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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    Metabolic flexibility of a prospective bioremediator: Desulfitobacterium hafniense Y51 challenged in chemostats
    Marozava, Sviatlana ; Vargas-López, Raquel ; Tian, Ye ; Merl-Pham, Juliane ; Braster, Martin ; Meckenstock, Rainer U. ; Smidt, Hauke ; Röling, Wilfred F.M. ; Westerhoff, Hans V. - \ 2018
    Environmental Microbiology 20 (2018)7. - ISSN 1462-2912 - p. 2652 - 2669.
    Desulfitobacterium hafniense Y51 has been widely used in investigations of perchloroethylene (PCE) biodegradation, but limited information exists on its other physiological capabilities. We investigated how D. hafniense Y51 confronts the debilitating limitations of not having enough electron donor (lactate), or electron acceptor (fumarate) during cultivation in chemostats. The residual concentrations of the substrates supplied in excess were much lower than expected. Transcriptomics, proteomics, and fluxomics were integrated to investigate how this phenomenon was regulated. Through diverse regulation at both transcriptional and translational levels, strain Y51 turned to fermenting the excess lactate and disproportionating the excess fumarate under fumarate‐ and lactate‐limiting conditions, respectively. Genes and proteins related to the utilization of a variety of alternative electron donors and acceptors absent from the medium were induced, apparently involving the Wood‐Ljungdahl pathway. Through this metabolic flexibility, D. hafniense Y51 may be able to switch between different metabolic capabilities under limiting conditions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Triggering regime change: A comparative analysis of the performance of innovation platforms that attempted to change the institutional context for nine agricultural domains in West Africa
    Hounkonnou, Dominique ; Brouwers, Jan ; Huis, Arnold Van; Jiggins, Janice ; Kossou, Dansou ; Röling, N.G. ; Sakyi-dawson, Owuraku ; Traoré, Mamoudou - \ 2018
    Agricultural Systems 165 (2018). - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 296 - 309.
    The article synthesises the experiences of innovation platforms (IPs) that engaged in open-ended experimental action to improve the institutional context for smallholder farm development in West Africa. The IPs sought change at the level of the institutional regime covering an entire agricultural domain (such as cocoa, cotton, oil palm or water management). Their purpose was therefore not to ‘roll out’ farm-level technologies across rural communities. The IPs's outcomes were documented and analysed throughout by means of theory-based process tracing in each of seven of the nine domains in which regime change was attempted. The evidence shows that by means of exploratory scoping and diagnosis, socio-technical and institutional experimentation, and guided facilitation IPs can remove, by-pass, or modify domain-specific institutional constraints and/or create new institutional conditions that allow smallholders to capture opportunity. The article describes the 5-year, €4.5 million research programme in Benin, Ghana and Mali, covering theory, design, methods and results. It is the sequel to Hounkonnou et al. in AGSY 108 (2012): 74–83.
    Hoe de implementatiekloof te dichten? Een analyse voor perspectieven in het overstromingsbeleid
    Coninx, I. - \ 2017
    KU Leuven. Promotor(en): Marleen, prof. dr. Brans. - Leuven : KU Leuven - 316
    Als overheidsbeleid de gestelde doelen niet haalt, dan is er sprake van een implementatiekloof (Laurian & Crawford, 2016). Ook het Vlaams overstromingsbeleid lijkt een implementatiekloof te kennen, want ondanks een palet aan preventieve, effectgerichte en curatieve overstromingsmaatregelen wordt de schade door overstromingen jaarlijks nog op zo een 50 miljoen euro geschat (Brouwers et al., 2015). Implementatie is in feite gedrag (O'Toole Jr, 2000; Robichau & Lynn Jr, 2009) en gedrag wordt ingegeven door houdingen (Ajzen, 1991; Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). Daarom wil dit onderzoek nagaan of houdingen van betrokken beleidsactoren een rol spelen bij de implementatie van overstromingsmaatregelen (hoofdstuk 2). Beleidsactoren van 26 organisaties of groepen geven het Vlaams overstromingsbeleid een echt multiactor-, multisector- en multilevelkarakter (hoofdstuk 1). Het onderzoek beantwoordt enkele vragen over houdingen, zoals of ze een rol spelen bij de uitvoering, welke verschillende houdingen er zijn, hoe die houdingen bepaald worden en wat de dominante evaluatiecriteria zijn. Op basis van die inzichten worden mechanismen ontwikkeld om de implementatiekloof te dichten. Vervolgens worden perspectieven voor het Vlaams overstromingsbeleid beschreven. De analyse vond plaats voor 15 overstromingsmaatregelen bij 347 actoren en in 3 casegebieden in Vlaanderen. Dit gebeurde via verschillende dataverzameling- en data-analysemethoden om triangulatie op vele fronten te waarborgen (hoofdstuk 3).De analyse toont dat houdingen een rol spelen, want veel beleidsactoren staan nog negatief tegenover bepaalde overstromingsmaatregelen met een ruimtelijke impact (hoofdstuk 4). Diverse ‘evaluatiecriteria’ – criteria, gebruikt om houding te bepalen tijdens de evaluatieve afweging – bepalen die houdingen. Ten eerste worden houdingen gevormd door belangen en hebben mensen een positieve houding ten aanzien van maatregelen die hun baten opleveren (Gintis, 2000; Henrich et al., 2001; Jager, Janssen, De Vries, De Greef, & Vlek, 2000; Persky, 1995). Ten tweede worden houdingen bepaald door waarden, wat richtinggevende principes zijn van wat volgens de mens wenselijk en juist is (Kempton, Boster, & Hartley, 1995). Men heeft positieve houding ten aanzien van maatregelen die in lijn liggen met zijn waarden. Ten derde worden houdingen gevormd door denkkaders en percepties (Bartlett, 1932; Benford & Snow, 2000; Berger & Luckmann, 1966). Dat zijn cognitieve voorstellingen die gebruikt worden om betekenis te geven aan informatie (Buijs, 2009b; Minsky, 1975). Percepties spelen altijd een rol bij houdingbepaling, zo blijkt ook uit de analyse (hoofdstuk 5).De combinatie van evaluatiecriteria vormt een verhaallijn, die toe te kennen is aan elk van de actoren. Elke overstromingsmaatregel kent verschillende verhaallijnen. Hoe meer verhaallijnen, hoe meer divers de evaluatiecriteria die elke actor gebruikt. In dit onderzoek is vooral nagegaan waar spanning optreedt tussen de verhaallijnen en welke evaluatiecriteria aan de basis liggen van de negatieve houdingen (hoofdstuk 5). In het Vlaams overstromingsbeleid verklaren vooral percepties en waarden de implementatiekloof. Zelfs over het huidige beleidsparadigma ‘ruimte voor water’ bestaan er twee verschillende percepties: ‘ruimte maken’ en ‘ruimte vinden’ voor water. Die twee percepties weerspiegelen de bereidheid van mensen om het huidige ruimtegebruik aan te passen. Die percepties en andere fundamentele verschillen houden de uitvoering van het overstromingsbeleid in de tang. Het valt op dat binnen één actorgroep veel verschillende verhaallijnen te vinden zijn. Dat leidt tot vragen of het systeem van sectorale vertegenwoordiging in de CIW en de bekkenraden wel goed genoeg kan werken.Er is ook gekeken welk type evaluatiecriteria de actoren vooral gebruiken om houding te bepalen. De meeste actoren laten zich leiden door hun waarden. Alleen de sector ‘landbouw’ en actoren van het Vlaamse/nationale niveau gebruiken vooral belangengerichte evaluatiecriteria (hoofdstuk 6).Wetende dat houdingen een rol spelen bij de implementatiekloof, rest de vraag welke mechanismen kunnen helpen om de implementatiekloof te dichten? Allereerst is het raadzaam om de actoren die een rol spelen bij de uitvoering, al te betrekken bij het interactieve beleidsontwikkelingsproces. Door interactie en cocreatie worden nieuwe inzichten ontwikkeld, kennis uitgewisseld en belangen, waarden en percepties gedeeld (Ter Haar, Aarts, & Verhoeven, 2016). Als bestaande verhaallijnen beter op elkaar afgestemd geraken of mensen verschuiven naar één dominante verhaallijn, dan helpt dat om de implementatiekloof te voorkomen (Hajer, 2005). Bij de uitvoering van de maatregelen helpen interactieve beleidsinstrumenten om gezamenlijke actie tot stand te brengen. Dat is iets dat niet snel gebeurd wanneer beleidsinstrumenten zoals gezag of geld worden ingezet. (Tabel 1: mechanismen om implementatiekloof te dichten) Er wordt vastgesteld dat nog maar weinig van die mechanismen ingebouwd werden in het overstromingsbeleid, aangezien een betekenisvolle proportie actoren zich nog bevindt in de verhaallijn die overeenkomt met het ‘oude paradigma’ van ‘strijden tegen water’. Om de verschillen tussen de evaluatiecriteria te kennen, is het aan te raden om de verhaallijnen te verkennen via interviews en analyse van documenten (= mapping van verhaallijnen) (Kolkman, Veen, & Geurts, 2007).Wetenschap kan een rol spelen bij het dichten van de implementatiekloof, vooral als die verklaard wordt door percepties (Leeuwis & Aarts, 2016; Van Bommel, Röling, Aarts, & Turnhout, 2009), op voorwaarde dat de betrokken actoren de wetenschappelijke kennis beschouwen als gelegitimeerd, geloofwaardig en begrijpelijk (Cash et al., 2003). Anders zal de kennis in twijfel getrokken of zelfs misbruikt worden om specifieke verhaallijnen te ontkrachten. Bovendien zijn er ook andere typen van kennis dan louter wetenschappelijke. ‘Boundary organisations’ kunnen wetenschappelijke kennis inbrengen en zo de implementatiekloof dichten (Guston, 2001). Men moet er wel bewust van zijn dat machtsrelaties het succes van de genoemde mechanismen kunnen beïnvloeden (Van Bommel et al., 2009).Op basis van deze mechanismen zijn vervolgens perspectieven voor de verdere ontwikkeling van het overstromingsbeleid geformuleerd. Het eerste perspectief richt zich op het versterken van bestaande overstromingsmaatregelen via beperkte interventies zoals participatieve monitoring en bespreken en communiceren van (wetenschappelijk) bevindingen. Het tweede perspectief omvat meer ingrijpende interventies, zoals de formele introductie van meerlaagse veiligheid in het beleid, de versterking van de dialoog tussen verhaallijnen in de bekkenorganen en maatregelen om te komen tot een passende verantwoordelijkheidsverdeling tussen overheid en burger, zoals een meerjarig pilotprogramma. De resultaten van dat pilotprogramma kunnen dan geformaliseerd worden in beleidsdocumenten.De algemene conclusie is dat houdingen van betrokken actoren één van de verklaringen kunnen zijn voor een implementatiekloof. Het onderzoek laat zien dat die houdingen kunnen verschillen, maar ook dat houdingen veranderlijk zijn. Daarom is actieve sturing op die houdingverandering een absolute must voor het beleid om zo de implementatiekloof te dichten en zelfs te voorkomen.
    The governance of farming and natural resource management
    Jiggins, J.L.S. ; Blackmore, Chris ; Ison, Ray ; Röling, N.G. - \ 2016
    Outlook on Agriculture 45 (2016)4. - ISSN 0030-7270 - p. 217 - 219.
    Co-learning - Farming futures - Institutional transformations

    Business as usual is impeding implementation of systemic change in the governance of the natural resources on which all forms of farming depend and the transformation of agricultural techniques, practices, and enterprises toward multifunctional sustainability. The contributions to the governance of farming and natural resource management explore how business as usual challenged and transformed by means of institutional change; cogeneration of knowledge and multi-actor learning; and new forms of governance. Studies of water resources management in agrarian landscapes in Denmark and other European countries, an on-line platform for co-learning among Australian agricultural researchers, and of Maöri dairy enterprises in New Zealand braid together these issues to demonstrate the barriers to and opportunities for transformative change. These papers are fronted by an opinion piece on institutions in agriculture and rounded off by an opinion piece on selected sociotechnical and institutional innovations that might offer pathways toward more sustainable agricultures and natural resource management.

    Innovation platforms and projects to support smallholder development - Experiences from Sub-Saharan Africa
    Jiggins, J.L.S. ; Hounkonnou, Dominique ; Sakyi-Dawson, Owuraku ; Kossou, Dansou ; Traoré, Mamoudou ; Röling, N.G. ; Huis, Arnold van - \ 2016
    Cahiers Agricultures 25 (2016)6. - ISSN 1777-5949
    Agro-enterprises - Innovation platforms - Institutional change

    Innovation as a policy goal, normative practice, and a conceptual framing of purposeful human activity, has received increasing attention. The question of what kinds of purposeful innovation might benefit smallholders in developing countries has been raised. This issue presents and analyses the work of Innovation Platforms (IPs) established by the COS-SIS (Convergence of Sciences-Strengthening Innovation Systems) programme in nine agro-enterprise domains in West Africa, drawing on Theory Guided Process Inquiry data recorded through 2011-end 2013. Six papers synthesise individual IP experiences, complemented by a cross-case analysis of external influences on the IPs and their responses, a reflection on how well the IPs in Mali dealt with local conflicts, and an analysis of how the work of the IPs in Ghana led to changes in university curricula and in the researching practices of three leading agricultural institutes. An analysis of thirteen case studies from Kenya, Benin, and South Africa supported by the JOLISAA (Joint learning in and about Innovation Systems in African Agriculture) programme, adds further insights. Five general lessons are drawn, expressed as propositions that can be further tested against others' experiences: (i) IPs can bring about significant socio-technical and institutional changes at a range of levels, and in a wide variety of agro-enterprise domains and contexts; (ii) the IPs are not isolated from nor independent of the networks of influence in which they are embedded; thus they cannot be treated as the sole causal agents of the changes accomplished; (iii) research that tracks the IPs' work and performance provides evidence that enables the members to learn from experience and adjust activities in the light of effects; (iv) there is no blueprint for what an IP is nor a recipe for the processes by which such changes are brought about; the form, activities, and changes co-evolve with whatever is happening in the wider context; (v) field-based diagnosis of opportunity, evidence-based information-sharing and experimental exploration of pathways of change establish the legitimacy and influence of IPs.

    Introduction. Why focus on innovation systems : implications for research and policy
    Francis, J.A. ; Huis, A. van - \ 2016
    In: Innovation systems / Francis, J., Mytelka, L., van Huis, A., Röling, N., Wageningen : The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) - ISBN 9789290815617 - p. 8 - 13.
    The uses of research: action researching in and across nine agro-enterprise domains : the experience of the convergence of sciences-strengthening innovation systems programme in Benin, Ghana and Mali
    Jiggins, J. ; Essegbey, G. ; Klerkx, L.W.A. ; Paassen, A. van; Pyburn, R. ; Tossou, R. - \ 2016
    In: Innovation systems / Francis, J., Mytelka, L., van Huis, A., Röling, N., Wageningen : The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) - ISBN 9789290815617 - p. 101 - 123.
    This chapter justifies the application of Theory-Guided Process Inquiry (TGPI) to elucidate, with real-time documentation of a standardized set of evidence across nine cases, the process of innovation in contrasting but comparable contexts. There is a significant challenge in coordinating divergent actors’ responses to rapidly changing market, climatic and development needs and opportunities in smallholder agriculture in West Africa, so that individual efforts add up to
    effective governance of their respective domains of interest and efficient value chains that deliver worthwhile returns to small-scale producers. In these situations, rigorous research that is responsive to local histories and contexts, and to evolving events, is needed to underpin innovation policy, practice and theory. At the same time, the research should not be too demanding of scarce research resources and capacities, nor be reliant on unrealistic demands for large sets of quality-controlled statistical data. Research encompassed two mutually informative but distinct activities: (i) research carried out by PhD students and members of the innovation platforms (IPs) established in each domain, in order to inform their own actions; and (ii) research carried out in order to understand
    the contributions of the IPs and other actors in bringing about transformative change. The chapter concludes with a reflection on what has been achieved through the research practices described.
    Making sense of innovation processes in african smallholder agricullture
    Triomphe, B. ; Floquet, A. ; Kamau, G. ; Letty, B. ; Almekinders, C.J.M. ; Waters-Bayer, A. - \ 2016
    In: Innovation systems / Francis, J., Mytelka, L., van Huis, A., Röling, N., Wageningen : The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) - ISBN 9789290815617 - p. 170 - 182.
    The European-funded Framework Programme 7 project, Joint Learning in Innovation Systems in African Agriculture (JOLISAA), assessed agricultural innovation experiences focused on smallholders in Benin, Kenya, and South Africa. Fifty-six cases were characterized through review of grey literature and interviews with resource persons, according to a common analytical framework inspired by the innovation systems (IS) perspective. Thirteen of the cases were assessed in greater depth through semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and multistakeholder workshops. The cases covered a wide diversity of experiences in terms of types, domains, scales, timelines, initiators of innovation and stakeholders involved. Findings revealed multiple triggers and drivers of innovation. For external stakeholders, key triggers included likelihood of offering a technological fix to an existing problem and availability of funding. For local people, access to input and output markets was a powerful trigger and driver. Market types and dynamics varied greatly. Developing functional value chains and accessing markets proved particularly challenging, especially for poorer and weakly organized farmers. Over long periods, determinants of innovation changed dynamically and often unpredictably, including motivations of key stakeholders, triggers, drivers and stakeholder arrangements. The direction of innovation evolved, often moving from a technology entry point to more organizational or institutional issues. A recurring challenge for fostering innovation is whether and how to build on local initiatives and knowledge, and how to sustain externally driven innovation processes beyond the project time frame. A major conclusion from JOLISAA is that innovation has to be seen as a continuously evolving process of ‘innovation bundles’ (a combination of different types of innovation) of various kinds, rather than as a pre-planned, and usually, narrowly-defined technical intervention. Consequently, open-ended, flexible approaches to innovation are needed with the potential to engage meaningfully over a long time with local stakeholders and bearers of local innovation dynamics, so that they take full charge of the innovation process and direction.
    Innovation systems : Towards effective strategies in support of smallholder farmers
    Francis, J. ; Mytelka, L. ; Huis, A. van; Röling, N.G. - \ 2016
    Wageningen : The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) - ISBN 9789290815617 - 255
    Research and experimentation in support of artisanal palm oil production in Ghana
    Osei-Amponsah, C. - \ 2016
    In: Innovation systems / Francis, J., Mytelka, L., van Huis, A., Röling, N., Wageningen : The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) - ISBN 9789290815617 - p. 124 - 133.
    Innovation systems, Douglas, Douglass and beyond : using cultural theory to understand approaches to smallholder development in Sub-Saharan Africa
    Röling, N.G. - \ 2016
    In: Innovation systems / Francis, J., Mytelka, L., van Huis, A., Röling, N., Wageningen : The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) - ISBN 9789290815617 - p. 202 - 238.
    Innovation systems (IS) are taken to be coherent and consistent narratives or discourses. This chapter uses the Group/Grid or Cultural Theory (CT) to distinguish four competing IS narratives, each with their own theory of change, criterion variables, strategies, pathways of innovation and designs for innovation platforms (IP):
    1. The business model of agronomy (BMA), based on the methodological individualism of the diffusion of innovations and ‘agricultural treadmill’ paradigms and focusing on technology development to raise yields.
    2. Package and value chain approaches that seek to enable individual entrepreneurship through access to services, inputs, credit and markets and other institutions that reduce transaction costs.
    3. Promotion of rules and regulations (hierarchical institutions) to constrain the pursuit of individual interests for some public goods (governance, control of corruption, sustainable use of natural resources).
    4. Egalitarian approaches that seek to empower, emancipate, strengthen civil society and enhance social capital.
    This framework proves useful for analysing the history of agricultural development in Industrial countries and sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to point to ways forward for inclusive approaches to mobilize the vast productive resources under smallholder management in Africa.
    Institutions: Lessons from West Africa
    Röling, N.G. - \ 2016
    Outlook on Agriculture 45 (2016)4. - ISSN 0030-7270 - p. 220 - 224.
    This article uses examples and insights from research in West Africa to analyse the concept of institutions and the
    consequences of their ‘invisibility’ in normal agricultural development practice. Comparative action research across nine
    agricultural domains in West Africa supported experiments with multilevel institutional change as a new approach to farm
    development. The work was inspired by the disappointing results of the prevailing focus on adoption of technology by
    individual farmers. The programme surprised those involved by showing the extent to which diagnostic studies can
    uncover institutional impediments to farm innovation and the ability of multi-stakeholder processes organized by and
    through innovation platforms to create multilevel opportunities for inducing change in institutional regimes. The details of
    each experience have been published elsewhere. This article concludes that if climate change and other systemic crises
    threaten agriculture and natural resource management, then institutional literacy and ingenuity offer a way forward.
    Wilfred Röling (9 December 1966 - 25 September 2015)
    Smidt, Hauke - \ 2015
    ISME Journal 9 (2015)12. - ISSN 1751-7362 - p. 2750 - 2752.
    Biofumigation using a wild Brassica oleracea accession with high glucosinolate content affects beneficial soil
    Zuluaga, D.L. ; Ommen Kloeke van, A.E.E. ; Verkerk, R. ; Röling, W.F.M. ; Ellers, J. ; Roelofs, D. ; Aarts, M.G.M. - \ 2015
    Plant and Soil 394 (2015). - ISSN 0032-079X - p. 155 - 163.
    chemical diversity - gene-expression - indian mustard - natural toxin - life-history - isothiocyanates - collembola - release - defense - tissues
    Aims This study explores the biofumigation effects of glucosinolate (GSL) containing Brassica oleracea plant material on beneficial, non-target soil organisms, and aims to relate those effects to differences in GSL profiles. Methods Leaf material of purple sprouting broccoli ‘Santee’, Savoy cabbage ‘Wintessa’, and the wild B. oleracea accession Winspit was analysed for GSL production and used for biofumigation experiments on the beneficial soil invertebrates, Folsomia candida (springtail) and Eisenia andrei (earthworm) and the soil bacterial community. Results When mixed into soil, the Winspit plant material exerted the highest toxic effects on beneficial soil invertebrates by reducing survival and reproduction. Total GSL levels varied substantially between genotypes, in particular the aliphatic GSL (AGSL) sinigrin and gluconapin being highly abundant or exclusively present in Winspit. Differences between the genotypes regarding biofumigation effects on the soil microbial community were only observed on a temporal basis with the largest difference in bacterial community structure after 1 week. Conclusions The high total GSL content in biofumigated soil could explain the toxicity of Winspit for soil invertebrates. These effects are likely to be the results of high AGSL levels in Winspit. The use of wild B. oleracea crops, such asWinspit, for biofumigation practices would need a proper assessment of the overall impact on soil biota before being applied on a wide scale
    Special issue: System innovation - towards sustainable agriculture Introduction
    Jiggins, J.L.S. ; Ison, R. ; Röling, N.G. - \ 2014
    Outlook on Agriculture 43 (2014)3. - ISSN 0030-7270 - p. 145 - 146.
    Agricultural research – from recommendation domains to arenas for interaction: Experiences from West Africa
    Röling, N. ; Jiggins, J. ; Hounkonnou, D. ; Huis, A. van - \ 2014
    Outlook on Agriculture 43 (2014)3. - ISSN 0030-7270 - p. 179 - 185.
    innovation systems-approach - institutional change - west-africa
    Agricultural research designs tend to be bounded by agroecological conditions, farming systems and other dimensions assumed to be homogeneous for the population of interest (that is, a recommendation domain or population for whom a technology or practice is expected to be relevant). Scaling is then a question of 'rolling out' results across the domain. But what if technology adoption and institutional context explain the variance in the output of smallholders, and agricultural development is also a question of institutional innovation? What if a domain is seen as a system of interest among actors who have a stake in the system and as an arena for concerted action and institutional innovation? This paper reports on six years of action research that attempts to answer these questions. It compares experimental interventions and subsequent systemic changes within each of nine agroenterprise domains. The experience suggests that the research approach used can explain variance in smallholder output that, in present-day West Africa, is not explained by technology adoption.
    Institutional change towards sustainable agriculture in West Africa
    Struik, P.C. ; Klerkx, L.W.A. ; Huis, A. van; Röling, N.G. - \ 2014
    International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 12 (2014)3. - ISSN 1473-5903 - p. 203 - 213.
    innovation systems - farmers - benin - ghana - netherlands - management - sector
    This paper describes why inter- and trans-disciplinary research, accompanied by innovation platforms, is essential in the context of agricultural development in West Africa. The institutional context in West Africa can become a trap for smallholder farmers and for society at large. Therefore, we argue that an enabling institutional context is necessary to achieve an increase in agricultural production. This will have consequences for setting priorities of agricultural research and the way research should be organized in order to have impact. Within the framework of two consecutive programmes, attempts were made to create such an enabling context. The first programme, focusing on participatory technology development, showed that smallholders can capture only limited benefits from technologies because of their constrained opportunities. The point of departure for the second programme was that institutions explain a large portion of variance in agricultural output and that multistakeholder innovation platforms at local, district, and national levels are needed to create change. The paper concludes with an overview of this special issue, which provides nine case studies of institutional factors that influence smallholder innovation. Each of these case studies identifies and analyses institutional mechanisms at aggregation levels higher than the household, farm, or village.
    The Influence of Long-Term Copper Contaminated Agricultural Soil at Different pH Levels on Microbial Communities and Springtail Transcriptional Regulation
    Boer, T.E. de; Tas, N. ; Braster, M. ; Temminghoff, E.J.M. ; Roling, W.F.M. ; Roelofs, D. - \ 2012
    Environmental Science and Technology 46 (2012)1. - ISSN 0013-936X - p. 60 - 68.
    heavy-metal contamination - bacterial community - organic status - fungal communities - arable soil - sandy soil - diversity - toxicity - microorganisms - microarray
    Copper has long been applied for agricultural practises. Like other metals, copper is highly persistent in the environment and biologically active long after its use has ceased. Here we present a unique study on the long-term effects (27 years) of copper and pH on soil microbial communities and on the springtail Folsomia candida an important representative of the soil macrofauna, in an experiment with a full factorial, random block. design. Bacterial communities were mostly affected by pH. These effects were prominent in Acidobacteria, while Actinobacteria and Gammaroteobacteria communities were affected by original and bioavailable copper. Reproduction and survival of the collembolan F. candida was not affected by the studied copper concentrations. However, the transcriptomic responses to copper reflected a mechanism of copper transport and detoxification, while pH exerted effects on nucleotide and protein metabolism and (acute) inflammatory response. We conclude that microbial community structure reflected the history of copper contamination, while gene expression analysis of F. candida is associated with the current level of bioavailable copper. The study is a first step in the development of a molecular strategy aiming at a more comprehensive assessment of various aspects of soil quality and ecotoxicology.
    Diagnosing the scope for innovation: Linking smallholder practices and institutional context : Introduction to the special issue
    Roling, N. ; Hounkonnou, D. ; Kossou, D. ; Kuyper, T.W. ; Nederlof, S. ; Sakyi-Dawson, O. ; Traoré, M. ; Huis, A. van - \ 2012
    NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 60-63 (2012). - ISSN 1573-5214 - p. 1 - 6.
    The article introduces the diagnostic studies reported in this special issue and prepares the reader for understanding their full portent, not only as stand-alone articles but also as an expression of a research programme with a common purpose and scientific objective. As such, the article introduces the focus of the CoS–SIS programme on the nexus between farmer practices and institutional context, and primes the reader on the special challenges posed by diagnosis of this nexus. The diagnostic studies scoped the landscape and the regime but mainly as these might impact the niche. What is reported is ‘the view from the niche’. The article explains the structure of the research programme and the role of the PhD researchers in it. It further describes a number of methodological issues common to all.
    Nuove strategie di disseminazione e figure emergenti: gli innovation brokers + Beyond dissemination of research findings: innovation brokers as emerging figures in stimulating agricultural innovation
    Klerkx, L.W.A. - \ 2012
    AgriRegioniEuropa 8 (2012)28. - ISSN 1828-5880 - p. 22 - 26.
    More and more it is recognised that innovation cannot be explained by a linear approach to innovation in which public sector agricultural research and extension delivers new technology in a pipeline configuration through a dissemination approach, but calls for systems approach in which innovation is the result of a process of networking, interactive learning and negotiation among a heterogeneous set of actors (Leeuwis, 2004; Röling, 2009). The systems approach recognises that agricultural innovation is not just about adopting new technologies; it also requires a balance amongst new technical practices and alternative ways of organising, for example, markets, labour, land tenure and distribution of benefits (Dormon et al., 2007). Recently, a blending of insights from the agricultural innovation literature and industrial innovation literature has resulted in the concept of agricultural innovation systems(Pant and Hambly-Odame, 2009; Röling, 2009). A national agricultural innovation system (AIS) is defined by World Bank (2006, pp.vi-vii) as ‘a network of organisations, enterprises, and individuals focused on bringing new products, new processes, and new forms of organisation into economic use, together with the institutions and policies that affect the way different agents interact, share, access, exchange and use knowledge’. Beyond researchers, extension agents and farmers, an AIS consists of all types of public, private and civil society actors, such as inputs and processing industry actors, agricultural traders, retailers, policymakers, consumers and NGOs. Besides stressing the fact that innovation requires involvement of many actors and effective interactions amongst these, the AIS approach recognises the influential role of institutions (i.e. laws, regulations, attitudes, habits, practices, incentives) in shaping how actors interact (World Bank, 2006). For AIS to function and enhance innovation capacity in developing countries’ agricultural sectors, the literature emphasises the need to come to shared visions, have well-established linkages and information flows amongst different public and private actors, conducive institutional incentives that enhance cooperation, adequate market, legislative and policy environments, and well-developed human capital (Spielman et al., 2008)However, creating and fostering effective linkages amongst heterogeneous sets of actors (i.e. the formation of adequate innovation configurations, coalitions, PPPs) is often hindered by different technological, social, economic and cultural divides (Pant and Hambly-Odame, 2006). From an innovation systems perspective, the importance of having intermediary organisations that sit between and connect different actors involved in innovation trajectories countries is becoming apparent. This type of intermediary should not just mediate a one-to-one relationship, but rather be a systemic intermediary, an in-between in a many-to-many relationship (Howells, 2006). These systemic intermediaries act as innovation brokers, whose main purpose is to build appropriate linkages in AIS and facilitate multi-stakeholder interaction in innovation. So far, the agricultural sector has relied mainly on public sector intermediaries such as agricultural extension services, often with questionable effectiveness and a limited mandate to play such a systemic intermediary role (Leeuwis, 2004; Rivera and Sulaiman, 2009). Innovation brokering implies moving beyond dissemination of information, as many ‘traditional’ extensionists do, but actively forge multi actor partnerships for innovation
    An innovation systems approach to institutional change: Smallholder development in West Africa
    Hounkonnou, D. ; Kossou, D. ; Kuyper, T.W. ; Leeuwis, C. ; Nederlof, S. ; Roling, N. ; Sakyi-Dawson, O. ; Traoré, M. ; Huis, A. van - \ 2012
    Agricultural Systems 108 (2012). - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 74 - 83.
    agricultural-research - perspective - intensification - environment - management - prices - costs - corn
    Sustainable intensification of smallholder farming is a serious option for satisfying 2050 global cereal requirements and alleviating persistent poverty. That option seems far off for Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) where technology-driven productivity growth has largely failed. The article revisits this issue from a number of angles: current approaches to enlisting SSA smallholders in agricultural development; the history of the phenomenal productivity growth in the USA, The Netherlands and Green Revolution Asia; and the current framework conditions for SSA productivity growth. This analysis shows that (1) the development of an enabling institutional context was a necessary condition that preceded the phenomenal productivity growth in industrial and Green Revolution countries; and that (2) such a context is also present for successful SSA export crop production, but that (3) the context is pervasively biased against SSA’s smallholder food production. The article traces the origins of technology supply push (TSP) as a dominant paradigm that hinders recognition of the role of enabling institutions. The article then reviews the literature on institutional change and zooms in on Innovation Platforms (IPs) as a promising innovation system approach to such change. We describe the concrete experience with IP in the Sub-Sahara Challenge Program (SSA-CP) and in the Convergence of Sciences: Strengthening Innovation Systems (CoS-SIS) Program. The former has demonstrated proof of concept. The latter is designed to trace causal mechanisms. We describe its institutional experimentation and research methodology, including causal process tracing. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Institutional experiments for assessing farmers’ response to price and non-price incentives to produce quality cocoa beans
    Quarmine, W. ; Haagsma, R. ; Sakyi-Dawson, O. ; Obeng-Ofori, D. ; Asante, F. ; Huis, A. van - \ 2011
    In: Proceedings of the CoS-SIS Bamako Workshop: Mid-term evaluation and adjustments in the CoS-SIS Programme. - - p. 52 - 57.
    Factors which constrain farmers' incentives to enhance the quality of cocoa beans produced in Ghana
    Quarmine, W. ; Haagsma, R. ; Asante, F. ; Sakyi-Dawson, O. ; Obeng-Ofori, D. ; Huis, A. van - \ 2011
    In: Proceedings of the CoS-SIS Cotonou, Benin Workshop,Convergence of Sciences: Strengthening Agricultural Innovation Systems Programme, Bamako, Mali, 26 - 29 October, 2010. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - p. 65 - 74.
    Concluding Remarks and the Way Forward
    Huis, A. van - \ 2011
    In: Proceedings of the CoS-SIS Cotonou, Benin Workshop, CoS-SIS Convergence of Sciences: Strengthening Agricultural Innovation Systems Programme, Wageningen, the Netherlands, 26 - 29 October, 2011. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - p. 147 - 151.
    Consolidating the CoS-SIS Research Agenda. Proceedings of the CoS-SIS Cotonou, Benin Workshop, October 26 – 29, 2010. CoS-SIS Convergence of Sciences: Strengthening Agricultural Innovation Systems Programme.
    Huis, A. van; Röling, N.G. ; Youdeowei, A. - \ 2011
    Wageningen : Wageningen University - 179 p.
    Revisiting research design: towards plausible 'proof of principle' on the basis of comparing the CoS-SIS case studies. Are we on track?
    Roling, N. ; Leeuwis, C. - \ 2011
    In: Consolidating the CoS-SIS Research Agenda. Proceedings of the CoS-SIS Cotonou, Benin Workshop, October 26-29, 2010. - Accra, Ghana : Qualitype Ltd. - p. 133 - 139.
    Issues arising from presentations by research associates
    Klerkx, L.W.A. - \ 2011
    In: Consolidating the CoS-SIS Research Agenda. Proceedings of the CoS-SIS Cotonou, Benin Workshop, October 26-29, 2010. - Accra, Ghana : Qualitype Ltd. - p. 131 - 132.
    Enabling system innovation: the CIG as a network of stakeholders to address institutional constraints in water management in Benin
    Saidou, A. ; Kpera, G.N. ; Totin, G.G.E. - \ 2011
    In: Proceedings of the CoS-SIS Cotonou, Benin Workshop, 26-29 Oct. 2010, Benin. - Accra, Ghana : Qualitype Ltd. - p. 109 - 112.
    Rice-livestock integration in Office du Niger irrigation zone in Mali
    Doumbia, D. - \ 2011
    In: Consolidating the CoS-SIS Research Agenda. Proceedings of the CoS-SIS Cotonou, Benin Workshop, October 26-29, 2010. - Accra, Ghana : Qualitype Ltd. - p. 75 - 79.
    Enhancing food security in Upper West region of Northern Ghana through smallholder small ruminant production - A diagnostic study
    Amankwah, K. - \ 2011
    In: Proceedings of the CoS-SIS Cotonou, Benin Workshop, 26-29 Oct. 2010, Benin. - Accra, Ghana : Qualitype Ltd. - p. 46 - 55.
    A participatory diagnostic study of the oil palm cropping system on the Adja plateau (Benin) and perspectives for improvement
    Yemadje, H.R.M. ; Vissoh, P.V. ; Mongbo, R. ; Azontonde, A. ; Saidou, A. ; Kossou, D. ; Roling, N. ; Crane, T.A. ; Richards, P. ; Kuyper, T.W. - \ 2011
    In: Proceedings of the CoS-SIS Cotonou, Benin Workshop, 26-29 Oct. 2010, Benin. - Accra, Ghana : Qualitype Ltd. - p. 37 - 45.
    Diagnostic investigation on rice production in Koussin, Bame and Zonmon villages
    Totin, G.G.E. - \ 2011
    In: Proceedings of the CoS-SIS Cotonou, Benin Workshop, 26-29 Oct. 2010, Benin. - Accra, Ghana : Qualitype Ltd. - p. 33 - 36.
    Agro-pastoral dam use and management in relation to the presence of crocodiles in northern Bénin: technical and institutional constraints and opportunities
    Kpera, G.N. ; Saidou, A. ; Eilers, K. ; Mensah, G.A. ; Aarts, N. ; Tossou, R. ; Zijpp, A.J. van der; Sinsin, B. - \ 2011
    In: Proceedings of the CoS-SIS Cotonou, Benin Workshop, 26-29 Oct. 2010, Benin. - Accra, Ghana : Qualitype Ltd. - p. 9 - 26.
    Governance and Contested Land Use in The Netherlands : the Case of the Drentsche Aa
    Bommel, S. van; Aarts, M.N.C. ; Turnhout, E. ; Röling, N.G. - \ 2011
    In: Territorial Governance: Local Development, Rural Areas and Agrofood Systems. Part 2 / Torre, A., Traversac, J.B., Berlin : Springer - ISBN 9783790824216 - p. 123 - 139.
    This chapter investigates, theoretically as well as empirically, the way in which initiatives aimed at territorial governance work out in practice. The concept of territorial governance has increasingly received attention in policy plans as well as in the policy science literature. So far, little is known about how espoused shifts towards territorial governance manifest themselves in practice. By analysing the shift in governance in the Drentsche Aa in the Netherlands, this chapter sheds light on what happens when the espoused shift to territorial governance is applied to concrete situations, in which different dilemmas and opposing forces are at play. It shows that territorial governance in the Drentsche Aa area is struggling with tensions between regional multi-actor practices and hierarchical policy practices. We conclude that shifts in governance indeed occurred in this area, but that they manifested themselves in practice as hybrids between area based hierarchy and multi actor initiatives. As such the shifts are not as straightforward and unambiguous as sometimes thought and/or aimed for in literature, but instead their manifestation in practice is complex, ambiguous and context dependent
    Background and Objectives of the Workshop
    Huis, A. van; Hounkonnou, D. ; Sterk, B. ; Röling, N.G. - \ 2010
    - p. 1 - 2.
    The top 100 questions of importance to the future of global agriculture
    Pretly, J. ; Sutherland, W.J. ; Ashby, J. ; Auburn, J. ; Baulcombe, D. ; Bell, M. ; Bentley, J. ; Bickersteth, S. ; Brown, K. ; Burke, J. ; Campbell, H. ; Chen, K. ; Crowley, E. ; Crute, I. ; Dobbelaere, D. ; Edwards-Jones, G. ; Funes-Monzote, F. ; Godfray, H.C.J. ; Griffon, M. ; Gypmantisiri, P. ; Haddad, L. ; Halavatau, S. ; Herren, H. ; Holderness, M. ; Izac, A.M. ; Jones, M. ; Koohafkan, P. ; Lal, R. ; Lang, T. ; McNeely, J. ; Mueller, A. ; Nisbett, N. ; Noble, A. ; Pingali, P. ; Pinto, Y. ; Rabbinge, R. ; Ravindranath, N.H. ; Rola, A. ; Röling, N.G. ; Sage, C. ; Settle, W. ; Sha, J.M. ; Luo, S.M. ; Simons, T. ; Smith, P. ; Strzepeck, K. ; Swaine, H. ; Terry, E. ; Tomich, T.P. ; Toulmin, C. ; Trigo, E. ; Twomlow, S. ; Vis, J.K. ; Wilson, J. ; Pilgrim, S. - \ 2010
    International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 8 (2010)4. - ISSN 1473-5903 - p. 219 - 236.
    green-revolution - sustainability - biodiversity - conservation - management - science - uk
    Despite a significant growth in food production over the past half-century, one of the most important challenges facing society today is how to feed an expected population of some nine billion by the middle of the 20th century. To meet the expected demand for food without significant increases in prices, it has been estimated that we need to produce 70-100 per cent more food, in light of the growing impacts of climate change, concerns over energy security, regional dietary shifts and the Millennium Development target of halving world poverty and hunger by 2015. The goal for the agricultural sector is no longer simply to maximize productivity, but to optimize across a far more complex landscape of production, rural development, environmental, social justice and food consumption outcomes. However, there remain significant challenges to developing national and international policies that support the wide emergence of more sustainable forms of land use and efficient agricultural production. The lack of information flow between scientists, practitioners and policy makers is known to exacerbate the difficulties, despite increased emphasis upon evidence-based policy. In this paper, we seek to improve dialogue and understanding between agricultural research and policy by identifying the 100 most important questions for global agriculture. These have been compiled using a horizon-scanning approach with leading experts and representatives of major agricultural organizations worldwide. The aim is to use sound scientific evidence to inform decision making and guide policy makers in the future direction of agricultural research priorities and policy support. If addressed, we anticipate that these questions will have a significant impact on global agricultural practices worldwide, while improving the synergy between agricultural policy, practice and research. This research forms part of the UK Government's Foresight Global Food and Farming Futures project.
    Opportunities for Oil Palm development in Benin and Ghana: institutional conditions for technological change
    Vissoh, P.V. ; Adjei-Nsiah, S. ; Huis, A. van; Röling, N.G. - \ 2010
    Aspects of Applied Biology 96 (2010). - ISSN 0265-1491 - p. 207 - 214.
    The impact of agricultural research: evidence from West Africa
    Roling, N.G. - \ 2010
    Development in Practice 20 (2010)8. - ISSN 0961-4524 - p. 959 - 971.
    Can agricultural research help to enlist smallholders and their resources for global food security? The Convergence of Sciences (CoS) research programme in Benin and Ghana (2002-2006) tested the impact of technology development, using a pathway for impact which featured 'technographies', diagnostic studies, and farmer-experimenter groups to ensure appropriateness. Within the existing small windows of opportunity only marginal improvements proved possible. The CoS team realised and partly tested the notion that innovation is predicated upon change of the institutions that frame opportunity. The sequel to CoS (2008-2013) uses an innovation system approach to pursue cross-system institutional change. Keywords: Globalisation; Governance; Social sector; Technology
    Microbial Community- And Metabolite Dynamics of an Anoxic Dechlorinating Bioreactor
    Maphosa, F. ; Smidt, H. ; Vos, W.M. de; Röling, W.F. - \ 2010
    Environmental Science and Technology 44 (2010)13. - ISSN 0013-936X - p. 4884 - 4890.
    dehalococcoides sp strain - reductive dehalogenase genes - vinyl-chloride reductase - real-time pcr - chlorinated ethenes - ethenogenes strain-195 - enrichment culture - cis-dichloroethene - flow column - trichloroethene
    Monitoring and quantification of organohalide respiring bacteria is essential for optimization of on-site bioremediation of anoxic subsurface sites contaminated with chloroethenes. Molecular monitoring and model simulations were applied to determine degradation performance of an in situ dechlorinating bioreactor and its influence on the contamination plume. Dehalococcoides was the dominant dechlorinating microorganism as revealed by qPCR targeting 16S rRNA- and chloroethene reductive dehalogenase-encoding genes (tceA, vcrA, bvcA). The presence of all three reductive dehalogenases genes indicated coexistence of several distinct organohalide respiring bacterial populations in the bioreactor and groundwater. Mass balancing revealed that main dechlorinating activities were reduction of cis-dichloroethene and vinyl chloride. Analysis of growth kinetics showed that when performance of the bioreactor improved due to especially the addition of molasses, dechlorinating microorganisms were growing close to their maximum growth rate. Once near-complete dehalogenation was achieved, Dehalococcoides only grew slowly and population density did not further increase. The bioreactor influenced dechlorinating populations in the plume with subsequent decrease in chlorinated compound concentrations over time. In the present study, a combination of molecular diagnostics with mass-balancing and kinetic modeling improved insight into organohalide respiring bacteria and metabolite dynamics in an in situ dechlorinating bioreactor and showed its utility in monitoring bioremediation
    Professionals in Context: How Robust Is the Normative Model?
    Röling, N.G. - \ 2009
    Irrigation and Drainage 58 (2009)2. - ISSN 1531-0353 - p. S225 - S230.
    science - water
    Research on successful change often leads to a normative model. What was an empirical outcome becomes a prescription for action. In water management, research on platforms for decision-making, multi-stakeholder processes, social learning, and participatory interventions seems to have made this step to new orthodoxy. Compared to agricultural development, where many still expect technology (smart farming, precision farming, genomics, etc.) to provide the necessary answers to the challenges of anthropogenic biosphere change, thinking about water solutions seems to have moved on and embraced a new normative model that sees necessary action as emerging from the interaction (deliberation, negotiation, conflict resolution, etc.) of multiple stakeholders. However positive this development, the seriousness of the challenges posed by the fact that people have become a major force of nature that is rapidly altering the flimsy and fragile biosphere, compels us to ask whether the normative model can handle these challenges. Some points that will be considered are: (1) inequalities of power among stakeholders, (2) the disproportional influence of vested interest, (3) higher-level institutional conditions and incentive structures, (4) compromises that undermine efficacious action, (5) and institutions that are geared to economic growth, not to prudent water use (incompatibility between hydrological cycle and linear growth). The paper attempts to examine these issues and to draw some implications for water professionals.
    The innovation systems approach proposed for CoS SIS
    Hounkonnou, D. ; Huis, A. van; Röling, N.G. ; Sterk, B. - \ 2009
    In: Proceedings of the first CoS-SIS International Conference, Elmina, Ghana 22-26, June 2009e. - Wageningen : Wageningen UR - p. 11 - 14.
    Framework for this Conference
    Huis, A. van; Hounkonnou, D. ; Röling, N.G. ; Sterk, B. - \ 2009
    - p. 1 - 4.
    Social learning for solving complex problems: a promising solution or wishful thinking? A case study of multi-actor negotiation for the integrated management and sustainable use of the Drentsche Aa area in the Netherlands
    Bommel, S. van; Roling, N.G. ; Aarts, M.N.C. ; Turnhout, E. - \ 2009
    Environmental Policy and Governance 19 (2009)6. - ISSN 1756-932X - p. 400 - 412.
    Social learning has been championed as a promising approach to address complex resource problems. According to theory, social learning requires several pre-conditions to be met, including (1) a divergence of interests, (2) mutual interdependence and (3) the ability to communicate. This article investigates what happened when social learning was put into practice in a multi-actor negotiation platform in the Dutch Drentsche Aa area. Our findings show that, although the platform aimed for open dialogue and at first sight appeared to meet the conditions, social learning was not achieved and the negotiations stagnated because of disagreement, frustration and distrust. Further analysis shows that the process was characterized from the beginning by unequal power relations, which enabled a dominant coalition to impose its problem definition and limit possible solutions. The article concludes by discussing the implications of our findings for the theory and practice of social learning Keywords participation • natural resource problems • competing claims • nature conservation policy • multi-stakeholder negotiation platforms
    Proposed CoS-SIS Research Design
    Röling, N.G. - \ 2009
    In: Proceedings of the first CoS-SIS International Conference on Towards Enhancing Innovation Systems Performance in Smallholder African Agriculture, Elmina, Ghana, 22-26 June 2009. - Wageningen : CoS - p. 114 - 117.
    A strictly anaerobic betaproteobacterium Georgfuchsia toluolica gen. nov., sp. nov. degrades aromatic compounds with Fe(III), Mn(IV) or nitrate as an electron acceptor
    Weelink, S.A.B. ; Doesburg, W.C.J. van; Talarico Saia, F. ; Rijpstra, I. ; Smidt, H. ; Röling, W. ; Stams, A.J.M. - \ 2009
    FEMS microbiology ecology 70 (2009)3. - ISSN 0168-6496 - p. 575 - 585.
    sulfate-reducing bacterium - sp strain-t - benzylsuccinate synthase - m-xylene - geobacter-metallireducens - reductive dechlorination - denitrifying bacterium - contaminated aquifers - microbial community - thauera-aromatica
    A bacterium (strain G5G6) that grows anaerobically with toluene was isolated from a polluted aquifer (Banisveld, the Netherlands). The bacterium uses Fe(III), Mn(IV) and nitrate as terminal electron acceptors for growth on aromatic compounds. The bacterium does not grow on sugars, lactate or acetate. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence indicated that strain G5G6 belonged to the Betaproteobacteria. Its closest, but only distantly related, cultured relative is Sterolibacterium denitrificans Chol-1ST (94.6% similarity of the 16S rRNA genes), a cholesterol-oxidizing, denitrifying bacterium. Strain G5G6 possesses the benzylsuccinate synthase A (bssA) gene encoding the a-subunit of Bss, which catalyzes the first step in anaerobic toluene degradation. The deduced BssA amino acid sequence is closely related to those of Azoarcus and Thauera species, which also belong to the Betaproteobacteria. Strain G5G6 is the first toluene-degrading, iron-reducing bacterium that does not belong to the Geobacteraceae within the Deltaproteobacteria. Based on phylogenetic and physiological comparison, strain G5G6 could not be assigned to a described species. Therefore, strain G5G6 (DSMZ 19032T=JCM 14632T) is a novel taxon of the Betaproteobacteria. We propose the name Georgfuchsia toluolica gen. nov., sp. nov
    Pathways for impact: scientists' different perspectives on agricultural innovation
    Röling, N.G. - \ 2009
    International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 7 (2009)2. - ISSN 1473-5903 - p. 83 - 94.
    This paper takes the viewpoint of a social scientist and looks at agricultural scientists' pathways for science impact. Awareness of these pathways is increasingly becoming part and parcel of the professionalism of the agricultural scientist, now that the pressure is on to mobilize smallholders and their productive resources for (global) food security and for reducing persistent rural poverty. Significant new thinking about pathways is emerging and it is useful to present some of this, even if it is not cut-and-dried. This new thinking focuses on innovation, not as the end-of-pipe outcome of development and transfer (or `delivery¿) of results of research to `ultimate users¿, but as a process of technical and institutional change at farm and higher system levels that impacts on productivity, sustainability and poverty reduction. This paper will review technology supply push; farmer-driven innovation; market-propelled or induced innovation based on the agricultural treadmill; participatory technology development; and innovation systems. The pathways reviewed all have their merits; the paper will assess them from the perspective of improving smallholder productivity and livelihoods. This paper concludes that many agricultural scientists have not developed their thinking about how the fruits of their work can help make the world a better place. This is a flaw in their professionalism. Curriculum development, training, promotion criteria, standards used in refereeing journal articles and research funding could benefit from taking on board understanding of pathways of science-for-impact.
    Learning from Carchi: agricultural modernisation and the production of decline
    Sherwood, S.G. - \ 2009
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): N.G. Röling; Cees Leeuwis, co-promotor(en): D.C. Cole. - [S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085853169 - 286
    landbouwontwikkeling - boeren - boerenorganisaties - leren - innovatie adoptie - innovaties - landbouwhervorming - aardappelen - geïntegreerde plagenbestrijding - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - ecuador - latijns-amerika - landbouwvoorlichting - kennis van boeren - sociaal leren - agricultural development - farmers - farmers' associations - learning - innovation adoption - innovations - agrarian reform - potatoes - integrated pest management - sustainability - ecuador - latin america - agricultural extension - farmers' knowledge - social learning
    Provided its natural endowments, generally educated rural population, infrastructure and market access to two countries, the Province of Carchi, located in the northernmost highlands of Ecuador, is potentially one of the most productive agriculture regions in the Andes. In the 1960s development experts and the government targeted the region as a model for agricultural modernisation. Following land reform and rapid organisation around industrial era technologies, potato farming in Carchi boomed during the 1970s, evolving to dominate the landscape and become the major source of livelihoods in the province. By the early 1980s, Carchi came to produce nearly half the national potato harvest on less than a quarter of the country’s area dedicated to the crop. In the early1990s, however, production and productivity began to fall off, leading a growing number of rural families in Carchi to fall into debt and abandon potato farming. The research reported here is the outcome of the author’s ten years of research and development practice in Carchi with the International Potato Center, the FAO’s Global IPM Facility, and World Neighbors. It reflects unfolding experience with different phases of hope, discovery, and ambition. Many aspects of the experience have been published elsewhere (see Appendix A). The resulting dissertation is not a case study in the sense of a case that tests a hypothesis. It is a monograph that attempts to produce a single coherent story over seemingly unrelated events, focusing on a second-generation problem: despite a decade of highly rigorous, scientific research on the pathologies of Carchi and multiple public demonstrations of feasible alternatives, little significant change was achieved.
    Leren van ervaringen met interactief beleid in het Drentsche Aa-gebied
    Bommel, S. van; Aarts, M.N.C. ; Roling, N.G. ; Turnhout, E. - \ 2009
    Vakblad Natuur Bos Landschap 6 (2009)3. - ISSN 1572-7610 - p. 26 - 29.
    natuurbescherming - deskundigen - participatie - boeren - governance - natuurbeleid - drenthe - nature conservation - experts - participation - farmers - governance - nature conservation policy - drenthe
    Bij complexe problemen waarbij het individuele belang op gespannen voet staat met het natuurbelang, wordt vaak gekozen voor een interactief proces. Toch blijkt in de Nationaal Landschap de Drentsche Aa dat dit niet zaligmakend is, zeker niet als de doelen van tevoren al vastliggen. Pogingen om in een Overlegorgaan tot een gezamenlijke toekomstvisie te komen van natuur en landbouw, liepen hopeloos vast. Uit ons onderzoek naar het planproces bleek dat oud zeer daarbij zeker een rol speelde. Maar ook is duidelijk dat interactieve processen alleen werken als er ruimte is om samen over de doelen en de problemen te onderhandelen. Verder blijkt het heel belangrijk dat de onderhandelaars in zo’n overlegorgaan nauw contact houden met hun achterban. Tenslotte is het van groot belang dat de verschillende soorten beleid waarin het gebiedsproces is ingebed goed is afgestemd.
    Conceptual and Methodological Developments in Innovation
    Röling, N.G. - \ 2009
    In: Innovation Africa: Enriching Farmers Livelihoods / Sanginga, P., Waters-Bayer, A., Kaaria, S., Njuki, J., Wettasinha, C., London : Earthscan - ISBN 9781844076710 - p. 9 - 34.
    Letter to the editor: What price more food?
    Röling, N.G. - \ 2008
    New Scientist 199 (2008)2664. - ISSN 0262-4079 - p. 22 - 22.
    Understanding experts and expertise in different governance contexts : the case of nature conservation in the Drentsche Aa area in the Netherlands
    Bommel, S. van - \ 2008
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): N.G. Röling, co-promotor(en): Noelle Aarts; Esther Turnhout. - S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085852070 - 241
    natuurbescherming - deskundigen - nederland - participatie - boeren - governance - natuurbeleid - nature conservation - experts - netherlands - participation - farmers - governance - nature conservation policy
    Due to political and social changes, traditional expert-based hierarchical coordination mechanisms (‘government’ settings) are under pressure in nature conservation policy. New network coordination mechanisms, such as communicative or interactive processes of control and forms of self-regulation (‘governance settings’) have changed the role of expert advice in nature conservation policy. . In ‘governance’ settings, the role of expert advice has changed. The aim of the project is to contribute to finding effective solutions to resource dilemmas in nature conservation by enlightening the role of experts and expertise in a diversity of governance contexts
    Improving local technologies to manage speargrass (Imperata cylindrica) in southern Benin
    Vissoh, P.V. ; Kuyper, T.W. ; Gbehounou, G. ; Hounkonnou, D. ; Ahanchede, A. ; Röling, N.G. - \ 2008
    International Journal of Pest Management 54 (2008)1. - ISSN 0967-0874 - p. 21 - 29.
    soil fertility management - cover crops - l. raeuschel - west-africa - grain-yield - maize - systems - cassava - perceptions - farmers
    Speargrass (Imperata cylindrica) is difficult to control in the tropics. Farmers allocate most of their time and labour to weeding speargrass. We investigated in a joint experiment concluded with farmers, how effectively grain legumes suppress speargrass, and the relationships between speargrass suppression, legume grain yield, and subsequent maize yield. Without management, speargrass shoots and rhizomes increased with 31 and 17% per month, respectively. The integration of deep ridging, deep hoe weeding and shading suppressed speargrass more effectively than farmers' practices. Creeping varieties of cowpea that produced most biomass were most successful in suppressing speargrass and in enhancing subsequent maize yields, but erect cowpea cultivars produced more grain. Farmers traded off cowpea yield against speargrass suppression to bridge the hungry gap. They preferred the erect cowpea cultivar wan. The need to forego a harvest and the fact that pigeonpea is not consumed in the area makes pigeonpea presently unsuitable for integration into the cropping system.
    Evaluation of integrated crop management strategies employed to cope with Striga infestation in permanent land use systems in southern Benin
    Vissoh, P.V. ; Gbéhounou, G. ; Ahanchéde, A. ; Roling, N.G. ; Kuyper, T.W. - \ 2008
    International Journal of Pest Management 54 (2008)3. - ISSN 0967-0874 - p. 197 - 206.
    hermonthica control technologies - northern nigeria - maize varieties - soil fertility - sorghum yield - farmers - savanna - agriculture - rotation - legumes
    Striga hermonthica and S. gesnerioides pose serious threats to cereal and cowpea production, endangering peoples' livelihoods on the Abomey plateau, Benin. A 2-year joint experiment was undertaken with farmers in two hamlets to investigate the potential of managing sowing dates of cowpea, sorghum transplanting, and trap cropping as ways of increasing agricultural production and reducing Striga damage. Early sowing of cowpea failed due to dry spells. Late sowing reduced cowpea yield due to water deficiency at the end of the growing season. Transplanting sorghum seedlings raised in fertilised or Striga-free nurseries doubled or tripled cereal yield and substantially reduced S. hermonthica infestation compared to direct early-sown sorghum. Transplanting sorghum from plant hills to fill gaps was unsuccessful. Trap crops such as cowpea and groundnut increased subsequent maize yield. Trap cropping had only a small effect on S. hermonthica infestation. The very poor soils in Som central were a major constraint upon yield improvement to acceptable levels even after the introduction of the new crop (and Striga) management methods
    Seeking surprise : rethinking monitoring for collective learning in rural resource management
    Guijt, I.M. - \ 2008
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): N.G. Röling; R. Davies. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085048602 - 350
    plattelandsontwikkeling - monitoring - leren - hulpbronnenbeheer - evaluatie - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - brazilië - instellingen - middelen van bestaan - rural development - monitoring - learning - resource management - evaluation - sustainability - brazil - institutions - livelihoods
    Commonsense says that monitoring systems should be able to provide feedback that can help correct ineffective actions. But practice shows that when dealing with complex rural development issues that involve collaborative action by a changing configuration of stakeholders, monitoring practice often falls short of its potential. In this thesis, I describe my search to understand why practice is so limited and what might be needed to design monitoring processes that foster learning in concerted action around equitable and sustainable development. I examine the contradiction between monitoring as the basis for learning in ‘messy partnerships’ and the reality of monitoring driven by a concern for upward financial accountability.
    The environment – natural, organisational and socio-political – constantly gives feedback. But feedback needs to be perceived and interpreted for learning in rural resource management. Monitoring can be viewed as designing and implementing the feedback loops necessary to ensure that collective learning is fed by ongoing information flows within and among members of ‘messy partnerships’ and enables concerted action.
    However, neither monitoring nor learning are, by and large, described in neither comprehensive nor precise enough terms for implementation as part of sustainable resource management. The promising potential of more participatory approaches, if based on the same logic as mainstream M&E as is commonly the case, does not provide sufficient innovation.
    In Chapter 1, I introduce the focus of the thesis via a metaphor that emerged during fieldwork in Brazil – ‘tiririca’ (Cyperus rotundus) a pernicious weed that sprouts back more ferociously the more it is cut back. ‘Tiririca’ represents the complexity of developing a learning process based on monitoring concerted action, as well as the need for structural solutions. In this chapter, I introduce concepts – institutional transformation, messy partnerships, monitoring and (collective) learning – that have spawned my quest for monitoring alternatives. I outline the growing relevance of the topic, which brings me to my research questions:
    1. How is ‘monitoring’ viewed by rural development and resource management discourses that advocate more adaptive forms of rural resource management? On what assumptions and presuppositions about processes of monitoring, collective learning and improved action are these discourses based? What practical orientation do they give for learning-oriented monitoring?
    2. What is the underlying logic – with related presuppositions – of mainstream monitoring approaches and hence what is the monitoring theory that is expected to guide practice?
    3. What can practical experience from small scale rural change processes in Brazil and from a large rural development organization show about what is needed for monitoring to contribute to collective learning?
    4. What insights are offered by studies on cognition and organizational learning that can help fill the theoretical gaps and overcome the practical challenges of learning-oriented monitoring?
    5. Given these empirical and theoretical insights, what would an alternative monitoring approach require so that it can trigger the forms of learning needed to ensure adaptive and collaborative rural resource management?
    In Chapter 2, I explain how the thesis evolved from questions emerging from my involvement from 1994 to date in diverse interventions and organisations. I have sought to fuse the strands of experience into a cohesive argument by discussing the key experiences and theories on which I draw in this thesis, and the methodologies used. I make use of four aspects of theory to interpret experiences: contextualising discourses, the espoused theory and theory-in-use of monitoring, theoretical building blocks, and methodological theory.
    In Chapter 3, I argue why the focus of this thesis is so critical. I examine three key discourses that are currently guiding much of the thinking and practice in rural resource management – adaptive management, collaborative resource management, and sustainable rural livelihoods. These discourses are concerned with adaptive behaviour, collective learning and interactive decision–making. They are value-driven and focus on environmental conservation, equitable resource use, and poverty alleviation.
    The adaptive management discourse highlights four features in monitoring for resource management: the hypothesis-refining effect of models by using simulated monitoring data; the role of indicators to make tangible the visions, targets and resource states; the importance of investing in long-term data collection and deliberative processes on that data; and the focus on scientific experimentation and surprise. However, in practice various problems occur, including the time and expense of the necessary data; inadequate ecological monitoring; difficulty of agreeing on what merits experimentation and should be monitored; and naivety about the challenges of jointly designing monitoring systems and information analysis.
    For collaborative resource management (CRM) , monitoring efforts should combine a logic model perspective and hypothesis testing. The logic model perspective is used to plan initiatives and structure their monitoring. Such models focus on monitoring indicators for specific pre-determined results to prove progress and ensure accountability. Joint articulation and continual assessment of indicators is central to monitoring CRM. Criticism of CRM includes: naivety about ‘community’ and consensus and simplifying the complexity of collective monitoring.
    The sustainable rural livelihoods approach (SLA), or framework, calls for an M&E system, with accompanying indicators, to assess progress towards livelihood sustainability. Livelihood approaches rely on mainstream M&E practice, which, in the case of externally-driven/initiated development interventions, means using programme logic models. The role of monitoring is couched in general terms, such as using the livelihoods framework to structure M&E processes. The livelihoods literature offers a set of desirable monitoring practices, which constitutes an idealised and overly simplified perspective, and refers uncritically to existing methods and approaches that perpetuate the problems they bring and no guidance on integrated use.
    Notwithstanding the mentioned limitations, ‘learning’ with and by stakeholders is an important principle in all three approaches and is expected to help identify actions that, in turn, are expected to be more effective for goal achievement. Such learning is assumed to require systematic seeking and sharing of information, hence the need for feedback loops for which monitoring is considered the prime vehicle.
    However, none of the discourses identifies how these feedback loops need to be constructed. Monitoring is expected to provide raw data and spaces for reflection to create insights. How learning should occur is articulated mainly in terms of intentions and principles, with practical references being made towards existing logic models or hypothesis-testing approaches and to participatory methods. The discourses rely on an unclear mix of monitoring as a research process and monitoring of set objectives based on programme logic models.
    In Chapter 4, I discuss programme-logic based monitoring by drawing on several monitoring guidelines, representative of those widely used in the development sector. I identify 13 presuppositions that underpin the espoused theory of mainstream monitoring. These presuppositions relate to: the definitional boundaries of monitoring, how information is viewed, and how monitoring processes are perceived to be constructed and implemented.
    A definitional boundary is created between ‘monitoring’ and ‘evaluation’, presumed to be a useful enough distinction to construct feedback mechanisms and information systems (Presupposition 1). A link is assumed to exist between monitoring and how it is to serve management (Presupposition 2). Strategic analysis and sense-making are presumed to not require explicit inclusion when developing a monitoring process (Presupposition 3).
    The second cluster of presuppositions relate to how information is viewed. Monitoring systems are designed to fill information needs, rather to interpret information (Presupposition 4). Stakeholders are expected to be able to anticipate their information needs adequately, in terms of a comprehensive and fairly stable set of indicators, with related methods and processes, irrespective of the diversity of actors or issues at stake (Presupposition 5). Monitoring guidelines overwhelmingly ignore processes to analyse, reflect critically, interpret, and communicate information (Presupposition 6). Indicators are considered an appropriate form in which to express and convey a balanced picture of information that enables learning (Presuppositions 7 and 8).
    The third set of presuppositions relate to how monitoring processes are expected to be constructed and implemented, which are summarised as a series of standardised steps. Stakeholders are presumed to have sufficient time, expertise, clarity and willingness to follow the basic steps in sufficient detail for effective results (Presupposition 9). Mainstream monitoring presumes that the steps have a generic validity, irrespective of socio-cultural context (Presupposition 10). Power relations between those involved in monitoring are ignored other than, at most, to say they matter (Presupposition 11). Mainstream monitoring presumes that people will know how to deal with and effectively use informal monitoring that occurs through daily interactions outside the prescribed formal processes and channels (Presupposition 12). Monitoring systems are not viewed as needing to learn from, or adapt to, the environment in which they are being implemented (Presupposition 13).
    Mainstream monitoring based on these presuppositions is expected to provide the feedback or information that is supposed to trigger learning in development initiatives. No distinction is made in terms of the validity of this model of monitoring for different types of development processes or for different types of organisational configurations.
    Empirical material is discussed in Chapters 4, 5 and 6: M&E efforts in 36 IFAD projects operating on the basis of mainstream monitoring, and a three-year action research project with a ‘messy partnership’ in Brazil based on participatory monitoring as a possible alternative.
    Evidence from 36 IFAD projects indicates that the presuppositions on which mainstream monitoring is premised are problematic. Two types of difference can be found: between the monitoring theory about the operational context and the surrounding realities, and between monitoring theory and monitoring practice. Difficulties result from insufficient attention is given to the ‘fit’ of monitoring processes and their underlying logic with the operational contexts of IFAD projects. Furthermore, the linear cause-effect perspective and procedural focus on how to construct and implement monitoring does not recognise the reality of dynamic partnerships having to construct a shared understanding of the initial intentions of development intervention. Finally, monitoring practice is not based on a clear understanding of what learning is, how it can be designed and how it occurs in relation to monitoring.
    The action research work in Brazil showed that participatory monitoring is not necessarily the answer. Five important issues need to be addressed if more participatory forms of monitoring are to contribute to collective learning. First, learning must be seen to result from the process of developing monitoring and from the data. Valuing both is important for ‘messy partnerships’, who must continually articulate, refine and (re)align understandings and priorities. Second, messy partnerships require finding an interpretation of ‘participation’ that fosters concerted action, yet respects the uniqueness of partners and their own cultures and rhythms of reflection. Third, dialogue between partners is critically important if data are to be useful. Therefore, participatory monitoring requires shifting from a view of monitoring as a data system to monitoring as a communication process. Fourth, approaching all monitoring through one type of data process (i.e. indicators stacked in an objective hierarchy) and a static image of partnership in concerted action does not fulfil the need for diverse learning processes that occur in institutional transformation (e.g., technical innovation, dissemination, organisational change). Finally, setting up the participatory monitoring process proved more costly and less sustainable than initially expected. The dynamics within and between the partners, and the shift in strategic focus as understanding emerged (in part as a result of monitoring) mean that activities come and go, and so does the related monitoring.
    Participatory monitoring only provides some advantages as it replicates, at least in part, several of the questionable presuppositions of mainstream monitoring. The empirical material brings me to suggest that programme-logic based monitoring – whether as mainstream or participatory practice – might benefit from insights drawn from other theoretical areas.
    Chapter 7 offers a set of ideas drawn from two fields: one, cognitive studies, that has not yet influenced monitoring practice in the development sector, and another, organisational learning, that is slowly being ‘courted’ as potentially interesting. Monitoring constitutes a deliberate and collective attempt to guide our ‘knowing’ or ‘cognition’ by seeking and processing information. Organisational learning examines how a group of people communicate and deal with information that is vital for the survival of their organisation, and in so doing draws on cognitive science. Therefore, both fields have potential to help reconsider beliefs about monitoring.
    Drawing insights from the two fields together brings me to four ideas with thought-provoking potential for rethinking monitoring: (1) messy partnerships as collective cognitive agents; (2) distributed cognition; (3) sense-making; and (4) cognitive dissonance. The ideas can be summarised as follows. Messy partnerships must maintain coherence in their organisational and collective cognition, and correspondence with the external environment. Cognition in a messy partnership is distributed, which requires convergence in order to come to effective concerted action. Sense-making is critical for convergence for which different approaches are needed, depending on the complexity of the circumstances and issues faced. Cognitive dissonance, or ‘surprise’, is an important indicator where coherence or correspondence are awry. Monitoring systems could be more purposively designed based on valuing cognitive dissonance as an important trigger for learning.
    Monitoring requires innovation if it is to contribute to its much lauded potential to enable learning. A shift is needed to see monitoring as: dialogical (not only a singular rationality), multi-ontological (not only assuming an ordered universe), distributed (not centralized), functioning through relationships and heuristics (not only through data and the hope of omniscience), essential for impact (not just a contractual obligation), sustaining collective cognition (not only the tracking of implementation), and seeking surprise (not only documenting the anticipated).
    Chapter 8 integrates the empirical and theoretical strands of the thesis by suggesting a set of eight design principles that are needed for collective learning in adaptive rural resource management. These design principles have been identified to offset the identified limitations found in the dominant paradigm of mainstream monitoring and in participatory monitoring. They are not a comprehensive set of design principles for learning-oriented monitoring. The first three principles relate to the purpose of monitoring, the next three principles relate to operational concerns, and the last two relate to sustaining monitoring practice.
    1. Understand the nature of institutional transformation being pursued as a social change process, in order to know the degree of complexity one is dealing with, and the extent to which information needs can be anticipated and learning functions will be significant.
    2. Recognise the nature of actors and partnerships on monitoring, by analysing the commitment of partners to concerted action, governance structures and decision making processes of each partner, allocation of responsibilities in the partnership, degree of overlap of information needs, way in which information is shared, and monitoring capacities. The reality of ‘messy partnerships’ forces a questioning of a hierarchical, intra-organisational model that underpins mainstream monitoring.
    3. Specify distinct monitoring processes in terms of learning purposes to enable a more precise definition of tasks, protocols, responsibilities, time frames, formality and degree of ‘collectiveness’ .For institutional transformation on the basis of deliberate concerted action undertaken by a messy partnership, nine learning purposes are likely to be relevant (though not all necessarily simultaneously or equally prominently): financial accountability; operational improvement; strategic adjustment; contextual understanding; capacity strengthening; research; self-auditing; advocacy; and sensitisation.
    4. Plan for sense-making as well as information. The sense-making process must be appropriate for the type of situation and issue being considered (i.e. multi-ontological). Seek to understand what is needed for critical reflection to be possible among and between the partners and how insights are best communicated, which capacities must be built to make this possible, which additional communication processes are needed, and allocating resources to this end.
    5. Balance formal protocols and informal processes, incorporating everyday interactions of sharing and debate into the monitoring system, and linking the informal sphere to formal processes and channels. Informal processes are not only crucial for ongoing sense-making but also a source of information sharing.
    6. Value and seek diverse types of information, related specifically to the nature of development (principle 1) and the learning function (principle 3) that has to be met, and understand which processes exist and/or are needed to ensure that such information is shared and debated and informs decisions.
    7. Ensure the institutionalisation of learning-oriented monitoring. Concerted efforts are needed to ensure that policies, practices, methodologies, responsibilities, and incentives are all helping make monitoring as discussed in this thesis possible.
    8. Approach monitoring as an evolving practice, thus allowing it to become a dynamic knowledge production process, which when subjected to regular critical reviews and adaptations retains relevance and usefulness.
    These design principles must be translated into practice by the key actors in development if the future of monitoring is to be more useful. Development implementers, facilitators, funding agencies and academics have distinct roles to play in the transformation of the ‘DNA’ of monitoring.
    The issues discussed in this thesis have relevance far beyond the approaches and initiatives discussed in this thesis. The notion of development-as-project is being replaced by the recognition that social injustices require institutional transformation. ‘Messy partnerships’ and other types of alliances are the new configurations through which institutional transformation increasingly must unfold.
    Monitoring, when conceived as a socially negotiated, evolving methodology for structuring information flows and knowledge production and use, offers an approach to help construct ‘pathways to sustainability’. However, we need to significantly revise mainstream beliefs and practices about how monitoring can create feedback to harness its potential to deepen and sustain the learning that societies need to deal with ‘wicked problems’. This requires reassessing the epistemic and ontological perspectives and principles that underpin monitoring, and determine its feasibility, relevance and ultimately, usefulness.
    Preface
    Huis, A. van; Hounkonnou, D. ; Röling, N. - \ 2007
    International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 5 (2007)2 & 3. - ISSN 1473-5903 - p. 89 - 90.
    Innovatie in Regionaal Waterbeheer. Eindrapport van het onderzoek Dialoog over Water in Gebiedenbeleid
    Slobbe, E.J.J. ; Hoekstra, R. ; Roling, N.G. ; Jiggins, J.L.S. - \ 2007
    Apeldoorn : Arcadis Divisie Water - 58 p.
    The organisation of social learning in response to perceptions of crisis in the water sector in the Netherlands
    Jiggins, J.L.S. ; Slobbe, E.J.J. ; Röling, N.G. - \ 2007
    Environmental Science & Policy 10 (2007)6. - ISSN 1462-9011 - p. 526 - 536.
    management
    This article deals with responses in the Netherlands to a widespread perception within the water sector of crisis, rooted in an appreciation that former ways of managing water could no longer deal with contemporary and possible future events. The crisis and initial responses are first outlined, grounding the SLIM project experience in Dutch water management practice and policy. This leads to the research question formulated by the Dutch SLIM team, and the predictions it gave rise to. The research methodology, case studies and policy analyses at the core of the study are introduced. Empirical observations concerning four aspects of the change process are used to explore the predictions: conflict and confrontation among stakeholders; discovery of interdependence among stakeholders; development of social spaces where stakeholders could encounter each other in shared actions; and the role of facilitators and process leaders in helping stakeholders to go forward. The observations are analysed in relation to the initial predictions and the surprises encountered in the history of the cases. Knowledge management is identified as a key task in the social learning processes analysed. The article concludes with reflections on the role of the environmental sciences in the policy processes and research practices described.
    Facilitating the use of alternative capsid control methods towards sustainable production of organic cocoa in Ghana
    Ayenor, G.K. ; Huis, A. van; Obeng-Ofori, D. ; Padi, B. ; Röling, N.G. - \ 2007
    International Journal of Tropical Insect Science 27 (2007)2. - ISSN 1742-7584 - p. 85 - 94.
    Cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) is an important foreign exchange earner for Ghana. However, production is constrained by a high incidence of pests and diseases. Based on farmers' needs, this study focused on the control of capsids, mainly Sahlbergella singularis Haglund and Distantiella theobroma (Distant) (both Hemiptera: Miridae). Annual crop loss caused by capsids is estimated at 25¿30%. To control capsids, formal research recommends application of synthetic insecticides four times between August and December. However, farmers hardly adopt this recommendation, which they consider unsuitable for their conditions and context. Three alternative control methods were tested with farmers: mass trapping, using sex pheromones; applying crude aqueous neem Azadirachta indica A. Juss. (Meliaceae) seed extract (ANSE) and using the predatory ant Oecophylla longinoda Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) as a biological control agent. Contrary to most previous reports, studies on temporal distribution of cocoa capsids indicated that the population peaked in March. ANSE was effective against capsids and other cocoa insect pests and did not affect the predatory ant. When O. longinoda occurred in high numbers, capsid incidence was low. Shade did not influence ant or capsid abundance significantly. ANSE caused 100% mortality of capsids in cage and 79¿88% in field experiments. The sex pheromone was as effective as ANSE or ants in suppressing capsids. All the three methods were effective and compatible; hence, they can be used in an integrated pest management strategy for cocoa, including organic production in Ghana.
    Assessing the effectiveness of a local agricultural research committee in diffusing sustainable cocoa production practices: the case of capsid control in Ghana
    Ayenor, G.K. ; Röling, N. ; Huis, A. van; Padi, B. ; Obeng-Ofori, D. - \ 2007
    International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 5 (2007)(2&3). - ISSN 1473-5903 - p. 109 - 123.
    gewasbescherming - geïntegreerde plagenbestrijding - cacao - oecophylla longinoda - feromoonvallen - azadirachta indica - sahlbergella singularis - distantiella theobroma - ghana - biologische landbouw - plant protection - integrated pest management - cocoa - oecophylla longinoda - pheromone traps - azadirachta indica - sahlbergella singularis - distantiella theobroma - ghana - organic farming
    The conventional method of `delivering¿ technologies recommended by researchers to farmers through extension has proved ineffective, resulting in a persistent low (3.5% over ten years) adoption of research-based cocoa technologies. The present study was conducted in the Eastern Region of Ghana and assessed the impact of the Local Agricultural Research Committee (LARC) approach on the diffusion of capsid management knowledge and practices, developed with the LARC, to others in the community. Capsids (Sahlbergella singularis and Distantiella theobroma) were diagnosed as the most serious production constraint. LARC members engaged in intensive interactive learning and experimentation to control them. The interactive approach developed by the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture was used to link the LARC with community farmers, a majority of whom aspired to produce organic cocoa for a premium. The LARC acquired vital agro-ecological knowledge on capsid management, including skills in scouting for capsids to determine their temporal distribution and systematic experimentation with control methods, before presenting its results to the community. This article reports on a survey comparing three categories of farmers: LARC members, exposed and non-exposed community farmers, so as to assess the diffusion and impact of LARC knowledge co-production. The results show that the LARC approach significantly influenced acquisition and diffusion of knowledge and practices.
    Pathway for agricultural science impact in West Africa: lessons from the Convergence of Sciences programme
    Nederlof, S. ; Röling, N. ; Huis, A. van - \ 2007
    International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 5 (2007)2&3. - ISSN 1473-5903 - p. 247 - 264.
    ghana - benin - systeeminnovatie - multi-stakeholder processen - ghana - benin - system innovation - multi-stakeholder processes
    The impact of agricultural research on the livelihoods of resource-poor farmers in West Africa has been disappointing. This article reports on research on agricultural research that sought to identify an alternative pathway of science that would lead to greater impact. It is based on the analysis of the work at eight pilot learning sites in the Convergence of Sciences (CoS) programme. Each site featured research for development with resource-poor farmers and other stakeholders. On the basis of literature review, we first built a perspective on the mix of research outcomes that seems necessary for agricultural research to be demand-driven and client-oriented. This perspective then served as the framework for analysis of the work at the eight learning sites. Adapted and consolidated on the basis of this empirical work, the framework represents a set of preliminary ideas for designing an effective pathway for agricultural science. The analysis shows that CoS has, in a number of diverse contexts and with respect to different crops, demonstrated that it is possible to establish vibrant multi-stakeholder learning coalitions at the local and programme levels that generate a great deal of enthusiasm and drive. It is further possible to identify promising opportunities that can be effectively addressed by agricultural research, if that research is multi-disciplinary, refrains from making constraining pre-analytical choices, pays attention to institutional aspects, and uses procedures that ensure that research is not only supply-, but also demand-driven. The study fills a gap in defining the nature of the components of a meaningful agricultural innovation system. The institutional dynamics at the macro level remain to be addressed in CoS' second phase. The present paper reports on the social dimensions and methodological issues of the first phase of the programme. The outcomes of the agronomic experiments with farmers will be reported elsewhere
    Social learning in situations of competing claims on water use
    Jiggins, J.L.S. ; Roling, N.G. ; Slobbe, E.J.J. - \ 2007
    In: Social Learning towards a Sustainable World : principles, perspectives, and praxis / Wals, A.E.J., Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086860319 - p. 419 - 434.
    Endogenous development and resilence: the institutional dimension
    Röling, N.G. - \ 2007
    In: Endogenous development and bio-cultural diversity, Geneva, Switzerland, 3-5 October 2006. - Leusden : COMPAS - ISBN 9789077347140 - p. 101 - 115.
    Ownership in transdisciplinary projects
    Spoelstra, S.F. ; Groot Koerkamp, P.W.G. ; Bos, A.P. - \ 2007
    In: Changing European farming systems for a better future : new visions for rural areas. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086860029 - p. 361 - 365.
    Rebuilding common property management : a case study of community-based natural resource management in rural Guizhou, China
    Sun, Qiu - \ 2007
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): J.L.S. Jiggins; N.G. Röling; Cees Leeuwis. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085048336 - 263
    natuurlijke hulpbronnen - economie van natuurlijke hulpbronnen - hulpbronnenbeheer - hulpbronnengebruik - overheidseigendom - plattelandsontwikkeling - gemeenschapsontwikkeling - maatschappelijke betrokkenheid - china - guizhou - nationaal vermogen - bewonersparticipatie - natural resources - natural resource economics - resource management - resource utilization - public ownership - rural development - community development - community involvement - china - guizhou - national wealth - community participation
    Environmental degradation and rural poverty are inter-related problems of great concern to developing countries. The poor mostly live in environmentally fragile regions and rely heavily on natural resources for their livelihood subsistence. Unfortunately, environmental degradation and rural poverty are often addressed separately or in terms of a zero sum equation: either the choice is protecting the environment through limiting access of rural people to the natural resources, or improving people’s livelihood and promoting economic growth by over exploitation of natural resources. It seems an unresolvable dilemma in developing countries. In the late 1970s, China started its economic reform, transforming a centrally planned economy to a market-oriented one. As a result, the so-called Household Contract Responsibility System (HCRS) replaced the commune system in rural China. The rationale behind the HCRS is to promote farmers’ incentives in agricultural production through privatising the use right of the collectively owned lands to individual farm households. Empirical evidence shows that, since the introduction of this new system, the rural economy in general has improved in many places, but forests, grasslands and water resources have rapidly been degraded. The underlying cause of this has been the shift to open resource access. A contemporary debate rooted in the new institutional thinking argues that neither state control nor market instruments are able to solely solve environmental problems. In order to achieve sustainable development, it is necessary to look for alternative approaches or “the third way.” The new institutional scholars assume that common property regimes could be a solution, with a set of carefully designed institutions that can control people’s self-interest and encourage group interests in natural resource use and management for pursuing their livelihoods. Other theoretical perspectives, with a focus on participatory development and social learning share a common interest in collective action. Communication, trust, the anticipation of future interactions, and ability to make binding agreements among group resource users can promote collective action in natural resource management for sustainable livelihood. These theoretical bodies have led to the emergence of an approach known as Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM). CBNRM integrates concerns of sustainable resource management and people’s livelihood improvement, advocates (the revival of) common property regimes, emphasizes community-based institutions for collective actions, promotes participation of local resource users in decision-making, and enhances people’s capacities. Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) was introduced in China by international donors in the 1990s as a promising solution to addressing natural resource degradation and livelihood improvement of rural people. With support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada, a research team from the Guizhou Academy of Agricultural Sciences (GAAS) has carried out CBNRM action research in rural Guizhou, a poor province in South-western China, since 1995. This PhD study takes the GAAS-led CBNRM initiative in Kaizuo township, Changhsun county as its research “object” to analyse whether and how a CBNRM approach contributes to sustainable natural resource management and livelihood improvement of the rural poor. The issues pursued in this thesis are: How does CBNRM work and why? What are the outcomes and why? What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of CBNRM in a country such as China with its rapid economic development and socio-political transformation? What are the policy implications in relation to China’s increasing resource degradation and environmental management problems? Chapter 1 introduces the context of problems related to natural resource management in China and the Chinese government’s efforts to address these problems. The rapid economic transformation and new resource property regime clearly have an impact on sustainable natural resource management. The impact brought about an attempt of rebuilding common property management to address environmental issues. Chapter 2 offers a historic review of China’s land reform over the last 50 years, and reveals how the shifts in resource property regime affect the way local people manage natural resources. It argues that property right arrangements determine people’s behaviour and practice in natural resource use and management. It concludes that the HCRS fails to promote sustainable management of forest, grassland and water resources. Chapter 3 outlines the analytical framework based on the theoretical debates. The analytical framework discusses how community-based institution can contribute to sustainable, equitable and effective management of common-pool resources and livelihood improvement of rural poor people. It then further discusses how the effects of the community-based institutions can be affected by both internal and external factors. This chapter also argues the roles and value of a change agency in facilitation for collective action in natural resource management. Chapter 4 presents the methodology used in this research, including research strategies and the methods used for data generation and analysis. This study applied a methodology made up of a combination of anthropological and sociological methods, and some tools from ecology, applying a long-term perspective, and relying on a long-term, direct and personal involvement. Chapter 5 uses a stakeholder analysis approach to explore the interests of the different stakeholders and analyses the dynamic of their relationships as they pursue their stake-holding in natural resources. It demonstrates that the process of economic transformation and development has increased the severity of struggles for access to and control over natural resources. It argues that uncontrolled competing claims by different stakeholders with diverse interests cause social conflicts and damages to the natural resources, and suggests that concerted actions among stakeholders are needed to address the resource dilemma. Chapter 6 presents an in-depth case study in one village called Dabuyang. The case study explores how CBNRM was understood and practised in a rural community of China, with the focus on the process and outcomes of the GAAS team facilitation efforts in farmer organization, village-based institution development, and capacity building as means to promote collective action in natural resource management. The case study reveals that village-based institutions have played a central role in achieving sustainable, equitable and effective natural resource management. However, the Dabuyang case also shows that the performance of these local institutions is affected by internal factors, such as village leadership and farmers’ capacity to cope with changes, and challenged by external factors, such as market forces and some development initiatives. Chapter 7 examines the impacts of the GAAS team-led CBNRM action research on natural resource management and livelihood improvement of farmers through a set of comparative studies and an ecological survey. This study compares between: (1) villages with successful and less successful CBNRM intervention in Kaizuo township regarding changes in the five capital assets (natural, social, human, financial and physical) from 1995 to 2006; (2) between villages in Kaizuo township and another township called Malu regarding resource management institutions for forest, water systems, and grassland; (3) the year of 1995 and 2006 regarding changes in vegetation status two villages Dabuyang and Xiaozhai, which have been involved in CBNRM research since 1995. The comparative studies made plausible that CBNRM action research has positive impact on livelihood improvement of the rural farmers, development of local resource management institutions and improvement of forests and grasslands. Chapter 8 explores the GAAS team’s horizontal and vertical scaling-up strategies and processes to expand the impact of the CBNRM action research by working with the Kaizuo township government and four line ministries of Changshun county. The case of cooperation with the Forestry Bureau shows that integrating CBNRM principles into government programmes is possible, as long as there is a need or desire to work with farmers. The case of the Animal Bank argues that CBNRM innovation can not be replicated or transplanted in a different local context without adaptation. Local leadership, village politics and the social structure and culture of community all shape CBNRM outcomes. This case also reveals that the township government plays a crucial role in CBNRM scaling up. However, this role is strongly influenced by financial pressure (generating income) and by criteria of government performance evaluation (which stress upward accountability). The examples of cooperation with the Agricultural Office, Bureau of Water Resource Management and Bureau of Animal Husbandry illustrate the difficulties that GAAS team faced in terms of decision-making processes, current bureaucratic and administrative structures, and the lack of downward accountability mechanisms. Chapter 9 presents the major findings and conclusions of the study. Evidence examined in this thesis has shown that the CBNRM approach has effectively contributed to sustainable management of natural resources and livelihood improvement of the rural people in Guizhou. The strengthened or newly developed community institutions play a crucial role in effective and equable management of collectively owned forests, grasslands and water resources. However, the performance of these community institutions is affected by both internal and external factors. Although the design principles developed by New Institution scholars are valuable, they have proven to be too simplistic to apply wholeheartedly in different contexts, due to a narrow focus on the internal factors and ignorance of the external forces. Ignorance of the external factors and the local social-cultural settings and macro institutional, economic and political context in which they are embedded, leads to failure in community institutional development. CBNRM is not a panacea to deal with all environmental issues. The complexity and uncertainty of natural resource management is ever increasing, and this implies a real challenge for community institutions. A CBNRM approach has an eye for this challenge, but has a limited capacity to address (larger) cross-scale environmental issues that involve multiple stakeholders with diverse interests in natural resources. The GAAS team’s facilitation efforts have been critical in the success of CBNRM practice and CBNRM scaling up. However, the empirical materials of this study also reveal that their facilitation does not always produce positive outcomes, and the effects of facilitation are limited by unbalanced power relations among stakeholders.
    The social construction of weeds: different reactions to an emergent problem by famers, officials and researchers
    Vissoh, P.V. ; Mongbo, R. ; Gbèhounou, G. ; Hounkonnou, D. ; Ahanchédé, A. ; Röling, N.G. ; Kuijper, T.W.M. - \ 2007
    International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 5 (2007)2-3. - ISSN 1473-5903 - p. 161 - 175.
    Rapid population increase in southern Benin has changed the prevailing system of shifting cultivation into one of more permanent land use. New herbaceous weeds exacerbated rural poverty through crop failure, higher labour inputs, rising costs of production and reduced availability of suitable land. We investigated how different actors reacted to the emergence of weeds, in terms of the construction of knowledge, labour practices and technology development. Weeds have become an important cause of rural poverty. Farmers have actively engaged in technology development and new labour practices have emerged. Officials early on did report weed problems, especially where export crops were concerned. Researchers have not translated the new weed problem into a research priority until very recently, resulting in limited and inappropriate weed management technologies. The challenge of the research of which this study is part is to optimize weed management, by combining emergent indigenous weed management practices with scientific knowledge.
    Challenges to science and society in the sustainable management and use of water: investigating the role of social learning
    Ison, R. ; Röling, N.G. ; Watson, D. - \ 2007
    Environmental Science & Policy 10 (2007)6. - ISSN 1462-9011 - p. 499 - 511.
    resource-poor farmers - agricultural-research - commons
    Water catchments are characterised by connectedness, complexity, uncertainty, conflict, multiple stakeholders and thus, multiple perspectives. Catchments are thus unknowable in objective terms although this understanding does not currently form the dominant paradigm for environmental management and policy development. In situations of this type it is no longer possible to rely only on scientific knowledge for management and policy prescriptions. ¿Social learning¿, which is built on different paradigmatic and epistemological assumptions, offers managers and policy makers alternative and complementary possibilities. Social learning is central to non-coercion. It is gaining recognition as a potential governance or coordination mechanism in complex natural resource situations such as the fulfilment of the European Water Framework Directive, but its underlying assumptions and successful conduct need to be much better understood. SLIM (social learning for the integrated management and sustainable use of water at catchment scale), a European Union, Fifth Framework project assembled a multidisciplinary group of researchers to research social learning in catchments of different type, scale, and socio-economic situation. Social tools and methods were developed from this research which also employed a novel approach to project management. In this introductory paper the rationale for the project, the project design intentions and realisations, and the case for researching social learning in contexts such as water catchments are described. Some challenges presented by a social learning approach for science (as a form of practice) and society in the sustainable management and use of water are raised.
    Can convergence of agricultural sciences support innovation by resource-poor farmers in Africa? The cases of Benin and Ghana
    Huis, A. van; Jiggins, J. ; Kossou, D.K. ; Leeuwis, C. ; Röling, N. ; Sakyi-Dawson, O. ; Struik, P.C. ; Tossou, R.C. - \ 2007
    International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 5 (2007)2-3. - ISSN 1473-5903 - p. 91 - 108.
    landbouwwetenschappen - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - kleine landbouwbedrijven - hulpbronnen - benin - ghana - agricultural sciences - sustainability - small farms - resources - benin - ghana
    The article introduces the IJAS special issue on the Convergence of Sciences (CoS) research programme that took place in Benin and Ghana between 2002 and 2006. CoS sought to develop pro-poor pathways of science. Starting initially from the assumption that science impact could be improved by developing farm technologies that are appropriate for the circumstances of resource-poor farmers, the nine researchers soon ran into the very limited windows of opportunity that the farmers face. Improving productivity at the farm level is thwarted by limited access to markets, infrastructure, inputs, credit and services, and by cheap imports. Farmers have no political clout, and agriculture is a source of rent for a host of actors including local and national governments. In these conditions, poverty reduction requires institutional change rather than participatory technology development. All nine researchers tried in their own way to deal with the institutional dimension. This special issue reports on these attempts. The introductory article provides background and context for understanding the institutional issues involved.
    Farming with future : implementation of sustainable agriculture through a network of stakeholders
    Brinks, H. ; Kool, S.A.M. de - \ 2006
    In: Changing European farming systems for a better future : new vision for rural areas / Langeveld, H., Röling, N., Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086860029 - p. 299 - 303.
    Agrobiodiversity as driving force of sustainable rural development
    Wiersema, M. ; Alebeek, F.A.N. van - \ 2006
    In: 7 th European IFSA Symposium, Changing European farmng systems for a better future, 7 - 11 May, 2006, Wageningen, The Netherlands. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - p. 169 - 173.
    Interactive Technology Assessment: The ideal and the unruly practice
    Goddijn, S.T. ; Bavel, P.C.M. van; Bos, A.P. ; Peet, G.F.V. van der - \ 2006
    In: Changing European farming systems for a better future / Langeveld, H., Röling, N., Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086860029 - p. 463 - 463.
    Setting the scene
    Roling, N.G. - \ 2006
    In: Convergence of Sciences: Creating Innovation Systems with African Farmers. - Wageningen : CTA - p. 25 - 26.
    Trans-Disciplinarity and its Institutional Implications
    Röling, N.G. - \ 2006
    In: Convergence of Sciences: Creating Innovation Systems with African Farmers. - Wageningen : Centre Technique de Coopération Agricole & Rurale ACP-UE - p. 50 - 60.
    The Role of Science in Anthropogenic Uncertainty
    Röling, N.G. - \ 2006
    In: Moving worldviews, Reshaping sciences, policies and practices, The European Workshop, Soesterberg, The Netherlands, 28 - 30 November 2005. - Soesterberg, The Netherlands : COMPAS, ETC Leusden, Centre for Development and Environment - p. 167 - 191.
    Social Learning in Wetland Development
    Slobbe, E.J.J. ; Morris, D.P. ; Roling, N.G. ; Torenbeek, R. ; Broker, K. ; Heering, H. - \ 2006
    Ecological Studies 191 (2006). - ISSN 0348-4165 - p. 269 - 283.
    New knowledge arrangements in the Dutch agro-ecological innovation system: Tension between privatisation and innovation discourses
    Leeuwis, C. ; Klerkx, L.W.A. - \ 2006
    In: Changing European farming systems for a better future. New visions for rural areas, Wageningen, The Netherlands, 7 - 11 May, 2006. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086860029 - p. 340 - 344.
    Monitoring Learning Processes
    Jiggins, J.L.S. ; Röling, N.G. ; Slobbe, E.J.J. - \ 2006
    In: Engagement: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Multi-Organisational Partnerships, Alliances and Networks (MOPAN), Pontypridd, Wales, UK, 22-24 June 2005. - Exeter, UK : Short Run Press - ISBN 9781840541427 - p. 37 - 40.
    Externe Audit Strabrechtse Heide
    Molenaar, H. de; Roling, N.G. - \ 2006
    Driebergen : Staatsbosbeheer (Externe Audits van Natuurgebieden ) - 75
    natuurbescherming - heidegebieden - noord-brabant - nature conservation - heathlands - noord-brabant
    In opdracht van Staatsbosbeheer is door J.G. de Molenaar en N.G. Röling in de tweede helft van januari 2006 een Externe Audit uitgevoerd van het beheerobject Strabrechtse Heide. Het beheerobject Strabrechtse Heide ligt midden in de Centrale Slenk in oostelijk Noord-Brabant, ten zuidoosten van Eindhoven, tussen Heeze en Someren. Tot het object wordt ook gerekend het bezit van Staatsbosbeheer in het aansluitende deel van het dal van de Rul of Kleine Dommel. De Strabrechtse Heide beslaat ca. 1500 ha, het beheerobject Strabrechtse Heide ca. 1240 ha. Het ligt op het grondgebied van de gemeenten Heeze-Leende en Someren.
    Convergence of Sciences: the management of agricultural research for the small scale farmers in Benin and Ghana
    Hounkonnou, D. ; Kossou, D.K. ; Kuyper, T.W. ; Leeuwis, C. ; Richards, P. ; Röling, N.G. ; Sakyi-Dawson, O. ; Huis, A. van - \ 2006
    NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences 53 (2006)3/4. - ISSN 1573-5214 - p. 343 - 367.
    verspreiding van onderzoek - onderzoeksimplementatie - organisatie van onderzoek - benin - ghana - diffusion of research - implementation of research - organization of research - benin - ghana - resource-poor farmers
    The Convergence of Sciences programme (CoS) addresses the sub-optimal impact of science on the livelihoods of resource-poor farmers in West Africa, particularly in Benin and Ghana where it operates. CoS aims to develop insights into the pathways through which investment in science and technology can improve rural lives. To this end, CoS features participatory experimental and action research by eight PhD students, who each develop technologies and institutional arrangements with groups of farmers. The ninth PhD student carries out comparative `research on agricultural research¿. The current article deals with a higher aggregation level than the individual project: the management of the programme as a whole. How did CoS try to zero in on the small windows of opportunity West African farmers face? How did it manage the ensuing issues of trans-disciplinarity, and of interaction among students, (social and natural science) supervisors, and other key stakeholders? How does it face up to the issues that arise with respect to scaling up? One of the most interesting aspects of CoS is that it not only deals with technical innovation within the constraining institutional and policy framework conditions, but also experiments with incipient ideas about how to stretch them.
    How to lay the golden eggs? Experiences from collaboration between industry and research in socially accepted poultry meat production in The Netherlands
    Proost, J. ; Leenstra, F.R. ; Lokhorst, K. ; Dijkhorst, H.K. van; Leeuwis, C. - \ 2006
    In: New visions for rural areas. Changing European farming systems for a better future. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - p. 355 - 360.
    Project setup and learning processes in participative systems oriented research initiatives
    Langeveld, J.W.A. ; Crawford, A. ; Paine, M. ; Pinheiro, S. ; Boef, W.S. de; Kristensen, I.S. ; Hermansen, J.E. ; Dedieu, B. ; Hildebrand, P. ; Cabrera, V. ; Jansen, D.M. ; Dixon, J. - \ 2006
    In: Changing European farming systems for a better future. New visions for rural areas, 7th European IFSA symposium, Wageningen, 7-9 July 2006. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086860029 - p. 89 - 89.
    Re-inventing sustainable cropping systems in Costa Chica, Mexico
    Flores-Sanchez, D. ; Kleine Koerkamp, J. ; Rossing, W.A.H. ; Lantinga, E.A. ; Bruggen, A.H.C. van - \ 2006
    In: Changing European farming systems for a better future / Langeveld, H., Röling, N., Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086860029 - p. 435 - 439.
    How sustainable can agriculture be in an EU-scenario of free market & social policy?
    Vereijken, P.H. ; Hermans, C.M.L. - \ 2006
    In: Changing European farming systems for a better future; new visions for rural areas / Langeveld, H., Röling, N., Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086860029 - p. 23 - 24.
    Modelling environmental benefits of silvoarable agroforestry in Europe
    Palma, J.H.N. ; Graves, A.R. ; Bunce, R.G.H. ; Burgess, P.J. ; Filippi, R. de; Keesman, K.J. ; Keulen, H. van; Liagre, F. ; Mayus, M. ; Moreno, G. ; Reisner, Y. ; Herzog, F. - \ 2006
    In: Changing European farming systems for a better future; new visions for rural areas / Langeveld, H., Röling, N., Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086860029 - p. 138 - 143.
    agrosilviculturele systemen - erosiebestrijding - verontreinigingsbeheersing - agrosilvicultural systems - erosion control - pollution control
    Increased adoption of silvoarable agroforestry (SAF) systems in Europe, by integrating trees and arable crops on the same land, could offer environmental benefits compared with conventional agricultural systems. Soil erosion, nitrogen leaching, carbon sequestration and landscape biodiversity were assessed for a stratified random sample of 19 lanscape test sites in Mediterraean and Atlantic regions in Europe. Computer simulations showed that SAF couls reduce erosion when combined with contouring practices (crops as wheat, sunflower, oilseed, maize)
    Improving nitrogen management on arable farms in a participative project in the Netherlands
    Langeveld, J.W.A. ; Ruijter, F.J. de; Dekker, P.H.M. ; Clevering, O.A. ; Kroonen-Backbier, B. - \ 2006
    In: Changing European farming systems for a better future. New visions for rural areas. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086860029 - p. 465 - 465.
    General introduction
    Langeveld, J.W.A. ; Röling, N. ; Jiggins, J. - \ 2006
    In: Proceedings of the 7th European IFSA Symposium on Changing European farming systems for a better future. New visions for rural areas, 7-11 May 2006, Wageningen, The Netherlands. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086860029 - p. 19 - 22.
    Introduction to final section: perspectives for participative systems oriented research
    Verhagen, A. ; Langeveld, J.W.A. ; Dixon, J. - \ 2006
    In: Changing European farming systems for a better future. New visions for rural areas. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086860029 - p. 471 - 472.
    Social construction of weeds
    Vissoh, P.V. ; Mongbo, R. ; Gbéhounou, G. ; Hounkonnou, D. ; Ahanchédé, A. ; Röling, N.G. ; Kuyper, T.W. - \ 2006
    In: Convergence of Sciences: Creating innovation systems with African farmers. - Wageningen : Centre Technique de Coopération Agricole & Rurale ACP-UE - p. 38 - 39.
    Changing European farming systems for a better future. New visions for rural areas
    Langeveld, J.W.A. ; Röling, N.G. - \ 2006
    Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086860029 - 479
    farming systems - farmers - communication - learning - knowledge - rural development - farming systems research - participatory rural appraisal - organic farming - environmental policy - sustainability - family farms - farming - world - agricultural extension - bedrijfssystemen - boeren - communicatie - leren - kennis - plattelandsontwikkeling - bedrijfssystemenonderzoek - participatory rural appraisal - biologische landbouw - milieubeleid - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - familiebedrijven, landbouw - landbouw bedrijven - wereld - landbouwvoorlichting
    Changes in market organisation, climatic conditions and societal demands on food quality, animal welfare and environmental quality have created new conditions for farming families as well as for researchers and policy makers. New social, technical and economic solutions are needed for farming and rural areas. This book presents new perspectives for farms, farm products and rural areas, many of which were collectively developed by coalitions of farmers, farmer representatives, researchers, civilians and/or policy makers. Contributions are made from those involved in crop and animal production worldwide offering sections on natural resources management, development of sustainable rural systems, future perspectives for farming families, knowledge systems in transition and learning processes in multi-stakeholder processes.
    Capsid control for organic cocoa in Ghana : results of participatory learning and action research
    Ayenor, G.K. - \ 2006
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): N.G. Röling; Arnold van Huis; D. Obeng-Ofori; P.B. Atengdem. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085044390 - 159
    cocoa - crop production - pest management - participation - learning - ghana - theobroma cacao - plant pests - miridae - organic farming - action research - cacao - plagenbehandeling - participatie - leren - ghana - gewasproductie - theobroma cacao - plantenplagen - miridae - biologische landbouw - actieonderzoek

    Cocoa is an important foreign exchange earner for Ghana. However, compared to Ivory Coast and Malaysia, two other major producing countries, yields are extremely low. The causes of low yields are many. They inc!ude low producer price offered until recently by the government costs of labour, poor tree husbandry practices, and pest and diseases. The recent increase in producer price has rekindled farmers' interest in measures that can help them address low yields especially in pest and disease control. Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana has developed and disseminated a number of recommendations, but less than five percent of cocoa farmers have adopted those, It is believed that one of the major problems is the application of conventional research models through linear processes of technology transfer. With the view to improve research uptake and use, we adopted technographic and diagnostic studies followed by participatory technology development. Hence, we tried an interactive participatory approach focusing on alternative technology generation, development and delivery to other cocoa farmers. Capsids (Sahlbergella singularis and Distantiella theobroma (Heteroptera: Miridae) emerged as the most serious biological production constraints. Therefore, in this study we addressed the problem of capsids in cocoa. We did this within Brong-Densuso area, in the Eastern region of Ghana. With 'free' pesticides spraying by government, organic marketing arrangements between an American company and the cocoa farmers' association collapsed. Thus, we had to explore alternatives in order to sustain farmers' motivation to use the non-chemical pest management technologies. Therefore, the overall objective was to facilitate and develop, together with farmers, Integrated Pest Management methods to control capsids in an organic production system of cocoa. This objective was pursued by grounding the research in the needs and opportunities of farmers through a diagnostic process and by systematic blending of indigenous and formal knowledge. The focus was not only on technical improvements, but also on finding new social and institutional arrangements, such as more effective approach for information sharing and an alternative supply marketing chain for organic farmers.

    Research on agricultural research : towards a pathway for client-oriented research in West Africa
    Nederlof, E.S. - \ 2006
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): N.G. Röling; Arnold van Huis; D.K. Kossou; O. Sakyi-Dawson. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085044512 - 227
    landbouwkundig onderzoek - onderzoek - methodologie - ghana - benin - west-afrika - wetenschappelijk onderzoek - agricultural research - research - methodology - ghana - benin - west africa - scientific research
    The contribution of agricultural research to improving resource-poor farmers' livelihoods has remained sub-optimal. Explanations for this lack of impact are diverse and many approaches were proposed over time to address them, amongst others: transfer of technology to teach farmers the 'right technologies'; designing technological packages (high yielding varieties, fertilisers and pesticides), and facilitating access to input and credit; adapting to farmers' conditions through farming systems research and on-farm research; and participation of farmers in planning and evaluation. All these approaches did however not improve the situation inWest Africaas drastically as was hoped for. In the late 1990's, therefore, it was recognised that researchers alone cannot grasp the complexity and dynamics of the local situation and the need arose for researchers to join forces with farmers to explore and design viable innovations. The reason for the failure of agricultural research was sought in the methodology used. Alongside numerous approaches such as the facilitation of learning, Participatory Technology Development andFarmerFieldSchoolsemerged.The Convergence of Sciences (CoS) Programme squarely fits within this movement and builds on the achievements of these approaches.These approaches as well as the background of this study are extensively discussed in chapters 1 and 2 of this dissertation.

    We conducted ametaresearch on the pathway(s) of science thatCoSfollowed. Eight PhD researchers fromGhanaandBeninconducted in their respective countries research on integrated pest management, weed management, soil fertility and crop diversity with resource-poor farmers aimed at improving the livelihoods of the farmers. The PhD researchers used a social and biological science perspective and were supervised by supervisors from both the social and biological disciplines, both from West Africa and theNetherlands. The comparison of the field experiences formed the basis of ourmetaresearch on theCoSprogramme. The details of the methodology and the background of the PhD research programmes are explored in chapter 3. Before studyingCoS, in order to hone our approach and methodology, and to develop our conceptual framework with respect to the pathways for science, we first looked at two completed research programmes inWest Africawhich aimed at joining forces with farmers to explore and design viable innovations.

    In chapter 4 we discuss a cowpeaFarmerFieldSchoolproject implemented inNorthern Ghana. Whereas Farmer Field Schools are conceived to facilitate farmer learning, the researchers involved in the project had other objectives, namely increased adoption of improved cowpea varieties and better pest management practices. As a result, the curriculum was adapted to the researchers' objectives to push techniques and technologies that 'work'. In this example the method used -FarmerFieldSchool-was transformed into an instrument to transfer technologies. The case studied taught us that an approach, which has been proved successful, can be co-opted for other purposes.

    In chapter 5 we studied a project aimed at ameliorating the livelihoods of resource-poor farmers in centralTogothrough soil fertility improvement. The project engaged in extension activities for diffusion of technologies that 'worked' according to the scientists and experimentation to look at options for as yet unsolved problems. However, the pre-analytical choices made -the unavoidable choices made before engaging in project or research activities- hindered the development of dyadic relationships among farmers and researchers. Farmers were not involved in discussing the pre-analytical choices and as a result the project was not grounded in their needs and expectations. Scientists had a tendency to evaluate a technology based on whether it 'works', while the resource-poor farmers would use many other criteria (with a social, economical or institutional nature), based on what is acceptable to them. The project helped to increase yields and productivity, but did not assist in developing or identifying marketing channels and therefore left the farmers with surpluses they could not sell. The study showed us that it is not enough to develop systems that 'work'. Farm innovation need to be grounded in farmers' needs, be acceptable to them, allow for scaling up and to be embedded in macro-level opportunities.    

    After studying the two completed projects, we improved the initial conceptual framework (developed in chapters 1 and 2) for an alternative pathway of science in an intermezzo chapter, based on a further analysis of the work of previous PhD researchers (Tekelenburg and van Schoubroeck). The framework proposes seven research functions that science has to address if it intends to improve resource-poor farmers' livelihoods. The functions are expected to generate the following outcomes: explanation and understanding of (causal) relationships, effective solutions to problems, optimisation of the local situation, satisfaction of local needs and aspirations, scaling up, opportunities identified and space for change established.

    To improve the impact of agricultural research and develop an alternative pathway of science as a dyadic relationship between farmers and researchers,CoSconsidered the following principles important:

    Democratisation of science through converging scientific and farmers' knowledge.

    Innovation comprising a mix of technical, economical, social, and institutional elements and therefore requiring an effective encounter of social and biological science.

    The CoS pathway(s) of science followed four steps, discussed in chapters 6 and 7:

    Pre-analytical choices were made with regard to, for example, the countries in which the studies would be conducted and the scientific disciplines involved. An attempt was made to keep the choices to a minimum, leaving as many degrees of freedom as possible for farmers and researchers to determine their priority needs and research agendas. In hindsight, even more choices could have included farmers' visions in order to enhance the likelihood that research would eventually benefit them. Donor requirements and time and funding constraints hampered such a procedure.

    Technographic Studies were conducted by senior CoS scientists inWest Africato determine promising innovation domains on a macro-level to assure that realistic opportunities within existing framework conditions would be addressed by the PhD researchers. In retrospect, the studies could have delivered more by making other (pre-analytical) choices, e.g., not (exclusively) a crop focus, and tapping from other existing approaches.

    Diagnostic Studies zoomed in on the village level and aimed at grounding the experiments in the needs and opportunities of the farmers. The Diagnostic Studies inGhanaandBenindiffered in a number of ways mainly due to experiences with a project previously undertaken and with many of the same stakeholders. It remained important, throughout the whole research sequence, to keep a diagnostic perspective, as the situation inWest Africais very dynamic. 

    Experimenting with farmers represented a mix of laboratory, on-station, and on-farm applied research. Co-research accorded with the principles for Participatory Technology Development. The experiments deliberately included a combination of hardware (the technology), software (the idea) and orgware (organisational and institutional arrangements) to constitute viable innovations.

    In chapter 6 we discuss how the CoS PhD researchers fromGhanaandBenin, with their different backgrounds, conducted diagnostic studies as a first step of their research aimed at developing technologies together with farmers. Ourmetaresearch was conducted in a participatory manner and based on consultations with the researchers. The comparison revealed that diagnostic studies identified and established forums of stakeholders, especially of farmers, who were to play key roles in the co-construction of knowledge during the field experimental phase that followed the diagnostic studies. The diagnostic studies gave farmers a say in the design and conduct of the experimental phase. In addition, the diagnostic studies have led to transparent choices with respect to the selection of sites, farmers and experiments. Furthermore, the conditions for negotiation were created. Finally, the diagnostic studies played a crucial role in making the partners within the Convergence of Sciences programme aware of the importance of contextual framework conditions in determining the relevance of the project.

    Chapter 7 is based on the analysis of the work at eight pilot learning sites in the Convergence of Sciences (CoS) programme. Each site featured research fordevelopment with resource-poor farmers and other stakeholders. On the basis of literature review, we first built a perspective on the mix of research outcomes that seems necessary for agricultural research to be demand-driven and client-oriented. This perspective then served as the framework for analysis of the work at the learning sites. Adapted and consolidated on the basis of this empirical work, the framework represents a set of preliminary ideas for designing an effective pathway for agricultural science. The analysis shows thatCoShas, in a number of diverse contexts and with respect to different crops, demonstrated that it is possible to establish vibrant multi-stakeholder learning coalitions at the local and programme levels. It is further possible to identify promising opportunities that can be effectively addressed by agricultural research, if that research is multi-disciplinary, refrains from making constraining pre-analytical choices, pays attention to institutional aspects, and uses procedures that ensure that research is not only supply, but also demand-driven.

    In conclusion, the Convergence of Sciences Programme proposes an alternative pathway of science to enhance the likelihood that resource-poor farmers' livelihoods will improve. However, the PhD researchers had not finalised their analysis at the time of writing of this dissertation and therefore a final verdict of how the research impacted on the livelihoods of the farmers involved remains to be given and also many questions remain unanswered with regard to scaling up and institutionalising such an approach. The dissertation shows, nevertheless, that the preliminary results are promising and that relevant opportunities for farmers can be identified. Of special interest has been the development in theCoSproject of an approach that both looks at the technological and institutional components. Not all eight CoS researchers have been equally effective in experimenting with institutional framework conditions. However, theCoSexperience shows that it is possible.

    Participatory development of weed management technologies in Benin
    Vissoh, P.V. - \ 2006
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): N.G. Röling; Thomas Kuijper; A. Ahanchedé; V. Agbo. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085044345 - 187
    onkruiden - onkruidbestrijding - technologie - benin - ontwikkeling - participatie - agronomie - weeds - weed control - technology - development - participation - benin - agronomy

    Keywords: permanent land use, weeds, indigenous knowledge, integrated crop and soil management, participatory learning, co-research

    Weeds constitute a major constraint to agricultural production in the Republic of Benin. Agricultural intensification and the evolution towards permanent cropping systems have 1ed to the emergence of novel weed problems. A diagnostic study identified speargrass (Imperata cylindricd) and the parasitic weed Striga spp. as major novel weeds. Both weeds are difficult to eradicate, cause substantial food crop losses and exacerbate rural poverty through crop failure, higher labour inputs, rising costs of production and reduced availability of suitable land. Different actors reacted differently to the weed problem, in terms of the construction of knowledge, labour practices and technology development. Farmers have actively engaged in technology development and new labour practices have emerged. Researchers have not translated the new weed problem into a research priority until recently. As a consequence, inappropriate weed management technologies were proposed, and these showed low adoption. As part of the Convergence of Sciences (CoS) programme, this study attempted through a multiple stakeholder approach, using discovery learning and joint experimentation, to enable farmers to co-develop and use low-cost technologies that are effective and acceptable. The joint learning enabled farmers to better understand the biology of these weeds as a basis for choosing appropriate measures. An integrated strategy, which included deep ridging, deep hoe-weeding and shading by legumes, was more effective in suppressing speargrass than farmers' practices. While this new strategy also improved soil organic matter and nitrogen to a subsequent maize crop, farmers' need to bridge the hungry gap forced them to trade off legume grain production against speargrass suppression and subsequent maize yield. Farmers are also constrained by labour shortage and the lack of credit. Given their small windows ofopportunity, farmers can only gradually reclaim land that is infested by speargrass. Early planting, sorghum transplanting, crop rotation and intercropping, and trap cropping were partly effective in increasing cereal and cowpea yield and in reducing Striga hermonthica and S. gesnerioides. However, these improved practices made also clear that the Striga problem can only be addressed within an integrated crop and soil fertility management strategy. Improved weed management can be best achieved through a Farmer Field School to empower small-scale farmers to be self-reliant in finding their own solutions. Farmer self-assessment indicated that the CoS approach contributed to their increased human and social capital assets, which are a prerequisite for raising their livelihoods. The CoS approach, as applied in this study, is critically reflected upon and recommendations are made for the next phase.

    Facilitating community water supply treatment : from transferring filtration technology to multi-stakeholder learning
    Visscher, J.T. - \ 2006
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): N.G. Röling. - [S.l. ] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085043829 - 254
    watervoorziening - behandeling - maatschappelijke betrokkenheid - filtratie - biologische filtratie - technologieoverdracht - participatie - water supply - treatment - community involvement - filtration - biological filtration - technology transfer - participation

    For more than a quarter of a century, IRC has been supporting the development of Slow Sand Filtration (SSF) and more recently, together with CINARA, the pioneering of Multi-Stage Filtration (MSF) - a combination of Gravel Filtration and SSF that has been shown to have great potential as an effective water treatment system for community water supply. This study examines experiences in introducing SSF and MSF technologies in a number of countries and reviews key components of the "learning project approach" developed in Colombia. It seeks to answer three questions about the replication of these two technologies:

    *

    Was the introduction of SSF and MSF successful?

    Has an effective facilitation process emerged for the introduction of the technologies?

    Have the conditions been created to sustain the technologies?

    Based on the findings, it proposes an expansion of the learning project approach into a comprehensive new methodology for participatory technology development and replication to be known as: Facilitating of Learning, Application, Implementation and Reflection -FLAIR.

    Material for the study has come from the SSF project (1975-1986) and the TRANSCOL project between 1989 and 1996. It has been supplemented by revisiting several MSF systems in Colombia in 2005, nine years after the TRANSCOL project ended. The authors' involvement in these projects started in 1982.

    The study presents salient aspects of the SSF and MSF technology including a number of innovations that have been developed over time in the two projects and in a related research project. It shows that results with SSF have been moderately positive, wherever a good quality water source was available. MSF treatment has similar implementation characteristics to SSF but is able to treat water of much poorer quality, and the results were better. The study shows that MSF can perform very well and is well suited to community water supp!y treatment, provided that the contextual situation is supportive.

    The author reconstructs the initial conceptual framework of the SSF project and describes different transfer channels that were used. He stresses the potential of the concept of using project management committees in each country, and draws lessons from the fact that results did not live up to expectation. The SSF project was moderately successful in only three of the six project countries. He argues that the thinking underlying the project was in line with the conventional technology transfer paradigm of that era. Based on a detailed review of the project, the findings support the criticism of this model -confirming that technology transfer is not a unilateral process, but much more complex. The project did not treat the SSF technology at this level of complexity. SSF truly is a complex system and its successful functioning involves interactions between the biological processes and the human operators.

    A change in thinking came about at the end of the SSF project and became the basis for the TRANSCOL project, the second case study presented. An essential change was that the project team was much more convinced that it was necessary to move towards a dialogue approach, to understand better the different perceptions those involved may have about the attributes of the technology and the problems at hand. A learning approach was adopted with a constructivist perspective, recognising that different 'world views' exist.

    The detailed analysis of this project shows that results are more promising, particularly where a supportive framework exists, which primarily seems to be the case in better-off communities with better access to resources and to advisory support. This analysis also shows that the TRANSCOL project has the characteristics of a learning alliance - a series of nested platforms at different institutional levels (national, district, community, etc.) created with the aim of bringing together a range of stakeholders interested in innovation. This learning alliance provided opportunities for social learning on multiple scales.

    The author concludes that the chain-linked mode! better matches the approach to the development and promotion of MSF in TRANSCOL than the conventional technology transfer model, but that much better understanding is obtained when using an Actor Network Theory (ANT) perspective. The MSF systems have the characteristics of what are called boundary objects, abstract or concrete objects which 'inhabit' several intersecting social worlds and can provide a common point of reference. ANT helps to enhance understanding of the interaction between the human actors, the water supply system and the environment. A positive finding is that scaling-out (i.e. the wider application of a locally successful innovation) of MSF technology has occurred in Colombia and that activities are also now being initiated by the TRANSCOL coordinating agency, CINARA, in other countries. Yet the necessary scaling-up (i.e. replacement of the existing organizational and institutional framework in which the technology is embedded) to sustain the MSF systems has not yet taken place.

    Water supply sector staff still has a hardware bias, whereas the sector needs a soft-systems approach, because a multitude of perceptions about problems and potential solutions exist among the different stakeholders. Sector staff and communities need to be able to understand not just the " hardware", but also: the "software", which deals with the interrelation between the technology, the water supply system, the operators, the users and possibly other stakeholders; the "orgware", the organizational base and rules and regulations involved; and the "ecoware", the relationship between the technology, the ecology and the environment.

    The author concludes the study by proposing a FLAIR-based approach, adapting the concept of learning projects developed in TRANSCOL, to create appreciation of the needs and desires of stakeholders and help them to gain insight into problems and to participate in solutions. Process facilitation, using participatory tools, is the corner stone for every water project and for innovation in the sector. This requires that sector staff come to grips with key concepts such as, soft-system thinking, sustainable and equitable financing, efficient water use, and water quality, and either learn about process facilitation or involve process facilitators. In addition, a FLAlR-based approach sets out to introduce new concepts or to enhance sector performance in a broader sense. This converts some mainstream projects into 'parallel learning projects'. These become theatres of innovation -learning spaces in which key actors can experiment and learn about new approaches, strategies and technologies and subsequently feed this learning back to mainstream implementation. The essence is to involve the stakeholders, particularly including the political and management levels, in meaningful discourse about problems and solutions and about scaling-out and scaling-up of innovations that contribute to solving 'their' problem, taking their 'stakes' into account.

    The FLAiR-based approach and the overall findings of this study present an important challenge for all sector actors, and especially for governments and universities to stimulate the required change in thinking about the need for an ecologically sound and sustainable water supply service in which water quality and the social process are taken seriously. It also opens the possibility for communities to help fellow communities, thus creating the leverage needed to tru!y enhance sector performance.

    Das social Kapital : institutions and entrepreneurial networks in Russia's exit from socialism
    O'Brien, D.W. - \ 2006
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): N.G. Röling. - [S.l. ] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085044895 - 233
    instellingen - ondernemerschap - socialisme - rusland - sociaal kapitaal - institutions - entrepreneurship - socialism - russia - social capital
    Towards a dairy farm that produces more than milk
    Ketelaars, J.J.M.H. ; Evert, F.K. van; Rutgers, B. - \ 2006
    In: Changing European farming systems for a better future. New visions for rural areas,. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086860029 - p. 183 - 183.
    Supporting discussions on land use : a design instrument that integrates anture conservation, economic performance and landscape quality in agricultural areas
    Groot, J.C.J. ; Rossing, W.A.H. ; Stobbelaar, D.J. ; Renting, H. ; Ittersum, M.K. van - \ 2006
    In: Changing European farming systems for a better future. New visions for rural areas. Book of Proceedings of the 7th European International Farming Systems Analysis Symposium, Wageningen, The Netherlands, 7-11 May 2006. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086860029 - p. 399 - 404.
    The changing perception of expert advice in nature conservation: a case of the Drentsche Aa
    Bommel, S. van - \ 2006
    In: Changing European farming systems for a better future: new visions for rural areas / Langeveld, H., Röling, N., Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086860029 - p. 69 - 73.
    natuurbescherming - participatie - regionaal bestuur - natuurontwikkeling - beekdalen - drenthe - nature conservation - participation - regional government - nature development - brook valleys - drenthe
    The paper shows that during the last decade, governance has created the setting for a new role for nature conservation experts in the policy process in the Drentsche Aa area
    Urban oriented agriculture: The case of Almere (The Netherlands)
    Stobbelaar, D.J. ; Warnaar, M. ; Jansma, J.E. ; Rossing, W.A.H. - \ 2006
    In: Changing European farming systems for a better future. New visions for rural areas. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086860029 - p. 159 - 163.
    stadslandbouw - zuidelijk flevoland - urban agriculture - zuidelijk flevoland
    New functions for the rural area are important in the changing role of agriculture. Among them: is urban oriented agriculture: agriculture that is aiming at strengthening the ties with citizens. Research on the conditions for the success of this type of agriculture is urgently needed because of its profound benefits for both farming and society as a whole
    Opportunities and constraints of farming styles to meet the landscape preferences of rural inhabitants
    Stobbelaar, D.J. ; Kuijper, F. ; Renting, H. ; Groot, J.C.J. ; Jellema, A. ; Rossing, W.A.H. - \ 2006
    In: Changing European farming systems for a better future. New visions for rural areas. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086860029 - p. 445 - 449.
    Socio-cultural issues of dairy production systems in The Netherlands: Results of farm visits with six citizen panels
    Boogaard, B.K. ; Oosting, S.J. ; Bock, B.B. - \ 2006
    In: Changing European farming systems for a better future : New visions for rural areas / Langeveld, H., Röling, N., Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086860029 - p. 179 - 179.
    Farmer-driven protection of meadow birds in the Friesian Woodlands (northern Netherlands)
    Swagemakers, P. - \ 2006
    In: Changing European Farming Systems for a Better Future: New Visions for Rural Areas / Langeveld, H., Röling, N., Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086860029 - p. 450 - 454.
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