Collective action and property rights for sustainable development
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Knox, Anna; Lilja, Nina. 2004. Collective action and property rights for sustainable development. Washington, US: International Food Policy Research Institute.
Permanent link to cite or share this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/76148
Local innovation is the key to sustainable improvement in agricultural production, natural resource management, and rural livelihood systems. One of the main lessons of participatory research is that involving stakeholders in the early stages of research and development leads to better targeting of technologies, a greater sense of local ownership, and often more economically secure livelihoods. Participatory research approaches have been shown to reduce the time between the initiation of research and the adoption of new technologies and to increase both the rate and speed of adoption.The process of participating in research can also have a significant impact on farmers’ human and social capital. Combining technical innovations with collective action initiatives has been shown to lead to substantial farmer benefits. A number of farmer-led research and extension (FRE) approaches incorporate collective action for different purposes and at different stages in the innovation process. Collective action can be useful in sharing knowledge, setting priorities, and experimenting with, evaluating, and disseminating technologies. Participatory research and collective action tend to reinforce one another.Where strong norms of collective action and social capital exist, they create a climate conducive to joint experimentation and sharing of innovation. Collective action can be instrumental in motivating participation, coordinating the actions of multiple resource users, spreading risks, managing environmental spillovers, and scaling up the benefits of participatory research.When seeded by external facilitation and scientific partnership, a carefully nurtured process of participation also has the potential to strengthen social networking, cooperation, and organization.