INCREASING INTEREST AMONG DONORS in linking natural resource management with poverty alleviation has motivated concerns to fund research that builds on experiences of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in participatory technology development. The goal of such research is to develop sustainable agricultural technologies appropriate for heterogeneous environments occupied by poor farming communities. Another research objective is to improve understanding of the processes involved, their outcomes and wider applicability. Partners in this type of research project are often state research institutions or extension departments, which are typically bureaucratic but are wide reaching. The research is likely to involve a range of stakeholders, especially when the research is initiated by external actors responding to identified local needs. Stakeholders include donors, researchers, local institutions, and farmers with particular interests or direct involvement in the research. Stakeholder interests and the state institutions that support the research become significant factors influencing the process of developing agricultural technologies, monitoring performance, and evaluating impacts. For instance, donor interests pressure researchers to produce generalizable results of farm trials in order to apply research outputs more widely.
Lawrence, A.; Haylor, G.; Barahona, C.; Meusch, E. Adapting participatory methods to meet different stakeholder needs: Farmers’ experiments in Bolivia and Laos. In: Learning from change: Issues and Experiences in Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation.. ITDG Publishing, London, UK (2000) ISBN 0-88936-895-3