It draws on the experience of the author with regard to socio-economic surveys carried out in Kenya and elsewhere in East Africa. It considers problems in sampling, farmers' responses, the interview situation, survey staff, and various problems with regard to recording accuracy and data processing. The paper concludes by noting 20 key aspects that should be taken into account when designing surveys. These include: (1) careful selection and training of staff; (2) the importance of learning the farming systems in advance; (3) where possible to choose farmers for whom the key parameters are known from other sources; (4) utilize at least one full time supervisor resident in the survey area with independent transport; and (5) allow two thirds of the total period for activities other than the field survey, ie. data processing.
This paper discusses two related questions: Are research results usable? Are the data actually used in decision-making? Both are determined by the researcher's choice of research methodology. The links between choice of research methodology and the application of results is discussed through a simple conceptual model. A satisfactory link requires a decision to allocate part of research capacity to the evaluation of previous research. To demonstrate the difficulties involved in rigorous analysis, a case study of ten years of research for agricultural development in three East African countries (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania) is reviewed. Deficiencies in agricultural planning and in applied research for agricultural development are discussed in detail. The causes of ineffective applied research are viewed as lying in scientific culture. An example of applied research with implemented solutions is given, emphasising the benefits of participant research and management procedures for planning.
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.
With this pioneering book introducing participatory approaches in rural development, the author challenges preconceptions dominating rural development at the time. The central theme of the book is that rural poverty is often unseen or misperceived by outsiders, those who are not themselves rural and poor. The author contends that researchers, scientists, administrators and fieldworkers rarely appreciate the richness and validity of rural peopleÆs knowledge, or the hidden nature of rural poverty. He argues for a new professionalism, with fundamental reversals in outsidersÆ learning, values and behavior, and proposes more realistic action for tackling rural poverty. The book is divided into eight chapters focusing on rural poverty unperceived (i.e. as perceived by outsiders); two cultures of outsiders, negative academics vs. positive practitioners; how outsiders learn; power structures and knowledge; integrated rural poverty including deprivation, vulnerability and powerlessness; making priorities for action; reversals in professional values and bridging gaps between disciplines, professions and departments; and recommendations and discussion of practical actions.