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Participatory Research Methods For Technology Evaluation: A Manual For Scientists Working With Farmers


  • Bellon, Mauricio R.


This manual presents methods that enable agricultural scientist and farmers to evaluate technologies/practices jointly. The methods are specifically designed for participatory research on germplasm and soil fertility technologies, and they are illustrated with actual examples from three research projects. The manual begins by reviewing conceptual issues that are important in participatory research and presents information to assist researchers in selecting research sites and fieldwork participants. Next, the manual describes the rationale and associated methods for each major activity in farmer participatory research: diagnosing farmers' conditions, evaluating current and new technologies/practices, and assessing their impact. Goals, procedures, advantages, and limitations of each method are outlined. The manual also presents detailed information on analyzing data gathered through participatory methods, discusses differences between gathering data through participatory methods and more traditional structured farm surveys, and offers examples, based on field experience, of the choices and strategies involved in applying these methods.

Suggested Citation

  • Bellon, Mauricio R., 2001. "Participatory Research Methods For Technology Evaluation: A Manual For Scientists Working With Farmers," Manuals 23717, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:cimmma:23717

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    Cited by:

    1. Tschakert, Petra & Coomes, Oliver T. & Potvin, Catherine, 2007. "Indigenous livelihoods, slash-and-burn agriculture, and carbon stocks in Eastern Panama," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 807-820, February.
    2. Mujeyi, Kingstone & Chamunorwa-Mujeyi, Angeline, 2013. "Commercialization of Under-Utilized Plant Species in Zimbabwe: The Case of Jatropha (Jatropha curcas) in Mutoko District," 2013 AAAE Fourth International Conference, September 22-25, 2013, Hammamet, Tunisia 161285, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    3. Cash, David & Clark, William & Alcock, Frank & Dickson, Nancy & Eckley, Noelle & Jager, Jill, 2002. "Salience, Credibility, Legitimacy and Boundaries: Linking Research, Assessment and Decision Making," Working Paper Series rwp02-046, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    4. Smale, M. & Bellon, M. R. & Aguirre, J. A. & Manuel Rosas, I. & Mendoza, J. & Solano, A. M. & Martinez, R. & Ramirez, A. & Berthaud, J., 2003. "The economic costs and benefits of a participatory project to conserve maize landraces on farms in Oaxaca, Mexico," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 29(3), pages 265-275, December.
    5. Smale, M. & Bellon, Mauricio R. & Aguirre, J.A. & Rosas, I. Manuel & Mendoza, Jorge & Solano, A.M. & Martinez, R. & Ramirez, A. & Berthaud, Julien, 2003. "The economic costs and benefits of a participatory project to conserve maize landraces on farms in Oaxaca, Mexico," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 29(3), December.
    6. Tschakert, Petra, 2007. "Environmental services and poverty reduction: Options for smallholders in the Sahel," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 75-86, April.


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