Ison, R.

Soft-Systems Methodology for Action Research: The Role of a College Farm in an Agricultural Education Institution

This paper concerns the use of action research within a research institute both to meet immediate objectives of the staff and to learn about the research methodology. In a situation characterised by decreased funding and curriculum reform based on the concepts of experiential learning, the Checkland soft-systems methodology was adopted to manage a change in the role of university farms using a consensus approach.

Together get a grip on the future: an RRA in the Emmental of Switzerland

A training centre for extension workers in the Emmental region of Switzerland "took on an initiative in RRA". The team consisted of twelve people from different backgrounds, five of whom were from 'the "outside" with experience in 'Southern' countries. This article describes in detail the programme, highlighting methods specific to this 'Northern' context (for example, using the telephone book to locate farms).

RRA has a role to play in 'Northern' countries

The first RRA was carried out in Australia in 1988 with the aim of "forging closer links between researchers and farmers, utilising farmers' expertise and determining possibilities for future agronomic research in the area". It was also hoped to evaluate RRA as a "problem identification method in a developed country context". The RRA was carried out in two phases (exploratory and topical) with two teams of researchers from agricultural and social science backgrounds.