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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    Coproducing weather forecast information with and for smallholder farmers in Ghana : Evaluation and design principles
    Gbangou, Talardia ; Sarku, Rebecca ; Slobbe, Erik van; Ludwig, Fulco ; Kranjac-Berisavljevic, Gordana ; Paparrizos, Spyridon - \ 2020
    Atmosphere 11 (2020)9. - ISSN 2073-4433
    Coproduction - Decision making - Engagement - ICT-based digital tools - Outreach - Understanding - Usability - Weather forecasts

    Many West African farmers are struggling to cope with changing weather and climatic conditions. This situation limits farmers' ability to make optimal decisions for food and income security. Developing more useful and accessible weather and climate information services (WCIS) can help small-scale farmers improve their adaptive capacity. The literature suggests that such WCIS can be achieved if forecast information is produced jointly by farmers and scientists. To test this hypothesis and derive design requirements for effective WCIS, we evaluated the outcomes of an experimental coproduction of weather forecasts in Ada, Ghana. The experiment involved a user-driven design and testing of information and communications technology (ICT)-based digital (smartphones and apps) and rainfall monitoring tools by 22 farmers. They collected data and received weather forecasts during the 2018/2019 study period. The results showed a positive evaluation of the intervention, expressed by the level of engagement, the increase in usability of the tools and understanding of forecast uncertainty, outreach capacity with other farmers, and improved daily farming decisions. The success of the intervention was attributed to the iterative design process, as well as the training, monitoring, and technical support provided. We conclude that the application of modern technology in a coproduction process with targeted training and monitoring can improve smallholder farmers' access to and use of weather and climate forecast information.

    Implementing immersive technologies in consumer testing : Liking and Just-About-Right ratings in a laboratory, immersive simulated café and real café
    Zandstra, E.H. ; Kaneko, D. ; Dijksterhuis, G.B. ; Vennik, E. ; Wijk, R.A. De - \ 2020
    Food Quality and Preference 84 (2020). - ISSN 0950-3293
    Context - Engagement - Immersive technology - Just-About-Right ratings - Liking

    Initial research indicates that the use of immersive technologies may improve the predictive validity and reliability of liking scores in consumer testing. However, how immersive technologies impact Just-About-Right ratings is hardly known. Forty-five participants took part in three tasting sessions, each in a different context: 1) laboratory, 2) immersive context simulating a café using audiovisual cues, and 3) real café. Each session, participants tasted four tomato soups varying in salt content preceded by a warm-up sample. Liking, optimal levels of sensory attributes (JAR) and engagement were measured. Results showed that there were no differences in liking or JAR ratings on sensory attributes of the soups across the three contexts. Nevertheless, participants felt more engaged in the real café and simulated café than in the laboratory. These results contribute to a better understanding of how sensory differences as assessed in a laboratory or immersive context relate to sensory differences that consumers would notice when they use the products in real-life.

    Operationalising transformative sustainability science through place-based research: the role of researchers
    Horlings, Lummina G. ; Nieto-Romero, Marta ; Pisters, Siri ; Soini, Katriina - \ 2020
    Sustainability Science 15 (2020). - ISSN 1862-4065 - p. 467 - 484.
    Engagement - Place-based research - Place-shaping - Roles of researchers - Sustainability - Transformation

    Among scholars in sustainability science, there is an increasing recognition of the potential of place-based research in the context of transformative change towards sustainability. In this research, researchers may have a variety of roles; these are determined by the researcher’s engagement with the subject, the inherent theoretical, normative and methodological choices he or she makes, the researcher’s ambitions in contributing to change, and ethical issues. This article explores the varied roles of research fellows within the European Marie Curie ITN research program on sustainable place-shaping (SUSPLACE). By analysing 15 SUSPLACE projects and reflecting on the roles of researchers identified by Wittmayer and Schäpke (Sustain Sci 9(4):483–496, 2014) we describe how the fellows’ theoretical positionality, methods applied, and engagement in places led to different research roles. The methodology used for the paper is based on an interactive process, co-producing knowledge with Early Stage Researchers (fellows) of the SUSPLACE consortium. The results show a range of place meanings applied by the fellows. Varied methods are used to give voice to participants in research and to bring them together for joint reflection on values, networks and understandings, co-creating knowledge. Multiple conceptualisations of ‘sustainability’ were used, reflecting different normative viewpoints. These choices and viewpoints resulted in fellows each engaging in multiple roles, exploring various routes of sustainable place-shaping, and influencing place-relations. Based on our findings we introduce a framework for the ‘embodied researcher’: a researcher who is engaged in research with their ‘brain, heart, hands and feet’ and who integrates different roles during the research process.

    The role of youth in increasing awareness of food security and sustainability
    Allievi, Francesca ; Dentoni, Domenico ; Antonelli, Marta - \ 2019
    In: Encyclopedia of Food Security and Sustainability Elsevier - ISBN 9780128126875 - p. 39 - 44.
    Awareness - Cross-sectoral collaboration - Education - Engagement - Global citizenship - Impact - Non-formal education - SDGs - Self-organisation - Soft skills - Transition management - Youth

    Youth plays an important role in the multifaceted challenges that global food systems face. Most of the education currently offered has little room for interdisciplinarity and soft skills, and focuses on knowledge-based single disciplines. We recommend that education is increasingly complemented with non-formal approaches as experiential-based teaching and learning can be key to give youth the necessary skills to handle the complexity of the food system. Youth organizing practices such as non-formal education and cross-sectoral collaboration greatly enhance in students the sense of global citizenship, a feeling of belonging to a broader community and to act in ways that increase awareness of food security and sustainability in society.

    Using an intervention mapping approach for planning, implementing and assessing a community-led project towards malaria elimination in the Eastern Province of Rwanda
    Ingabire, Chantal Marie ; Hakizimana, Emmanuel ; Kateera, Fredrick ; Rulisa, Alexis ; Borne, Bart Van Den; Nieuwold, Ingmar ; Muvunyi, Claude ; Koenraadt, Constantianus J.M. ; Vugt, Michele Van; Mutesa, Leon ; Alaii, Jane - \ 2016
    Malaria Journal 15 (2016)1. - ISSN 1475-2875
    Community - Empowerment - Engagement - Intervention mapping - Involvement - Malaria - Participation - Rwanda
    Background: Active community participation in malaria control is key to achieving malaria pre-elimination in Rwanda. This paper describes development, implementation and evaluation of a community-based malaria elimination project in Ruhuha sector, Bugesera district, Eastern province of Rwanda. Methods: Guided by an intervention mapping approach, a needs assessment was conducted using household and entomological surveys and focus group interviews. Data related to behavioural, epidemiological, entomological and economical aspects were collected. Desired behavioural and environmental outcomes were identified concurrently with behavioural and environmental determinants. Theoretical methods and their practical applications were enumerated to guide programme development and implementation. An operational plan including the scope and sequence as well as programme materials was developed. Two project components were subsequently implemented following community trainings: (1) community malaria action teams (CMATs) were initiated in mid-2014 as platforms to deliver malaria preventive messages at village level, and (2) a mosquito larval source control programme using biological substances was deployed for a duration of 6 months, implemented from January to July 2015. Process and outcome evaluation has been conducted for both programme components to inform future scale up. Results: The project highlighted malaria patterns in the area and underpinned behavioural and environmental factors contributing to malaria transmission. Active involvement of the community in collaboration with CMATs contributed to health literacy, particularly increasing ability to make knowledgeable decisions in regards to malaria prevention and control. A follow up survey conducted six months following the establishment of CMATs reported a reduction of presumed malaria cases at the end of 2014. The changes were related to an increase in the acceptance and use of available preventive measures, such as indoor residual spraying and increase in community-based health insurance membership, also considered as a predictor of prompt and adequate care. The innovative larval source control intervention contributed to reduction in mosquito density and nuisance bites, increased knowledge and skills for malaria control as well as programme ownership. Conclusion: This community-based programme demonstrated the feasibility and effectiveness of active community participation in malaria control activities, which largely contributed to community empowerment and reduction of presumed malaria in the area. Further studies should explore how gains may be sustained to achieve the goal of malaria pre-elimination.
    Introduction: The politics of engagement between biodiversity conservation and the social sciences
    Büscher, Bram ; Wolmer, William - \ 2007
    Conservation & Society 5 (2007)1. - ISSN 0972-4923 - p. 1 - 21.
    Biodiversity conservation - Engagement - Politics - Social science - Southern Africa

    In scientific endeavour related to biodiversity conservation, the perspectives of the natural sciences have long been dominant. During the last several decades, however, social science research has steadily gained momentum. The major achievement of the social sciences has been to investigate and emphasise the 'human side' of biodiversity conservation, ranging from local issues around social exclusion from protected areas and dependency of 'local people' on natural resources to more abstract issues of environmental governance and political ecology. But social science research is itself also a social process and its practices, assumptions and outcomes therefore deserve continuous critical reflection. The paper contends that when it comes to the engagement of the social sciences and biodiversity conservation the concept of 'politics' has tended to have negative connotations. However, we argue, like anything social, politics should not automatically be seen as negative. This acceptance could considerably improve relations between different actors and we therefore urge all those involved in the debate, especially social scientists, to take two crucial steps: first, the creation and acceptance of practical spaces for critical political engagement and second, the concomitant need for actors to scrutinise and reflect more consciously on their politics of engagement.

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