Research methods support for agroecology
The McKnight Foundation’s Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP) funds collaborative research projects that aim to explore solutions for sustainable, local food systems. IDEMS is involved in offering research methods support to CCRP projects and leads on the support for the West African CCRP projects, a collection of agriculture research projects spread across Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali. The nature of their work is impressive and the west African CCRP community of practice is truly inspiring.
Our work involves supporting projects in the entire research process from design to analysis and communication, often through in country and regional workshops, data clinics, inception and community of practice meetings and online remote support. It includes the whole range of support from the very basic traditional research methods all the way to pushing the boundaries of research approaches to deal with complexity.
Farmer Research Networks (FRN)
FRN’s have emerged from CCRP as a powerful approach to agroecological research. At the heart of the FRN approach is a change of power dynamic whereby farmers are introduced to principles of research and then empowered to be more active decision makers. From a researcher perspective the FRN approach enables them to have much larger and richer datasets that they could otherwise dream of having access to while having to accept the complexity of the resulting data.
IDEMS is really proud to have been instrumental in supporting West African CCRP projects to engage with and embrace these challenging new research approaches. It is from observing some of the outcomes of these experiences that our broader efforts to develop new research methodologies, that embrace complexity, have emerged.