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Research Report

Navigating amidst complexity: Guide to implementing effective research and development to improve livelihoods and the environment

Bruce M. Campbell
Jürgen Hagmann
Ann Stroud
Richard Thomas
Eva Wollenberg
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2006
Pages: 95
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-11)

    Billions of people living in poverty are dependent on local natural resources for their survival and livelihoods. Natural resources provide goods and services such as soil fertility restoration, regulation of water quality and quantity, biodiversity, medicines, foods, feed and fibre. These are the foundations of agro-ecosystems. Although natural resources are a key to rural livelihoods their unsustainable use by poor people themselves or by more powerful stakeholders, can result in land degradation, loss of habitat and biodiversity, and pollution.

    There are a number of global trends that will adversely affect the rural poor: increasing rural population densities on a limited...

  2. (pp. 12-19)

    Before describing the cornerstones, elements and strategies needed to operationalise NRM interventions (Section 3), we briefly outline some of the foundations (Sayer and Campbell 2004; Harwood and Kassam 2003; Campbell et al. 2006) behind the approach. A set of principles have been suggested, grouped into three categories (Figure 2.1):

    (a) learning approaches – committing to action research, learning and experimenting among stakeholders;

    (b) systems approaches – what types of action are needed where?

    (c) organisational models for implementing effective NRM.

    The operational cornerstones and the foundations are closely linked, as indicated in Table 2.1.

    A commitment to learning approaches is...

  3. (pp. 20-70)

    The operational cornerstones for managing NRM interventions are based on the LearningWheel, a methodology developed by Jürgen Hagmann to systematise experiences of multiple stakeholders (Annex 1; Hagmann 2005). This particular LearningWheel, with its eleven cornerstones (Figure 3.1), was developed in the Aleppo workshop (Turkelboom et al. 2002) based on the analysis of the stakeholders’ experience and building on the foundations developed in earlier workshops. It describes NRM as a comprehensive systemic process involving a number of key functions (‘cornerstones’) which need to be in place or developed if interventions are to be successful.

    Experiences from a variety of cases from...

  4. (pp. 71-74)

    This chapter is about managing the research process to ensure quality. It reiterates some of the key features of R&D in natural resource management (Section 4.1) and then goes through some of the key stages in the R&D process. The chapter also shows how the LearningWheel can be used. The LearningWheel emerged out of practice, and is then applied to inform better practice.

    ‘Research for development’ (R4D) or ‘Integrated Natural Resource Management’ (INRM) are slogans that need translation into reality. Learning is no longer seen as exclusively for research, but should be fostered as part of all innovation systems. The...

  5. (pp. 75-76)

    Research and development within NRM arenas is undoubtedly in an exciting phase, with a whole suite of organisations in different contexts embarking on more integrative research. Given the need to view rural development problems from multiple perspectives, the time is ripe for new approaches to NRM research. There are converging tendencies in conservation, development, agriculture and governance. Competencies in inter-disciplinary work are higher than before. Numerous actors recognise the need for change in research systems. The principles and operational cornerstones provide a comprehensive description of a new way of doing business. The R&D approach advocated here is much more than...