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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N2Africa in northern Ghana : Context to the recent quantitative Impact StudyA qualitative impact assessment in four villages
Thuijsman, E.C. ; Braber, Harmen den - \ 2019
Wageningen : N2Africa (N2Africa project report 119) - 44 p.
feedback - learning - labour - collaboration - competition - Impact - evaluation - Ghana
In May and June 2019 we visited four villages in northern Ghana where N2Africa has been active and which have been included in N2Africa’s Impact Study. With the aim of adding qualitative context to the quantitative Impact Study, we discussed the experiences with N2Africa in an open way in individual interviews and focus group discussions with villagers.

When N2Africa commenced in the study villagers, many villagers were eager to learn about new farming practices that would generate a good cash return. Most respondents sounded very content about what N2Africa had brought them: technology options to experiment with that resulted in production increases, especially for soyabean. New varieties were much-appreciated, although they were considered too input-demanding sometimes. Very many respondents liked the method of fertiliser application in a furrow next to a row of seeds. This method was now used on legumes as well as on other crops for efficient fertiliser use. Respondents did not know or care much about inoculants, and they were considered difficult to access. Fertiliser application and row planting were considered very good but tedious practices and a larger workforce was required to get the work done, compared to broadcasting inputs. Labour was sought first in the family, and then among friends and labour groups. Labourers are scarce at the start of the growing season, when everyone is occupied at the same time. The starchy staple crops received priority in terms of land, labour and cash investment. If farmers had investment capacity left, they could invest in legumes as well.

N2Africa could only work with a limited number of villagers directly, and it differed per village whether information was pro-actively shared with people that were not directly involved. Those who took most initiative by themselves were most likely to be involved in projects and to benefit most from them. Respondents recommended future agricultural development projects to focus on improving varieties (short-duration, drought-resistant) and on mechanisation (land preparation and processing).
Learning in multi-level governance of adaptation to climate change–a literature review
Gonzales-Iwanciw, Javier ; Dewulf, Art ; Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, Sylvia - \ 2019
Journal of Environmental Planning and Management (2019). - ISSN 0964-0568
climate change adaptation - governance of adaptation - learning - literature review - multi-level governance

The governance of adaptation to climate change is an emerging multi-level challenge, and learning is a central governance factor in such a new empirical field. We analyze, through a literature review, how learning is addressed in both the general multi-level governance literature and the governance of adaptation to climate change literature. We explore the main congruencies and divergences between these two literature strands and identify promising directions to conceptualize learning in multi-level governance of adaptation. The review summarizes the main approaches to learning in these two strands and outlines conceptualizations of learning, the methods suggested and applied to assess learning, the way learning processes and strategies are understood, and the critical factors identified and described. The review contrasts policy learning approaches frequently used in multi-level governance literature with social learning approaches that are more common in adaptation literature to explore common ground and differences in order to build a conceptual framework and provide directions for further research.

Greenery: more than beauty and health : The positive effects of greenery in urban environments
Hiemstra, J.A. ; Vries, S. de; Spijker, J.H. - \ 2019
Wageningen : Wageningen University & Research - 6 p.
health - well-being - plants - trees - reconditioning - air quality - biodiversity - air conditioning - learning - labour - green roofs - green walls - gezondheid - welzijn - planten - bomen - herstellen - luchtkwaliteit - biodiversiteit - klimaatregeling - leren - arbeid (werk) - groene daken - groene gevels
Greenery in our living environment benefits more than just our health and well-being. It also facilitates water management and promotes biodiversity in built-up areas, and can help reduce the effects of noise pollution. Greenery also helps to raise the property value of homes and offices. This document provides general information on the benefits of greenery, and complements the detailed fact sheets on how greenery can improve health and well-being in Residential, Professional, Educational and Healthcare contexts.
Greenery and Education : The positive effects of greenery in urban environments
Hiemstra, J.A. ; Vries, S. de; Spijker, J.H. - \ 2019
Wageningen : Wageningen University & Research - 7 p.
learning - children - universities - climate - educational institutions - education - social welfare - well-being - health - pupils - students - schools - leren - kinderen - universiteiten - klimaat - onderwijsinstellingen - onderwijs - sociaal welzijn - welzijn - gezondheid - leerlingen - studenten - scholen
Greenery in and around schools and nurseries and on campuses enhances the ambience of educational institutions, both inside and out. It has a positive effect on the health and general well-being of students and staff alike, improving student’s performance and their ability to concentrate, as well as enhancing the social climate. This document provides insights into the benefits of greenery for learning and well-being, including references to scientific literature. It concludes with some tips on how to ensure the successful and beneficial inclusion of greenery.
Complex dynamics in the uptake of new farming practices: a case study for organic waste application
Groeneveld, Anouschka ; Bakker, Martha ; Peerlings, Jack ; Heijman, Wim - \ 2019
Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 62 (2019)5. - ISSN 0964-0568 - p. 818 - 842.
economies of scale - innovation - learning - regime shift - social norm

Adverse environmental effects of intensive agriculture, together with scarcity in phosphates and water, urge farmers to find more sustainable practices. An example of such a sustainable practice is on-farm processing of organic waste. This paper explores three mechanisms that can lead to a widespread uptake of this technique: (1) economies of scale, (2) information sharing, and (3) adjustment of social norms. Although each of these mechanisms has been studied before, this paper provides new insights by considering the interactions that might exist between the different mechanisms when they are applied to real-life situations. Based on a pilot study, we developed a multi-criteria mathematical programming model at individual farm level. We used this model to simulate the uptake of on-farm processing of organic waste, as a result of the three mechanisms and their interactions. Our results show that each mechanism results in an increased uptake, but is not likely to cause a widespread uptake. Interaction between the mechanisms, will lead to a much higher uptake. This result suggests that simultaneous consideration of multiple mechanisms is essential to understand the behaviour of social–ecological systems.

The effects of online peer feedback and epistemic beliefs on students’ argumentation-based learning
Noroozi, Omid ; Hatami, Javad - \ 2019
Innovations in Education and Teaching International 56 (2019)5. - ISSN 1470-3297 - p. 548 - 557.
Argumentation - epistemic beliefs - essay writing - learning - peer feedback
Although the importance of students’ argumentative peer feedback for learning is undeniable, there is a need for further empirical evidence on whether and how it is related to various aspects of argumentation-based learning namely argumentative essay writing, domain-specific learning, and attitudinal change while considering their epistemic beliefs which are known to be related to argumentation. In this study, a pre-test–post-test design was conducted with 42 higher education students who were asked to write an argumentative essay on the GMOs, engage in argumentative feedback, and revise their essay. The results showed that argumentative peer feedback improves students’ argumentative essay writing and domain-specific learning. Furthermore, argumentative peer feedback caused attitudinal change. However, findings did not prove any impact of students’ epistemic beliefs on argumentation-based learning. This is against broadly shared theoretical assumption that argumentation-based learning is related to students’ epistemic beliefs. We discuss these results and provide an agenda for future work.
The elephant in the room: How a technology’s name affects its interpretation
Boersma, Reginald ; Poortvliet, P.M. ; Gremmen, Bart - \ 2018
Public Understanding of Science 28 (2018)2. - ISSN 0963-6625 - p. 218 - 233.
attitudes - genomics - learning - nanotechnology - public education

In this work, using experiments, we investigate the role of the name of a technology on the informed evaluation of that technology. We argue that a name can influence interpretations by activating cognitive structures. Using genomics-accelerated breeding as a case, we show that the name ‘genomics’ makes people evaluate related information as similar to genetic modification. Replacing the name ‘genomics’ with ‘natural crossing’ causes evaluations similar to those for traditional breeding. The results show that a name can have a strong influence on public attitudes, and we call for more consideration in choosing a name for a technology.

Students’ online argumentative peer feedback, essay writing, and content learning : does gender matter?
Noroozi, Omid ; Hatami, Javad ; Bayat, Arash ; Ginkel, Stan van; Biemans, Harm J.A. ; Mulder, Martin - \ 2018
Interactive Learning Environments (2018). - ISSN 1049-4820 - 16 p.
Argumentative essay - gender - learning - online peer feedback - writing

Whilst the importance of online peer feedback and writing argumentative essays for students in higher education is unquestionable, there is a need for further research into whether and the extent to which female and male students differ with regard to their argumentative feedback, essay writing, and content learning in online settings. The current study used a pre-test, post-test design to explore the extent to which female and male students differ regarding their argumentative feedback quality, essay writing and content learning in an online environment. Participants were 201 BSc biotechnology students who wrote an argumentative essay, engaged in argumentative peer feedback with learning partners in the form of triads and finally revised their original argumentative essay. The findings revealed differences between females and males in terms of the quality of their argumentative feedback. Female students provided higher-quality argumentative feedback than male students. Although all students improved their argumentative essay quality and also knowledge content from pre-test to post-test, these improvements were not significantly different between females and males. Explanations for these findings and recommendations are provided.

Differential effects of brain size on memory performance in parasitic wasps
Woude, Emma van der; Huigens, Martinus E. ; Smid, Hans M. - \ 2018
Animal Behaviour 141 (2018). - ISSN 0003-3472 - p. 57 - 66.
brain scaling - Haller's rule - isometry - learning - memory - parasitic wasp
Small animals usually have relatively larger brains than large animals. This allometric brain–body size scaling is described by Haller's rule. However, one of the smallest known insects, Trichogramma evanescens, a parasitic wasp, shows brain isometry, leading to similar relative brain sizes in small and large conspecifics. The somewhat larger Nasonia vitripennis parasitic wasp displays diphasic brain–body size scaling with isometry in small individuals and allometry in large individuals. These two species may have undersized brains for small wasps, with reduced cognitive abilities. Here, we induced intraspecific body size variation in genetically identical T. evanescens and N. vitripennis and examined cognitive trade-offs of brain scaling. We compared visual and olfactory memory retention between small and large conspecifics. Results showed that diphasic brain scaling affected memory retention levels in N. vitripennis, whereas isometric brain scaling did not affect memory retention in T. evanescens. The two species may experience different evolutionary pressures that have shaped the cognitive consequences of isometric brain–body size scaling. A possible trade-off of brain isometry in T. evanescens could be present in brain properties other than memory performance. In contrast, it may be more adaptive for N. vitripennis to invest in other aspects of brain performance, at the cost of memory retention.
Greenery: more than beauty and health : A summary of the benefits of greenery on health, productivity, performance and well-being
Hiemstra, J.A. ; Vries, S. de; Spijker, J.H. - \ 2017
Wageningen : Wageningen University & Research - 6 p.
health - well-being - plants - trees - reconditioning - air quality - biodiversity - air conditioning - learning - labour - green roofs - green walls - gezondheid - welzijn - planten - bomen - herstellen - luchtkwaliteit - biodiversiteit - klimaatregeling - leren - arbeid (werk) - groene daken - groene gevels
Greenery in our living environment is beneficial for more than just our health and well-being. It facilitates water management and stimulates biodiversity in built-up areas, and it can also reduce the effects of noise pollution. Greenery also has a positive impact on the property value of homes and offices. This document provides general information on the benefits of greenery, supplementary to the detailed fact sheets on how greenery can improve health and well-being in Residential, Professional, Educational and Healthcare contexts.
Greenery and Education : A summary of the positive effects of greenery on well-being in educational environments
Hiemstra, J.A. ; Vries, S. de; Spijker, J.H. - \ 2017
Wageningen : Wageningen University & Research - 7 p.
learning - children - universities - climate - educational institutions - education - social welfare - well-being - health - pupils - students - schools - leren - kinderen - universiteiten - klimaat - onderwijsinstellingen - onderwijs - sociaal welzijn - welzijn - gezondheid - leerlingen - studenten - scholen
Greenery in and around schools, childcare centres and on campuses is good for the climate at education institutions, both inside and out. It has a positive effect on the health and general well-being of students and staff alike, improving student performance and their ability to concentrate, as well as fostering the social climate. This document provides information on the benefits of greenery in relation to education and well-being, including references to scientific literature. It concludes with some tips on how to ensure the successful and beneficial inclusion of greenery.
Are school meals a viable and sustainable tool to improve the healthiness and sustainability of children´s diet and food consumption? A cross-national comparative perspective
Oostindjer, Marije ; Aschemann-Witzel, Jessica ; Wang, Qing ; Skuland, Silje Elisabeth ; Egelandsdal, Bjørg ; Amdam, Gro V. ; Schjøll, Alexander ; Pachucki, Mark C. ; Rozin, Paul ; Stein, Jarrett ; Lengard Almli, Valerie ; Kleef, Ellen van - \ 2017
Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition 57 (2017)18. - ISSN 1040-8398 - p. 3942 - 3958.
children - food behavior - health - learning - School meals - sustainability

There is little agreement among governments, institutions, scientists and food activists as to how to best tackle the challenging issues of health and sustainability in the food sector. This essay discusses the potential of school meals as a platform to promote healthy and sustainable food behavior. School meal programs are of particular interest for improving public diet because they reach children at a population scale across socio-economic classes and for over a decade of their lives, and because food habits of children are more malleable than those of adults. Current research on the history and health implications of school meal programs is reviewed in a cross-national comparative framework, and arguments explored that speak for the need of a new developmental phase of school meals as an integrative learning platform for healthy and sustainable food behavior. Nutritional, social, practical, educational, economical, political, and cultural perspectives and challenges linked to the implementation of healthy and sustainable school meals are discussed. Finally, the need for long-term interventions and evaluations is highlighted and new research directions are proposed.

Groen en leren : de meerwaarde van groen voor het welbevinden in de leeromgeving samengevat
Spijker, J.H. - \ 2017
- 7 p.
beplantingen - onderwijs - leren - schoolterrein - leerprestaties - openbaar groen - klimaat - temperatuur - gezondheid - sociaal welzijn - luchtkwaliteit - lichamelijke activiteit - lichamelijke fitheid - stressfactoren - kinderen - plantations - education - learning - school site - educational performance - public green areas - climate - temperature - health - social welfare - air quality - physical activity - physical fitness - stress factors - children
de meerwaarde van groen voor het welbevinden in de leeromgeving samengevat
Possible routes to improve adaptive management of firms : the business as a social ecological system
Stuiver, M. ; Westerink, J. - \ 2016
Australian Journal of Business and Economic Studies 2 (2016)2. - ISSN 2204-6801 - p. 19 - 29.
corporate social responsibility - adaptive management - social-ecological systems - firm strategies - learning
This study explores possible routes to improve the adaptive management of firms and proposes to view firms as social-ecological systems. We conceptualise three possible ways in which firms can frame their relation with the natural environment. The first is impact related: strategies for assessing and reducing the negative impact of business on the wider natural system. The second is dependency related: strategies in terms of dependency of the firms on the wider natural environment. The third is mutual dependency related: strategies that explicitly view firms as social-ecological systems, due to a mutual dependence between business and natural environment.
Through a qualitative approach by means of ten case studies we analyse the current ways managers of firms frame their companies’ vis-à-vis the natural environment. The last strategy is still in an early stage within theory as well as practice as shown among the firms. Therefore we formulate five principles that managers could use to stimulate the last frame: businesses as social-ecological systems.
Learning and corporate social responsibility : a study on the role of the learning organization, individual competencies, goal orientation and the learning climate in the CSR adaptation process
Osagie, Eghe Rice - \ 2016
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Martin Mulder, co-promotor(en): Renate Wesselink; Vincent Blok. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462579774 - 166
learning - corporate social responsibility - competences - sustainability - change - organization - management - leren - maatschappelijk verantwoord ondernemen - bevoegdheden - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - verandering - organisatie - bedrijfsvoering

People and other organisms depend on natural resources such as fresh water, land, clean air, wood, and food for critical life requirements and wellbeing. It is well documented that today’s Western way of living and the spread of capitalism is having a detrimental impact on societies and the natural environment. As one of the greatest users of natural and human recourses, many companies have started doing their part in the journey toward Earth’s sustainability and are actively working on translating the idea of sustainable development (SD) into reality. Companies often address SD through their corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. CSR refers to as a company’s continuing commitment to integrate ecological, social, and economic interests in company’s operations and in its interactions with stakeholders. This commitment is usually done on a voluntary basis (Dahlsrud, 2008).

This PhD thesis aims to provide a better understanding of how the CSR adaptation process in private companies can be supported, which is of particular importance and interest since the economic interests (i.e., business case logic) of private companies often clash with CSR objectives. Consequently, adapting to CSR principles can be quite challenging for these companies. Many scholars have attempted to identify factors that can facilitate the CSR adaptation process. However, though any large-scale organizational change requires employees to learn new ways of doing their jobs, the role of learning or human resource development in CSR adaption has remained largely unexplored in the CSR literature. This PhD thesis contributes to this line of research by answering the following research question: Which internal resources related to learning at the organizational and individual level contribute to the CSR adaptation process in private companies?

With respect to the organizational level, we found that certain learning organization characteristics can support the CSR adaptation process. We found that stimulating group learning, leadership that encourages learning, and connecting to the local communities are LO characteristics that can directly influence CSR adaptation in a positive way.

With respect to the individual level, we found that CSR managers, those managing the CSR adaptation process, need specific individual competencies in order to do their jobs effectively. We identified eight distinct individual competencies (e.g., Balancing personal ethical values and business objectives). We also found that CSR managers have different job roles in the CSR adaptation process. We identified six of these roles (e.g., strategizing role) and showed that the business case logic influences the relative perceived importance of specific individual competencies within each job role.

To conclude, the key message of this thesis, and the answer to the research question is two-fold. First, because CSR managers are the ones who actually manage the CSR adaptation process they can play a crucial role in the CSR adaptation process if they possess the right individual competencies. In order to develop these individual competencies, CSR managers should take ownership of their learning process and seek opportunities to learn with and from others.

Second, leadership and connecting with external parties are of particular importance to the CSR adaptation process. With respect to connecting with external parties: on the organizational level, having good relations with external parties improves CSR adaptation, because such relationships stimulate learning processes within the company. Furthermore, on the individual level, relationships with external parties promote the development of the individual competencies of the CSR managers responsible for the adaptation process. With respect to leadership: on the organizational level, leadership for learning, referring to active support and stimulation of learning, indirectly affects CSR adaptation; it enhances employees’ learning behavior and therefore improve employees’ cognitive readiness and support for the changes needed to integrate CSR within the company. Furthermore, on the individual level, leadership competencies are essential for driving the changes needed in the CSR adaptation process.

This thesis contributes to the literature on the CSR adaptation process in several ways. First, this thesis addresses the issue of the CSR adaptation process from a learning or human resource development perspective and as such complements previous research employing the (human resource) management perspective on CSR. Second, it addresses learning from both the organizational and individual level, thereby providing valuable insights into if and how specific internal resources related to learning can contribute at different levels to the CSR adaptation process in private companies. Third, little is known about how factors on an individual level can support companies in their adaptation to CSR principles and their social performance at large (Aquinis & Glavas, 2012). This doctoral thesis is one of the first providing insights into this matter and demonstrates that learning-related influences on the individual level may be of value to the adaptation process. More specifically, this thesis adds to the literature by (1) identifying the job roles and individual competencies CSR managers need to effectively do their jobs within private companies; previous studies on CSR-related competencies often studied this topic from an educational point of view, thereby not fully addressing the complexity of the business context in which CSR managers operate; (2) by exploring how CSR managers can develop their competencies, which up till now remained unexplored in the CSR literature; and (3) by showing how certain organizational characteristics (i.e., learning climate) and personal characteristics (i.e., learning goal orientation) affect the development of CSR managers’ competencies.

There are several implications to be derived from our research with respect to learning (activities) for the benefit of CSR. For one, developing LO characteristics may help companies create favorable conditions for integrating CSR principles. By facilitating learning, companies provide employees with the opportunity to develop their “receptiveness to change”. As such, we suggest that companies experiment with employing LO characteristics to advance the integration of CSR principles. In particular, we suggest that company’s management show leadership for learning by endorsing learning behavior among their employees as this LO characteristic in particular seems to promote the integration of CSR principles. The management can stimulate such behavior by providing employees with continuous opportunities to learn (e.g., provide formal trainings and professional development opportunities), learn in groups (e.g., stimulate team work), and learn with and from external parties (e.g., stimulate stakeholder involvement).

Furthermore, it is important for companies to set up and structure a learning system within the company that enables customized learning, meaning a learning system that provides learning opportunities that fit’s the job and needs of individual workers. Companies can enable customized learning among CSR managers by, for example, providing them with flexible working hours and fixed budgets and hours that they can use for professional development. Such a learning system promotes meaningful learning and self-directed learning behavior among employees (Baars-van Moorsel, 2003), which, according to our research, can stimulate the development of CSR-related competencies.

To conclude, we hope that this thesis will encourage more research on the role of learning in the CSR adaptation process. Our research provides ample directions to further explore this topic. Furthermore, we hope that this research will inspire CSR professionals to start a dialogue with their employers about their competencies and professional development opportunities or that it inspires them to take control of their learning process and create their own learning network in order to develop their competencies, if needed. Moreover, we hope that by developing the relevant CSR-related competencies, CSR managers will effectively manage the CSR adaptation process and that higher CSR maturity levels are reached and more ambitious sustainability challenges are successfully addressed by private companies.

Learning and teaching in the regional learning environment : enabling students and teachers to cross boundaries in multi-stakeholder practices
Oonk, Carla - \ 2016
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Martin Mulder; Judith Gulikers. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462579507 - 192
teaching methods - learning - higher education - land use planning - regional planning - multi-stakeholder processes - boundaries - regional atelier - onderwijsmethoden - leren - hoger onderwijs - landgebruiksplanning - regionale planning - multi-stakeholder processen - grenzen - regioleren

Finding solutions for complex societal problems requires cross-boundary collaboration between multiple stakeholders who represent various practices, disciplines and perspectives. The authentic, multi-stakeholder Regional Learning Environment (RLE) is expected to develop higher education students’ capabilities for working in multi-stakeholder settings. However, the effectiveness of the RLE, including its typical cross-boundary learning environment characteristics, has not been investigated.

This thesis shows that the RLE develops students’ domain specific expertise and various generic competencies. The learning environment characteristics of working in multi-disciplinary student groups, working highly intensive with stakeholders, and a high coaching intensity strengthen competence development. Explicit workshop-based support of students’ boundary crossing working and learning stimulates the amount of student-stakeholder collaborative activities, and activates students’ boundary crossing learning. Teachers fulfil new out-of-school oriented roles and tasks in the RLE and should master new boundary crossing competencies. Existing higher education teacher profiles should be adapted to become out-of-school proof.

Answering the "Call of the Mountain" : co-creating sustainability through networks of change in Colombia
Chaves Villegas, Martha - \ 2016
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Arjen Wals, co-promotor(en): Gerard Verschoor. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462577251 - 152
sustainable development - sustainability - social networks - networks - communities - rural communities - change - social change - learning - colombia - south america - duurzame ontwikkeling - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - sociale netwerken - netwerken - gemeenschappen - plattelandsgemeenschappen - verandering - sociale verandering - leren - colombia - zuid-amerika

In response to the age of the ‘anthropocene,’ as some authors are calling this epoch in which one single species is disrupting major natural systems (Steffen et al 2011), there are calls for more radical, learning-based sustainability that generates deep transformations in individuals and communities so as to transition towards a more reflexive and process-oriented society (Wals 2009, Sterling 2009). The principal contention of this thesis is that new social movements (NSM) of the network society (Castells 2012, Buechler 2016), based on integrated visions of sustainability, can provide platforms for bringing about transformative learning. This thesis is based on empirical research (2012-2016) into a fraction of such NSM named the Council of Sustainable Settlements of Latin America (C.A.S.A.). Comprising a diversity of members from Indigenous pueblos, afro-colombian communities, neo-rural settlements (ecovillages), Hare Krishna communities, campesino farmers, NGOs and urban peoples and initiatives, the C.A.S.A. network organizes intercultural exchanges where transformative learning can be traced. Through new forms of collective action centered on a plurality of ideas and practices, and with a strong focus on reflection and personal development, in such encounters through ‘ontological politics’, ‘optimal dissonance’ and ‘deep reflexivity and flexibility’ members are articulating new paradigms of alternative development and creating spaces for transformation. Yet, such learning processes are incredibly complex, and the value-action gap remains substantial in many cases. What this thesis has shown, however, is that by putting into practice principles of buen vivir and the pluriverse such as reconnecting to ancestral wisdom, acknowledging the other, questioning values of competition and consumerism, and forming new relations to place and territory, one begins to question one's own set of norms, and those of society. Ultimately, the C.A.S.A. network’s struggles, negotiations and learning processes remind us that global sustainability entails more than 'menus' of good practices but a plurality of solutions which include humans and non-humans, different ontologies, and even a multiplicity of worlds, in what is a tough but rewarding aula.

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.
Network formation, learning and innovation in multi-stakeholder research projects : experiences with Adaptive Research and Learning Alliances in rice farming communities in Southeast Asia
Flor, R.J. - \ 2016
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): C. Leeuwis, co-promotor(en): H. Maat; Grant Singleton. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462576650 - 230
learning activities - adult learning - learning - social networks - education - agricultural education - rice - farming - agricultural extension - south east asia - cambodia - leeractiviteiten - volwassenenstudie - leren - sociale netwerken - onderwijs - agrarisch onderwijs - rijst - landbouw bedrijven - landbouwvoorlichting - zuidoost-azië - cambodja

Mounting pressure on research organizations to achieve sustainable development outcomes from research has pushed them to use multi-stakeholder approaches. Insights are missing however, on how these influence social, technical, and institutional change, as well as what outcomes emerge from these. The thesis is an examination of the enactment of multi-stakeholder approaches, questioning how and to what extent Adaptive Research (AR) and Learning Alliance (LA) approaches influence socio-technical innovation in rice farming communities. Four case studies of research and development projects that employed the approaches in rice farming communities were elaborated in this thesis.

AR implementation in Indonesia (chapter 2), showed how AR fast-tracked technical adaptations and built upon the improvisational capacities of farmers. AR monitoring however, rendered invisible the adaptations required on the social aspect. Simultaneous social, technical, and institutional redesign was limited.

A case of LA implemented at national level engaged a network that changed and expanded after three years to include diverse actors (chapter 3). There were points where implementation (mis)aligned with assumptions from project implementers and from conceptual literature of the LA approach. The network influenced change at community level by engaging small groups that made reconfigurations on the technologies and the social arrangements for these (chapter 4). A community-level LA in Myanmar was also found to stimulate a self-organized learning process towards innovation for flatbed dryer technology (chapter 5).

A case where a project used AR only versus AR with LA in Myanmar (chapter 6), revealed differing networks, learning processes, and outcomes in terms of learning agenda. The involvement of a wider network resulted in a broader set of activities, which were initiatives outside the original plans of the project. The learning activities were not only about technologies but also included experimentations on supportive environment for access and use of the technologies.

This thesis therefore demonstrates that project actors implement AR and LA approaches through a range of translations in multiple contexts. These imply varied interactions in different types of networks. Such interactions triggered varied learning processes and thus influenced different planned or emergent outcomes. Both approaches have potential to catalyze innovation in farming communities; however, outcomes on adoption numbers provide a caveat that these approaches are not silver bullets that guarantee technology adoption. Instead, implementation that facilitates effective learning processes, and monitoring that flags where projects could support emergent outcomes, can help implementers improve their contributions to development in farming communities.

Exploring ways to reconcile accountability and learning in the evaluation of niche experiments
Regeer, B.J. ; Wildt-Liesveld, Renée de; Mierlo, Barbara van; Bunders, J.F.G. - \ 2016
Evaluation : The International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice 22 (2016)1. - ISSN 1356-3890 - p. 6 - 28.
accountability - alignment - evaluation - learning - niche experiments

While evaluation is seen as a mechanism for both accountability and learning, it is not self-evident that the evaluation of niche experiments focuses on both accountability and learning at the same time. Tensions exist between the accountability-oriented needs of funders and the learning needs of managers of niche experiments. This article explores the differences in needs and expectations of funders and managers in terms of upwards, downwards and internal accountability. The article shows that as the multi-stakeholder contexts in which niche experiments take place give rise to various requirements, tensions in evaluation are essentially a specific manifestation of tensions between niche experiments and their multiple contexts. Based on our findings, an adjusted accountability framework is proposed, including several strategies that can reconcile a learning approach with accountability needs in niche experiments aiming to change current practices in a more sustainable direction.

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