This guide outlines an approach for monitoring and evaluating participatory research (PR). It is intended to provide support to people involved in research and development projects using a PR methodology, in particular at the community level dealing with natural resource management issues. The guide is not a blue-print, but addresses issues that are at the heart of making an art of monitoring and evaluating PR. Chapter one gives a general introduction to issues that influence PR, focusing on the nature of knowledge and information, types of participation, influences on the results of PA, social issues in natural resource management, attitudes of researchers, community perceptions of the research, and project characteristics. The guide is then organized around six basic, interrelated questions that need to be answered when doing monitoring and evaluation (M&E). It examines the reasons for M&E of PR; who benefits from M&E; what to monitor and evaluate; who should monitor and evaluate; when to monitor and evaluate; and how to monitor and evaluate. Examples of tools for M&E of PR are given in each of the five preceding chapters, and a list of these tools with page references is presented at the beginning of the guide. The guide also contains a selected bibliography for references to more detailed information on the subject.
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. The key concepts and assumptions of agroecosystem analysis are introduced. This method of analysis is best conducted in multidisciplinary workshops. Pattern analysis (across space and time, of flows and decisions) is explained. Further sections deal with agroecosystem design, and technology assessment and development for a variety of situations, including pest management, multiple cropping, agroforestry, crop-livestock polyculture, soil ecology, social forestry, and non-agricultural production. The final section deals with implementation.
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. The object of such a workshop is to create key questions concerning an agroecosystem and to stimulate research into answers to those questions.
This book presents agroecosystem analysis as a methodology for dealing with the complex interactions of agriculture and environment. The first chapter discusses these linkages, and suggests that they should be understood as systems, whose analysis requires multidisciplinarity. In contrast to farming systems research and integrated rural development approaches, the agroecosystem analysis approach developed in the rest of this book can deal with all levels in the hierarchy of agroecosystems, and focuses on trade-offs between different measures of performance. The key concepts behind this approach are introduced in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 discusses agroecosystem analysis for research. Processes and stages of research exercises using this approach are explained. Chapter 4 discusses agroecosystem analysis for development action. The procedures are modified to make it action focused and less time consuming. This involves adoption of RRA methods which are introduced. The final chapter discusses challenges for agroecosystem design, technology assessment and development and implementation which arise from agroecosystem analysis.