1) the current potato production is characterized by low productivity and economic returns due to various socioeconomic, agronomic and biological factors;

2) the soil fertility is low and there is uneven distribution of nutrients over plots with relatively high fertility levels in the homestead areas;

3) the current labour shortage can be attributed to mainly inefficiency of agricultural management practices and labour migration to towns for economic reasons indicating that the farming system is not sustainable in terms of labour;

4) considering the direct return from animal production, most of the farms had very low gross margin with the current management system and this reduced the overall operating profit of farms. The low return from animal rearing was offset by the relatively high profit from crop production indicating the benefit of mixed farming system in sustaining agricultural production; and

5) each farm can have a wide range of optimized solutions mainly through introduction of improved technologies and subsequent redesigning of the farm managements.

In general, the findings of the current study indicate that it is worthwhile to assess the sustainability of agricultural production in different farming systems and agro-ecologies of Ethiopia. In addition, the combined effect of introducing improved agricultural technologies and subsequent reconfiguring the farm management is very crucial to increase and sustain agricultural production.

The Transformation of African Smallholders into Customer Value Creating Businesses : A Conceptual Framework
Teklehaimanot, Mebrahtu L. ; Ingenbleek, Paul T.M. ; Trijp, Hans C.M. van - \ 2017
Journal of African Business 18 (2017)3. - ISSN 1522-8916 - p. 299 - 319.
Africa - agriculture - business - customer value creation - Smallholders - training

An increasing number of the 600 million African smallholders are becoming integrated into the supply chains of supermarkets, fast food chains, and exporters. This process gradually transforms the smallholders into profit-oriented businesses that can make important contributions to rural development and food security. This article brings this issue to the attention of the readership of the Journal of African Business. It connects distinct lines of literature on smallholders, business training, and customer value creation. More specifically, it argues that to equip smallholders with the understanding of how markets function and what customers value, trainings that address fundamental marketing concepts are required. The arguments are captured in a conceptual framework explaining the livelihood performance of rural African smallholders. Based on these arguments, the article formulates implications for development workers and suggests directions for African business research.

The design and impact of a marketing training to strengthen customer value creation among Ethiopian pastoralists
Teklehaimanot, Mebrahtu Leake - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Hans van Trijp, co-promotor(en): Paul Ingenbleek; Workneh Kassa Tessema. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463434522 - 195
marketing - training - educational courses - pastoral society - pastoralism - value added - ethiopia - east africa - opleiding - lerarenopleidingen - pastorale samenleving - pastoralisme - toegevoegde waarde - ethiopië - oost-afrika

As the world population is expected to expand beyond 9 billion by 2050, food production will need to increase by approximately 70% to feed the population. Furthermore, a growing part of that expanding population pertains to an upcoming middle class, leading to an increasing demand for high-value products, animal protein and safer food. To respond to this growing demand in terms of quantity and quality, supply chains are pushing market-frontiers deeper into the rural areas in developing and emerging markets to secure their supplies. As a consequence, rural smallholders including pastoralists, who have been functioning at local markets, are increasingly integrating with international markets. While such integration opens opportunities for the smallholders to access higher purchasing power, it is difficult for remote and isolated pastoralists with limited productive resources and limited institutional support to recognize and seize the opportunities. Because pastoralists are mostly isolated from the other value chain members, they have not developed the knowledge regarding how the market functions and what the value chain members want. By conducting a field experiment among a group of Ethiopian pastoralists, this thesis shows that marketing training is an important approach in enhancing the market knowledge of pastoralists that enable them to understand the market environment, to reproduce their animals as per market requirements and to generate returns. The thesis also has implications for other rural smallholders that share similar characteristics with the pastoralists.

Knowledge systems and value chain integration : the case of linseed production in Ethiopia
Chagwiza, Clarietta ; Muradian, Roldan ; Ruben, Ruerd - \ 2017
Journal of agricultural education and extension 23 (2017)5. - ISSN 1389-224X - p. 443 - 459.
Education - Ethiopia - knowledge systems - linseed - market knowledge - training

Purpose: This study uses data from a sample of 150 oilseed farming households from Arsi Robe, Ethiopia, to assess the impact of different knowledge bases (education, training and experience) and their interactions on linseed productivity. Methodology: A multiple regression analysis was employed to assess the combined effect of the knowledge bases, factors such as age of the household head, land size, marketing channels and geophysical factors (such as land slope) on linseed productivity. Findings: The findings reveal no differences in productivity between trained and untrained farmers. They further show that training and the interaction between training and experience positively influence productivity. Our findings, however, reveal farmer education to have an inverse yet insignificant effect on productivity. Furthermore, we found that factors such as the slope of the land and the choice of marketing channel also play an important role in influencing productivity. Practical implications: Moving away from the traditional top-down approach could be the answer to avoid a mismatch between the information given by trainers and what the farmers actually need. Theoretical implications: The study used interaction variables of knowledge bases, and attempted to demonstrate the importance of a tacit knowledge base, which is often not well documented and therefore neglected in research. Originality/value: The research demonstrates the combined effects that interactions between several knowledge bases have on the productivity of linseed farmers.

Reflection of a collective learning journey : Strengthening KCCEM to build the capacity of Conservation professionals in the Albertine Rift Region NICHE/RWA/025
Oosten, C.J. van - \ 2016
Centre for Development Innovation (Report CDI-16-014 ) - 130 p.
training - learning - professional competence - colleges - development - nature conservation - wildlife conservation - environmental management - tourism - rwanda - opleiding - leren - vakbekwaamheid - ontwikkeling - natuurbescherming - wildbescherming - milieubeheer - toerisme
Together with our support team from the Netherlands (Wageningen University), South Africa (South African Wildlife College) and Cameroon (Ecole de Faune) we embarked upon this journey of supporting the Kitabi College of Conservation and Environmental Management in Rwanda (KCCEM). The major building blocks of this learning journey are the development of a business model, the development of organisational capacity to implement the model, and the development of a range of products and services to be delivered with quality. All these three components operationalised within the policy frameworks and institutional context of Rwanda’s conservation, tourism and environmental management sector.
Training Manual Occupational Pesticide Exposure & Health and Safe & Responsible Handling of Pesticides : With courtesy of vegIMPACT a program financed by The Netherlands’ Government
Maden, E.C.L.J. van der; Koomen, I. - \ 2016
Centre for Development Innovation (Report CDI-16-029 ) - 40 p.
pesticides - exposure - occupational health - safety at work - horticulture - farmers - training - handbooks - kenya - pesticiden - blootstelling - gezondheid op het werk - veiligheid op het werk - tuinbouw - boeren - opleiding - handboeken
Pesticides are commonly used in the horticulture sector. While emphasis is often on the correct and efficient application of pesticides, the risk associated with application of pesticides receives less attention. Those working with pesticides need to know about occupational pesticide exposure and health risks, both for themselves as well as people living in the vicinity of places where pesticides are used. The Practical Training Centre Horticulture Kenya (PTC Horticulture) offers hands-on trainings to the horticultural sector. This manual is developed for PTC Horticulture and is about the safe and responsible use of pesticides – a guide for trainers who have to deliver trainings on ‘Occupational Pesticide Exposure & Health’ and ‘Safe & Responsible Handling of Pesticides’. This manual guides the trainers through the material, provides background and tips to the content and gives suggestions for practical assignments.
Towards competence-based technical-vocational education and training in Ethiopia
Solomon, Getachew Habtamu - \ 2016
University. Promotor(en): Martin Mulder, co-promotor(en): Renate Wesselink; Omid Noroozi. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462579002 - 161
vocational training - competency based education - competences - training - training courses - education - technical training - ethiopia - east africa - beroepsopleiding - vaardigheidsonderwijs - bevoegdheden - opleiding - scholingscursussen - onderwijs - technische opleiding - ethiopië - oost-afrika

In the human development effort, different countries are underscoring the role of technical-vocational education and training (TVET) in providing relevant knowledge and skills to improve productivity, increase access to employment opportunities and raise the standard of living. It is in recognition of this that, in all Ethiopian educational development endeavors, TVET has been considered to play a key role to tackle the country’s socio-economic underdevelopment through knowledgeable and skillful manpower. Since its introduction in 1941, TVET has been guided by different policies and strategies adopted by successive governments who came to power at different times. This thesis investigates how TVET has reached the current stage of its development in Ethiopia and the challenges encountered in implementing a competence-based system aimed at improving present and future TVET practices. Within this broad aim, the thesis looks into the historical pathways TVET in Ethiopia has passed through time, teachers’ involvement in policy and curriculum development and implementation, the extent to which TVET programs are competence-based (‘competentiveness’) and TVET teachers’ training and professional development. A mix of methods (quantitative and qualitative) was employed and data were collected through questionnaires, interview and documents.Four Polytechnic TVET colleges in Addis Ababa, TVET teachers, students and employed TVET graduates, teacher training teachers and students were involved.

The research findings showed that TVET development lacked consistent and stable policy direction, greatly influenced by government ideology. Competence-based TVET was implemented under severe challenges which include lack of adequately prepared teachers and resources, frequent curricula changes, lack of employers cooperation, discontent of teachers and administrators, etc. The competence-based approach was implemented without extensive deliberations and understanding by TVET teachers in which teachers participation was minimal. Positive correlation between TVET teachers’ participation in educational reform and perception towards TVET system was observed. Thought teachers, students and graduates observed competence-based education and training (CBET) principles in the Ethiopian TVET system, competence-based TVET is not performing well with regard to the practical dimensions of CBET (mainly the “how” aspect) in accordance with the principles of competence-based education. In a positively perceived work environment, ‘competentiveness’ of a TVET programs and employed TVET graduates’ workplace performance was observed. The TVET teacher training programs lack alignment (coherence) with competence-based TVET curriculum in terms of curriculum design and practices. The delivery is predominantly teacher-centered: more lecture oriented with less opportunity for students self and group reflection; student assessment was norm-referenced, not individual competence assessment. Though teachers believe that teacher professional development (TPD) enhances their professional growth, the practices were not in line with their belief; the personal initiative of TVET teachers to undertake TPD activities was minimal; no systematic professional development plan exists in TVET colleges, more traditional approaches in which TVET teachers’ engagement in research has almost been ignored.

Inconsistency in educational policymaking (unstable policy direction) hampered a consensus-based, national education system including TVET, structuring of TVET starting from the scratch. TVET is implemented without a strong foundation – administratively and manpower and materials/facilities (lack well-crafted implementation strategy), more a product of political than of collective decisions. From the study it appears that lacking proper alignment with employment capacity of the economy is a systemic problem of the TVET system. Enforcement of TVET strategy on TVET teachers and administrators without understanding the new competence-based education, which affected their perception. TVET teachers regarded as implementers of a decision rather than having a stake in the issue, affecting their actions and training outcome. Competence-based education and training (CBET) is practiced in TVET but the instruction and practical components lack alignment with CBET principles (no strong learning environments). Though it requires further evidence, the positive relationship between ‘competentiveness’ of a TVET program and graduates’ job performance found in this study supports the assertion that CBET bridges the gap between classroom learning and labor market reality. Because TVET teacher training programs are not aligned with TVET curriculum and teachers professional needs, it is difficult to say that TVET teachers are well prepared in terms of CBET requirement. In TVET teacher training programs, competence development focused instructional practices are not well fostered in practice. TVET teachers TPD activities are more conventional, not aligned with CBET and teachers’ needs.

A number of recommendations are forwarded to improve the implementation of competence-based TVET which have policy implications for future development of TVET and practical interventions to be taken to improve the implementation of competence-based TVET in its different dimensions.

DairyBISS Baseline report
Buizer, N.N. ; Berhanu, Tinsae ; Murutse, Girmay ; Vugt, S.M. van - \ 2015
Wageningen : Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation
dairy farms - firms - businesses - profitability - extension - training - private sector - development - ethiopia - melkveebedrijven - firma's - bedrijven - rentabiliteit - voorlichting - opleiding - particuliere sector - ontwikkeling - ethiopië
This baseline report of the Dairy Business Information Service and Support (DairyBISS) project presents the findings of a baseline survey among 103 commercial farms and 31 firms and advisors working in the dairy value chain. Additional results from the survey among commercial dairy farms are described in an additional report. The findings validate the main strategies of the project. Farms and firms are interested in joining a dairy business platform that includes members from the entire value chain. While currently there is gap between the demand and supply of good quality business information and advisory services, there is a willingness to pay for advisory services. Among advisors there is a need for training on technical topics along the dairy value chain and there is an interest in forming an advisor network to share experiences.
Op weg naar professioneel Natuurbeheer
Ham, A. van den; Kortstee, H.J.M. ; Prins, H. ; Veer, G. - \ 2015
Den Haag : LEI Wageningen UR (Nota / LEI 2015-030) - 51
agrarisch natuurbeheer - natuurbeheer - boeren - bedrijfseconomie - opleiding - agrarische bedrijfsvoering - nederland - agri-environment schemes - nature management - farmers - business economics - training - farm management - netherlands
Deze notitie is uitgevoerd in nauwe samenwerking met de praktijk en in het bijzonder met de Stichting Professionele Natuurboeren (werkmaatschappij van de Beroepsvereniging Natuurboeren). De Beroepsvereniging Natuurboeren heeft als doel het ‘vestigen en behouden van de goede naam van professionele natuurboeren’. De ambitie van de vereniging is om ‘de eredivisie’ te vormen van ondernemers die multifunctionele landschappen met natuurwaarden verzorgen. Daartoe heeft het ministerie van Economische zaken opdracht gegeven aan LEI Wageningen UR om de onderdelen businessmodelontwikkeling en de bedrijfseconomische onderbouwing van een nieuwe Groen KWIN uit te werken. Met de resultaten zetten we een fundamentele stap naar een professioneel Natuurbeheer.
Manure management in the (Sub-)Tropics : training manual for extension workers
Teenstra, E.D. ; Buisonjé, F.E. de; Ndambi, A. ; Pelster, D. - \ 2015
Lelystad : Wageningen UR Livestock Research (Livestock Research report 919) - 41
dierlijke meststoffen - bedrijfsvoering - opleiding - voorlichters - veehouderij - verontreiniging - duurzame ontwikkeling - subtropen - handboeken - animal manures - management - training - extension agents - livestock farming - pollution - sustainable development - subtropics - handbooks
Having identified a general lack of knowledge about the value of livestock manure and integrated manure management at multiple levels in government and society, a concerted action led to the compilation of a training manual for extension workers on manure management in the (sub-)tropics. Covering the whole manure chain, from animal excretion to the final application, the manual describes the basic principles of integrated manure management. Although much information originates from more temperate regions, the manual focusses on farm practices in the tropics and subtropics.
Training Manual Occupational Pesticide Exposure & Health
Maden, E.C.L.J. van der; Gordijn, F. ; Wulansari, M. ; Koomen, I. - \ 2015
Wageningen UR (vegIMPACT report 11) - 61
pesticiden - toepassing - blootstelling - gezondheid op het werk - opleiding - handleidingen - pesticides - application - exposure - occupational health - training - guide books
The VegIMPACT project, short for ‘vegetable production and marketing with impact’, aims to improve vegetable production and marketing of small farmers in Indonesia. VegIMPACT contributes to increased food security and private sector development in Indonesia and is financed by the Netherlands Government. The program (2013-2016) is carried out by Wageningen University and Research Centre, together with local partners and national and international companies involved in the vegetable production and marketing chain. One of the work packages of the vegIMPACT project is Occupational Health. This work package intends to reduce pesticide related occupational health hazards, with specific attention to women. At the moment there is limited awareness about the chronic negative health effects of exposure to pesticides such as e.g. cancer, infertility and miscarriages. Especially women receive no or limited information on pesticides. In order to reduce pesticide related occupational health risks in Indonesian agriculture major steps must be taken with regard to the reduction of pesticide exposure and improvement of handling and application practices. This training manual is developed as a supplement to the vegIMPACT ‘Occupational Pesticide Exposure & Health’ PowerPoint presentation and is designed for trainers facilitating the vegIMPACT ‘Occupational Pesticide Exposure & Health’ training.
Supporting Local Seed Businesses : A Training Manual for ISSD Uganda
Mastenbroek, A. ; Chebet, A. ; Muwanika, C.T. ; Adong, C.J. ; Okot, F. ; Otim, G. ; Birungi, J. ; Kansiime, M. ; Oyee, P. ; Ninsiima, P. - \ 2015
Wageningen : Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen UR - 273
seed production - seed development - seed quality - rural development - farming - markets - businesses - small businesses - regional development - training courses - training - agricultural development - uganda - west africa - africa - zaadproductie - zaadontwikkeling - zaadkwaliteit - plattelandsontwikkeling - landbouw bedrijven - markten - bedrijven - kleine bedrijven - regionale ontwikkeling - scholingscursussen - opleiding - landbouwontwikkeling - west-afrika - afrika
The training manual is developed in Uganda to train partner organisations in coaching farmer groups to become sustainable local seed businesses. It introduces the Integrated Seed Sector Development Programme in Uganda and the concept of local seed businesses (LSBs). The manual has 5 modules covering selection, monitoring and sustaining local seed businesses; technically equipping local seed businesses, professionally organising LSBs; orienting LSBs to the market and strategically linking them to service providers.
Innovatie- en Demonstratiecentrum Bomen in de Greenport Regio Boskoop : een verkenning naar de wijze van opzet en invulling
Derkx, M.P.M. - \ 2014
Wageningen : Wageningen UR - 51
boomkwekerijen - regio's - kennisoverdracht - ondernemerschap - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - agrarisch onderwijs - opleiding - participatie - instellingen - doelgroepen - organisaties - innovaties - forest nurseries - regions - knowledge transfer - entrepreneurship - sustainability - agricultural education - training - participation - institutions - target groups - organizations - innovations
Het doel van het project Kennis & Innovatie Impuls Greenportregio Boskoop is een extra impuls te geven aan het innovatieve vermogen van het greenportcluster boomkwekerij, aan het delen en toepassen van (nieuwe) kennis, aan duurzaam ondernemerschap en het zorgen voor voldoende en gekwalificeerd groen personeel voor de toekomst. Met het project wordt een ‘lerend ondernemersnetwerk’ tot stand gebracht waarin alle relevante regiopartijen participeren. Doelgroepen van het EFRO-project zijn ondernemers, kennisinstellingen (onderzoeks-, onderwijs- en adviespartijen) en overheden actief in de regio Boskoop. Een verkenning naar de wijze van opzet en invulling.
Welfare of sea lions in travelling circuses
Hopster, H. ; Jong, I.C. de - \ 2014
Wageningen : Wageningen UR Livestock Research (Report / Wageningen UR Livestock Research 770) - 92
dierenwelzijn - wilde dieren - vertier - circusdieren - zeeleeuwen - onderzoek - huisvesting, dieren - diergezondheid - diervoeding - opleiding - circussen - animal welfare - wild animals - entertainment - circus animals - sealions - research - animal housing - animal health - animal nutrition - training - circuses
This report describes the scientific literature and expert views concerning the welfare of sea lions in travelling circuses with respect to Dutch animal welfare policy making.
To boldly go… : designing an agent-based intercultural training tool
Degens, N. - \ 2014
University. Promotor(en): Adrie Beulens, co-promotor(en): Gert Jan Hofstede. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462570979 - 157
informatietechnologie - modellen - opleiding - interculturele communicatie - information technology - models - training - intercultural communication

People from all over the world must live and work together in today’s society. Such integration is not always a smooth process, and interactions with people from other cultures may lead to misunderstandings or even outright conflicts.

In the last few years, researchers and practitioners have been working on creating digital tools that can be used to mediate these misunderstandings and conflicts. These tools typically involve interactions with so-called intelligent agents, i.e. virtual characters that are able to take decisions autonomously, that behave as if they are from another culture. The aim of these interactions is to make potential trainees experience how misunderstandings can shape interactions with and perceptions of people from other cultures.

In this work, we take the first steps in the design of a digital culture-general training tool to help young adults deal with misunderstandings or conflicts due to differences in culture, through interactions with intelligent agents. We have posed the following design research questions and found the following answers:

Which concepts are required to describe the design of a digital culture-general training tool involving agents that show culturally varying behaviour?

The answer to this question can be found in the glossary, which presents the key concepts that have been used in this work to create agents that show culturally varying behaviour and to create scenarios that incorporate these agents to increase the intercultural competence of trainees.

Can we use theories of culture to create scripted scenarios in which virtual characters behave appropriately for a given culture?

To answer this question we designed scripted scenarios in which virtual characters show culturally varying behaviour based on a theory of culture. To ensure that the behaviours of these virtual characters were representative of real-life cultural differences, we conducted an evaluation with people from a wide range of cultures. The results show that the dimensions of culture can be used to generate culturally varying behaviour in agents, but that extensive (pre)testing is required to ensure that the underlying intention of the characters’ behaviour aligns with the users’ interpretation of that behaviour.

Can we identify requirements for sociocultural agents that can help them to make sense of their social world?

To answer this question we focused on describing important concepts of social interactions based on theories from sociology and psychology. These concepts are incorporated into a conceptual model for socio-cultural agents that can be used to describe their social world. The model differentiates between three levels of analysis: the interaction, the group, and the society. These levels range from being more specific, and thus more visible, to more abstract, and thus less visible, and help us to understand how each level affects interpretation and behaviour.

Can we create intelligent agents that can vary their behaviour depending on the culture to be simulated?

To answer this question we described the creation of intelligent agents that show culturally varying behaviour. We use an existing model to create believable social interactions, in which agents attribute, claim, and confer social importance in their interactions with other agents and users. Social importance is a way to measure the importance of a certain individual in the eyes of others. The strength of attribution, claims, and conferrals was varied using cultural modifiers. The generated behaviour of the agents was then evaluated to ensure that the intelligent agents showed behaviour representative of a given culture. The results suggest that it is possible to create intelligent agents that can act out appropriate culturally varying behaviour for a given culture.

Can we create critical incidents, involving intelligent agents that show appropriate behaviour for given cultures, through which potential trainees become more sensitive to and knowledgeable about differences across cultures?

To answer this question we focused on applying different methods of intercultural training in the design of a digital culture-general training tool. These methods were incorporated into critical incidents, in which users can interact with intelligent agents. To ensure that the critical incidents led to an attribution of perceived differences in behaviour to specific differences in culture and to (potential) trainees becoming less judgemental of inappropriate behaviours by people from different cultures, the tool was evaluated by two groups of students. The results suggest that it is possible to create agent-based critical incidents to make potential trainees more knowledgeable about differences across cultures.

Contributions

The findings to our design research questions represent a set of important contributions to the field.

First, we have identified and structured important concepts to better understand the design and implementation of socio-cultural agents and the design of critical incidents that involve these agents for intercultural training. Second, we have described and used models that help to define the simulated world of the agents and help them to navigate through that world. Third, we have attempted to systematize the process of creating scenarios involving agents that show culturally varying behaviour through a set of guidelines that need to be met to ensure that the behaviour of socio-cultural characters is properly evaluated. Fourth, besides conceptual elements, we have also created practical implementations that can freely be used and modified by others.

In our work, we have only taken the first steps in designing a digital culture-general training tool. Additional work on the generalization and validation of the critical incidents and the behaviours of the agents is still required; however, we believe that our results show our approach to be viable. We believe that future work will have to focus on three fields: understanding how trainees can be emotionally engaged in the scenarios, systematizing the process of using model-driven approaches to generate socio-cultural behaviour, and using the design outputs in different contexts and with different people from different cultures.

Slaughterhouse Inspection (Egypt). Training Manual : Guidelines for the Planning and Organisation of Training Activities
Blomne Sopov, M. ; Ghouti, C.A. ; Benlafquih, R. ; Vugt, F. van; Latief, A.M.A. - \ 2014
Wageningen : Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen UR - 53
dierenwelzijn - diergezondheid - slacht - dierlijke productie - opleiding - egypte - slachthuizen - inspectie - animal welfare - animal health - slaughter - animal production - training - egypt - abattoirs - inspection
The training manual was prepared for the inspectors of slaughterhouses in Egypt to support the training activities of the General Organization for Veterinary Services (GOVS). The manual has two main parts: 1. Overview on how to design, organize, implement and evaluate training programs in general 2. Recommendation on how to design and facilitate training programs for the inspectors of slaughterhouses. Report CDI-14-004.
Quality handling : a multimedia-based cognitive-behavioural intervention program, improving attitudes and handling behaviours of stockpeople in livestock farming
Ruis, Markus - \ 2013
animal production - dairy cattle - beef cattle - hens - animal behaviour - animal health - training - education - human-animal relationships - animal welfare
Pluimveeketen krijgt meer en beter geschoold personeel
Vernooij, A.G. - \ 2012
V-focus 9 (2012)3. - ISSN 1574-1575 - p. 38 - 39.
pluimveehouderij - opleiding - agrarisch onderwijs - poultry farming - training - agricultural education
Na een aantal jaren van sterke teruggang in het aantal leerlingen en studenten in het pluimvee-onderwijs, is het onderwijs in Nederland voor deze sector ‘op de schop gegaan’. Dankzij een goede samenwerking tussen meerdere scholen is het sinds die tijd weer gelukt om het pluimvee-onderwijs nieuw leven in te blazen.
Check title to add to marked list
<< previous | next >>

Show 20 50 100 records per page

 
Please log in to use this service. Login as Wageningen University & Research user or guest user in upper right hand corner of this page.