Conway, G.

Conway on RRA for 'Nature'

This brief article on RRA by Gordon Conway was submitted to the magazine 'nature' but rejected as "not of scientific interest". It discusses the origins of RRA in disillusionment with conventional approaches to development, and reporting papers presented at a conference in Khon Kaen, Thailand, it introduces the RRA methodology, tools, applications and future potential. Regarding the latter, Conway notes that it remains to be seen whether conventional journals will accept papers based on RRA.

Identifying Key Questions for the Development of Tropical Ecosystems

This paper emphasises the importance of understanding agroecosystems by employing cross-disciplinary approaches and drawing on of farmers' knowledge where appropriate. The systems approach and procedures for agroecosystem analysis are outlined. Pattern analysis (of time, space, flows and decision-making) are considered. The paper focuses on key questions which arise in the process of system definition, pattern analysis and discussion of system properties. These concepts are illustrated diagramatically throughout.

Agricultural Ecology and Farming Systems Research

This paper presents agroecosystem analysis as a methodology for dealing with the complex interactions of agriculture and environment, and suggests that they should be understood as holistic systems. In contrast to farming systems research and integrated rural development approaches, the agroecosystem analysis approach developed here can deal with all levels in the hierarchy of agroecosystems, and focuses on trade-offs between different measures of performance. The linkages between agriculture and ecology, and key properties of agroecosystems are discussed.

RRA and agroecosystem analysis: a case study from Northern Pakistan

This article looks at the general question of systems analysis and analyses the components of a 'system'. As such, it is useful for anyone concerned with working participatively with systems of any sort. The question of how RRA methods can be used in conjunction with agroecosystem analysis to develop research and development priorities is considered.

Training Notes for Agroecosystem Analysis and Rapid Rural Appraisal.

The book is aimed at any individual who is attempting to understand, with limited time and resourses, any local system. It describes Agroecosytem Analysis (AA), an exploratory Rapid Rural Appraisal methodology. AA is a systematic but flexible workshop procedure, based on systems analysis, for determining research and development priorities in rural development. The book aims to supplement readings from a bibliography that is supplied.

Sustainability in Agricultural Development: trade-offs with productivity, stability, and equitability

This paper aims to estabish a working definition of sustainable agriculture. The paper advocates Agroecosystem Analysis, using the concepts of agroecosystems, agroecosystem hierarchies, agroecosystem properties and their trade-offs to stimulate interdisciplinary analysis. The paper argues that defining sustainability in terms of preservation or duration has little practical value. Long-term experiments to measure persistence are of research interest but take too long to constitute a practicable analytical method.

Rapid Rural Appraisal strategies for collecting and analysing data: Papua New Guinea Export Tree Crops Study

This paper establishes models for the collection and analysing of data for the Papua New Guinea Tree Crops Study. Four schemes of rural data collection are distinguished: pure monitoring; research for large-scale projects; research that is participatory and small-scale; and, research that strikes a balance btween the second and third schemes. The paper states that the Papua New Guinea Export Tree Crops Study requires characteristics from all of these schemes and attempts to provide a sythesis of "top down" and "bottom up" approaches for this study.

Agroecosystem analysis for research

The chapter describes the procedure known as Agroecosystem Analysis. This rests on the assumption that analysis, understanding and approaches to improvement of an agroecosystem are best gained from strategic knowledge of that system, as opposed to an attempt to create a complete model. The analysis is based on a week-long workshop aimed at sythesising the approaches of people from different disciplines and attaining useful data from case-study sites.