by: Norman E. Breuer, Clyde W. Fraisse, Peter E. Hildebrand
Volume 2009, No. 5, 7 October 2009
We used a participatory approach for research, development, and dissemination of AgroClimate, a decision support system for climate risk reduction in agriculture. Feedback from stakeholders and dissemination of climate forecast technology were simultaneous outputs from interactions with potential end users. We describe the research and development process, including the use of Sondeos (a semi-structured, multidisciplinary team discussion process), focus groups, semi-structured interviews, web-surveys, on-line feedback and participation at farmer association meetings. Quality and quantity of feedback, cost, number of activities, and numbers of stakeholders reached were scaled for analysis. Radar diagrams were used to characterize the several research participatory methodologies used. Results showed that all methods were useful. The greatest quantity of feedback was obtained through Sondeos, interviews, and a web survey. The greatest quality of feedback came from the web survey, workshops, interviews and Sondeos. Dissemination of climate forecast technology and applications available on AgroClimate were greatest at farmer association meetings and lowest at workshops. All methods mentioned are appropriate loci for two-way translational science to occur. While disseminating climate information, feedback and new ideas from potential end users are obtained. Thus AgroClimate and many of the tools within it may be thought of as having been co-developed by scientists and stakeholders.