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“It was hard to come to mutual understanding…” – The multidimensionality of social learning processes concerned with sustainable natural resource use in India, Africa and Latin America
Rist, Stephan
Sustainable natural resource use requires that multiple actors reassess their situation in a systemic perspective. This can be conceptualised as a social learning process between actors from rural communities and the experts from outside organisations. A specifically designed workshop provided the background for evaluating the potentials and constraints of intensified social learning processes. Case studies in rural communities in India, Bolivia, Peru and Mali showed that changes in the narratives of the participants of the workshop followed a similar temporal sequence relatively independently from their specific contexts. Social learning processes were found to be more likely to be successful if they 1) opened new space for communicative action, allowing for an intersubjective re-definition of the present situation, 2) contributed to rebalance the relationships between social capital and social, emotional and cognitive competencies within and between local and external actors. Journal of Systemic Practice and Action Research 19(3):219-237. Download from: SpringerLink
"But now men also listen to the women"
Locher, Martina
Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques 2007, LXI - 4/2007, pp. 1113-1139. Order this publication from: Peter Lang Publishing Group
"Donor-driven" forest governance in northwest Pakistan - challenges and future outlook
Geiser, Urs
In sum, the present situation of forestry in NWFP is one of tension, mistrust, and the existence of unrelated forest governance regimes (customary procedures; state/donors approach). We argue (1) that more independent agents are required to mediate between state and local forest users, and (2) that local people need to be provided with the information that they are entitled to demand proper and inclusive Joint Forest Management Committees. For donors, this represents a delicate situation of choice and "positioning", i.e. defining with whom to cooperate and who to support. In: Carter J, Schmidt K, Robinson P, Stadtmüller T, Nizami A, editors. Forests, landscapes and governance: multiple actors, multiple roles. Download
"En ville, chacun est dans son chacun"
Bossart, Rita
PhD Thesis, University of Basel, Switzerland For further information please contact the author
"I am the Household Head now!"
Kaspar, Heidi
Kathmandu, Nepal Institute of Development Studies (NIDS)
"In the city, everybody only cares for himself"
Bossart, Rita
"Various studies on African solidarity, survival strategies and the 'therapy man agement group' [J. M. Janzen (1978) The Quest for Therapy in Lower Zaire, Berkeley, Los Angeles & London: University of California Press] have suggested that institutionalized relationships in the form of networks or groups afford an individual access to resources, also in case of illness. My study reconsiders these arguments in ethnographic research about everyday illness management. It focuses on a heterogeneous urban neighbourhood in Abidjan and analyses who offers help to whom, and what kind of help people offer to one another. The findings show that social networks play an important but at the same time restricted role in illness management. The main source of assistance in response to affliction is household members. Apart from emotional and moral support, relatives living outside the household and non-kin play only a minor role. The social network offers help only sporadically, and very often the sick person has to ask friends and family several times before she or he receives financial or practical support. The emphasis given to social networks in the existing literature is often overestimated, at least in the case of illness. These findings implicate the importance of strengthening informal and formal security systems, especially in an urban context of economic hardship and political insecurity." Anthropology & Medicine 2003, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 343-359 Available from: Informaworld
"Should I buy a cow or a TV?"
Bichsel, Christine
International labour migration has become a strategy against poverty in many parts of the developing world. By remitting their earnings to the families they leave behind, migrant labourers have become a primary source of livelihoods for many of the world's poorest nations. The long-term consequences of this practice on local development are the subject of this study, based on reseach conducted in three rural communities in Mexico, India and Kyrgyzstan. NCCR North-South Dialogue 2005 Download
"We are as Flexible as Rubber!"
Strasser, Balz
Since the beginning of the 1990s, the Indian natural rubber sector has been affected by trends towards trade liberalisation, a reduced role of the State, and organisational reforms. Rubber cultivators in Kerala - around 1 million holders cultivating an average 0.5 ha of rubber plantation - have been affected by these processes in different ways. It is hypothesised that growers - especially the ones located in agro-ecologically marginal rubber areas - are coping with these changes with diversified income-generating strategies. The book shows that the different types of holdings have specific management strategies and ways of dealing with risks. Furthermore, there is evidence that specific local institutions and organisations can hinder and/or support the income generation of the different types of holdings. Order from: Manohar Books
"We could show the men, that we are able to do it"
Locher, Martina
In: Premchander S, Müller C, editors. 2006. Gender and Sustainable Development: Case Studies from NCCR North-South. Perspectives of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South, Bern: Geographica Bernensia, pp. 267-284 Download
¿A dónde va Bolivia?
Hufty, Marc
La Paz: Plural Editores, NCCR North-South
“No somos juguete de nadie…”
Orozco Ramírez, Shirly
“We are Nobody’s Plaything…” Decentralization, Social Movements and Natural Resources. Case Studies from Bolivia La Paz, Plural Editores
“Trickling down or spilling over?”
Mason, Simon
Paper presented at the ECPR Joint Sessions of Workshops, Edinburgh, 28 March to 2 April 2003 This paper focuses on the linkages between international and subnational water conflicts in the Eastern Nile and Syr Daria Basins. It follows the notion of “conflict system”, to conceptualize dynamic linkages between different “water conflict arenas”. The aim of our paper is to categorize possible linkages, describe examples and explore implications for water conflict mitigation, with the goal of a better problem-solving potential. Download
“We are as flexible as rubber!”
Strasser, Balz
PhD Thesis, University of Zurich, Switzerland In the face of economic liberalisation, a reduced role of the state, and the changing institutional setting affecting less developed countries, it has become important to understand the impacts of these processes on the livelihoods of rural households. Empirical studies show that smallholders are facing more and more difficulties in dealing with declining terms of trade and the fluctuating prices of agricultural commodities, which play an important role in the income of smallholder producers in rural areas. There is a hypothesis that, since the beginning of these processes, the opening-up of rural areas to the “global world” has induced a shift from solely agricultural and farm income towards a more diverse income portfolio. A second hypothesis is that the local institutional setting plays a key role in supporting or hindering the diversified livelihood strategies of smallholders. This study takes these as its research hypotheses and seeks to validate them through a crop- and locality-specific case study. Download Abstract
”It is the palu that tires me.”
Granado, Stefanie
PhD Thesis, University of Basel, Switzerland For further information please contact the author
A collaborative monitoring concept for developing cities
Repetti, Alexandre
PhD Thesis, epfl, Switzerland For further information please contact the author
A Critical Analysis of Forest Policies of Pakistan
Shahbaz, Babar
Pakistan has very low forest cover, but these forests are very diverse in nature and of significant importance for the livelihood security of millions of rural people who live in and around these forests. Policies, institutions and processes form the context within which individuals and households construct and adapt livelihood strategies, on the other hand these institutionally shaped livelihood strategies may have an impact on the sustainability of natural resource use. The present paper aims to critically analyse the forest policies of Pakistan. Implications for sustainable forest management and livelihood security of forest dependent people are also given. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 2007, Vol. 12, No. 4, pp. 441-453 Available for purchase from: SpringerLink.com
A decade of armed conflict and livelihood insecurity in Nepal
Upreti, Bishnu Raj
This chapter looks at the different sources of the decade-long armed conflict in Nepal and their interrelationship with livelihood insecurity. The complexity and interwovenness of the different causes is highlighted and their collective impact on the livelihoods of the poor and marginalised people examined. In: Upreti BR, Müller-Böker U, editors. Livelihood Insecurity and Social Conflict in Nepal. Kathmandu: South Asia Coordination Office, pp 9-47. Download
A Discrete-Event Dynamic Systems Approach for Environmental Decision-Support
Huang, Dong-Bin
PhD Thesis, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland In his thesis, Dong-Bin Huang developed an event-based dynamic material flow and life-cycle-inventory modeling method and applied it in the urban area of Kunming (China) for urban water resource planning and pollution control of Dianchi Lake. Download
'A female ... will not be available here': Gendered labour markets in Northwest Pakistan's rural development sector
Grünenfelder, Julia
While Pakistan has legally binding mechanisms to promote gender equality in employment, labour markets are shaped by the highly gender-segregated society they are embedded in. Based on the conceptualisation of labour markets as gendered institutions, I explore how gender generates unequal access to the labour market for social organisers—a term referring to a type of development practitioner—in the Hazara region, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan, making it difficult for women to participate in an occupational field where they are urgently needed to work with village women. go to publisher's website
A la recherche des déterminants institutionnels du bien-être des populations sédentaires et nomades dans la plaine du Waza-Logone de la frontière camerounaise et tchadienne
Fokou, Gilbert
"Cette contribution présente les articulations d’une étude actuellement en cours dans la région du Logone et Chari au Cameroun et dont le but est d’oeuvrer pour l’élaboration des savoirs et des connaissances pour le développement pastoral. De nombreux groupes de populations sédentaires et nomades vivent dans cette localité et dépendent des plaines inondées du Sud du lac Tchad pour leur subsistance. Or, les ressources naturelles connaissent de grandes variations saisonnières et deviennent parfois la propriété des groupes sédentaires. De ce fait, les éleveurs nomades éprouvent de nombreuses difficultés pour accéder non seulement aux pâturages et à l’eau, mais aussi aux services de santé de qualité (centres hospitaliers, médicaments efficaces). L’ambition ici est de définir de nouvelles conditions institutionnelles d’accès aux soins de santé pour les populations sédentaires et nomades. En fait, la plupart des problèmes auxquels sont confrontés les nomades de nos jours seraient dus à l’inadaptation des règles formelles en vigueur aux stratégies de survie des populations rurales. Celles mises en place à l’époque pré-coloniale ne sont plus opérationnelles. L’on pourrait conclure, sous forme d’hypothèse à vérifier, que la définition de nouveaux cadres institutionnels de gestion des ressources naturelles pourrait contribuer à l’amélioration des conditions de santé des pasteurs nomades." Médecine Tropicale 2004, Vol. 64, No. 5, pp. 1-5 Download
A Methodological Framework for Incorporating Socio-economic and Socio-political Issues and Dynamics in Forest Health Monitoring, Conservation and, Management in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Kenya and Tanzania
Madoffe, Seif
Madoffe S, Kiteme BP, Wiesmann U, Mvena ZK. 2004. A Methodological Framework for Incorporating Socio-economic and Socio-political Issues and Dynamics in Forest Health Monitoring, Conservation, and Management in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Kenya and Tanzania. Proceedings of the 6th Conference of the African Mountain Association.
A model of animal-human brucellosis transmission in Mongolia
Zinsstag, Jakob
"We developed a dynamic model of livestock-to-human brucellosis transmission in Mongolia. The compartmental model considers transmission within sheep and cattle populations and the transmission to humans as additive components. The model was fitted to demographic and seroprevalence data (Rose Bengal test) from livestock and annually reported new human brucellosis cases in Mongolia for 1991–1999 prior to the onset of a mass livestock-vaccination campaign (S19 Brucella abortus for cattle and Rev1 Brucella melitensis for sheep and goat). The vaccination effect was fitted to livestock- and human-brucellosis data from the first 3 years of the vaccination campaign (2000–2002). Parameters were optimized on the basis of the goodness-of-fit (assessed by the deviance). The simultaneously fitted sheep–human and cattle–human contact rates show that 90% of human brucellosis was small-ruminant derived. Average effective reproductive ratios for the year 1999 were 1.2 for sheep and 1.7 for cattle." Preventive Veterinary Medicine 2005, Vol. 69, Issues 1-2, pp. 77-95 Available from: Science Direct
A sociology of international research partnerships for sustainable development
Zingerli, Claudia
Summary of conference paper presented at 12th General Conference of the European Association of Development Research Institutes (EADI), Geneva, 24-28 June 2008. In: NORRAG News 40:140-142 Download
A Sustainable Use of the Blue Gold?
Tauchnitz, Evelyne
Franziska Sigrist, 2008
This Master thesis seeks to identify factors affecting the sustainability of water policy making in Ethiopia which in turn influences the sustainability of water use. Opposing a rather western approach examining inclusion and interaction patterns of key decision makers to a cultural-ethnological approach focusing on particular characteristics of the cultural heritage, the study concludes that both have explanatory value in the Ethiopian context. Key outputs of the study include a detailed description of the actors in the Ethiopian water sector and a thorough analysis of the actors’ constellations as well as communication and cooperation networks among these actors and how they relate to sustainable policy results. It could be demonstrated that network analysis can also be applied to a developing country context. Master's Thesis at University of Bern Download
A World Soils Agenda
Hurni, Hans
Bern, Geographica Bernensia
Acces to Land Resources: Livelihood Strategy of Ex-Kamaiyas of Kailali District
Neupane, Mahima
Kamayia is an agriculture-based bonded labour system, practiced in the Terai belt of Nepal. This study attempted to understand the livelihood status and strategies, the vulnerability and coping strategies of Ex-Kamayias with a main focus on their livelihood strategies in combination with land resources. Master's Thesis at Kathmandu University Download
Access to Health Care among Transhumant Fulani Pastoralists in Mauritania: Using the Health Access Livelihood Approach
Corradi, Corinne
The focus of this study was set on pastoralist's livelihood capitals as well as qualitative dimensions of access. Available resources were identified and impeding factors when mobilising those were described. The financial means for health care were found to be limited by pastoralists themselves, despite the possession of cattle and a milk selling contract to a dairy plant. Further, insufficient and unreliable transport possibilities, as well as certain shortcomings in the quality of health services were pointed out by pastoralists. Mutual understanding and communication between Fulani pastoralist and health care personnel was also found to be insufficient and impeding for accessing health care. Limited access was also related to economic structures on the market, social norms within Fulani society and individual strategies, depending for example on pulaaku, the Fulani code of conduct. The lack of infrastructure and medical supplies further did not contribute to the utilisation of health services, either. Master's Thesis at University of Zurich Download
Access to Health Care in Contexts of Livelihood Insecurity
Obrist, Brigit
Access to health care is a major health and development issue. Most governments declare that their citizens should enjoy universal and equitable access to good quality care. However, even within the developed world, this goal is difficult to achieve, and there are no internationally recognized standards on how to define and measure “equitable access”. This article presents a framework for analysis and action to explore and improve access to health care in resource-poor countries, especially in Africa. The framework links social science and public health research with broader development approaches to poverty alleviation. PLoS Medicine 4(10):1584-1588. Download
Access to Land Resource: Dalits and their Livelihood Insecurity.
Nepali, Purna Bahadur
Historical distribution of land in Nepal does not reflect a spirit of social justice. Only a few people owned or had control over land in the name of Birta, Jagir and other land entitlements. In an agrarian society like Nepal, there is no off-farm opportunity to make better income. Also, there is no social security policy for the Dalits so that they constantly face hunger and food insecurity. Dalits' livelihood is miserable and vulnerable. Various kinds of informal institutions such as the Balighare, Khalo and Khan Pratha existed in the traditional agrarian system of Nepal. These were discriminatory and exploitive in form. This unjust situation is further compounded by the Hindu caste system of untouchability. Hence, Dalits today are marginalized people on each sphere of life, and their human rights are being continuously violated. Therefore, the state has to take some bold steps in enunciating a future scientific land reform program in order to bring about equitable changes. In: Pyakuryal KN, Upreti BR, Sharma SR, editors. Nepal: Transition to Transformation. Kathmandu: HNRSC, NCCR North-South, pp. 163-184. Download
Access to livlihood assets: Insights from South Asia on how institutions work
Shahbaz, Babar
The present contribution is an attempt to understand the conditions that impede some households and social groups in securing a decent livelihood by drawing on ‘purported’ facilitating institutions. It is generally agreed that access to livelihood assets is negotiated through institutions. However, the way in which these institutions operate in everyday practice and in specific contexts is less well understood. The four case studies presented here therefore analyse how customary norms and state regulations work. The article argues that a deeper understanding of the working of institutions, which in turn influence who is excluded from and who is entitled to access a particular livelihood asset, also provides a bridge to evidence-based development support. In: Hurni H, Wiesmann U, editors; with an international group of co-editors. Global Change and Sustainable Development: A Synthesis Regional Experiences from Research Partnerships. Perspectives of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South, University of Bern, Vol. 5. Bern, Switzerland: Geographica Bernensia, pp 283-297. Download
Access to Natural Resources and the Question of Autochthony in West Africa
Bonfoh, Bassirou
Poster presented at the International Conference on Research for Development (ICRD). 2-4 July 2008, Berne, Switzerland. Download
Access to Water for irrigation in Post-Soviet Agriculture
Lindberg, Emma
Master's Thesis, University of Zurich, Switzerland For further information, please contact: Emma Lindberg
Accords et conflits d?intérêts dans la gestion de la gare routière Pétersen de Dakar
Ndiaye, El Hadji Mamadou
In: Chenal J, Pedrazzini Y, Cissé G, Kaufmann V, éditeurs. Quelques rues d?Afrique. Observation et gestion de l?espace public à Abidjan, Dakar et Nouakchott. Lausanne : Les éditions du Lasur, pp 81-92. For more information, click here
Adaptation and evaluation of integrated rice and duck farming in the Hongdong Community of South Korea and the Poolmoo Schools
Rutz, Dominik
Knowledge empowers individuals with the choice to either use natural resources sustainably or to deplete them. This thesis uses the example of Integrated Rice and Duck Farming (IRDF) to shed light on how knowledge sharing and learning processes cross boundaries in order to enable sustainable natural resource use. These boundaries vary depending on the social and natural environment in which the knowledge is developed, shared and applied. Members of different groups or institutions engage in various forms of collaboration in order to share knowledge across boundaries, so that more sustainable usage of natural resources can be developed and applied. Download
Addressing livelihood insecurity and the need for further research
Upreti, Bishnu Raj
The livelihoods of people in conflict-ridden countries like Nepal are threatened by various conventional and non-conventional factors. The decade long conflict and the ongoing peace process have altered the livelihood options in Nepal, creating new options while constraining others. This Chapter highlights the need for a proper understanding of livelihoods in Nepal in the current transitional context to develop a response strategy to address livelihood insecurity and to capitalize on the opportunities brought about by the political changes in the country. It also suggests some areas for further research and analysis. In: Upreti BR, Müller-Böker U, editors. Livelihood Insecurity and Social Conflict in Nepal. Kathmandu: South Asia Coordination Office, pp 257-271. Download
Adressing land-based discrimination in post-conflict Nepal
Nepali, Purna Bahadur
In: Upreti BR, Sharma SR, Pyakuryal KN, Ghimire S. (eds). The Remake of a State: Post-conflict Challenges and State Building in Nepal. Kathmandu, South Asia Regional Coordination Office of the Swiss National Centere of Competence in Research (NCCR North-South) and Human and Natural Ressources Studies Centre (HNRSC), pp. 151-166. Land is one of the key factors to determine power structure. Unequal distribution of land can result in various forms such as discrimination, dominance, exploitation and violence. In spite of the past development interventions, political changes and land reform programmes, the feudal and historical legacies in production relation have not changed much in Nepal. But to attain meaningful state building it is one of the necessary conditions to guarantee the access of land to the majority of the poor people. Download
Africa’s development and its challenges in the health sector: medical, social and cultural dimensions
Cissé, Guéladio
In: Thomas Bearth, Barbara Becker, Rolf Kappel, Gesine Krüger, Roger Pfister, editors. 2007. Afrika im Wandel. vdf Hochschulverlag AG, ETH Zürich. Order from: vdf Hochschulverlag AG
Agrarian Distress and Livelihood Strategies
Nair, K.N.
"This paper examines the household livelihood strategies under agrarian distress in Pulpalli Panchayat of Kerala. It also looks at the relationship between household assets and livelihood strategies. The negotiations of institutions by the marginalized and depressed sections of the society were analysed in detail." CDS Working Paper no. 396. Trivandrum, Kerala, India: Centre for Development Studies. >>Download
Agrarian Distress and Rural Livelihoods
Nair, K.N.
"This study examines the impact of agrarian distress on the different socio-economic groups, the strategies of livelihood adopted by households and the local institution in shaping these strategies. The study is based on the data collected from in-depth socio-economic enquiries conducted in Upputhara Panchayat in Idukki District. An important conclusion of the study is that the strategies of livelihood framed in response to a shock could vary across households depending on the extent of their asset ownership." CDS Working Paper no. 392. Trivandrum, Kerala, India: Centre for Development Studies. >>Download
Alarm – zu viele Nährstoffe im Tha Chin Fluss
Schaffner, Monika
"Mit zunehmender landwirtschaftlicher Intensivierung hat sich die Wasserqualität des Tha Chin in Thailand massiv verschlechtert. Ein enormes Problem ist der hohe Nährstoffgehalt des Flusses. Unser Stoffflussmodell zeigt, dass ein Grossteil der Nährstoffe aus der intensiven Fischzucht stammt." Eawag News 62d December 2006, pp. 18-20. Download
An Analysis of the Coffee Value Chain in the Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania
Mhando, David Gongwe
NCCR North-South Dialogue, No. 27 Bern, NCCR North-South
An Assessment of Trends in the Extent of Swidden in Southeast Asia
Schmidt-Vogt, Dietrich
In: Human Ecology 37(3):269-280. Download
An Integrated Approach to Environmental Sanitation and Urban Agriculture
Schertenleib, Roland
"Environmental sanitation comprises disposal and treatment of human excreta, solid waste and wastewater, control of disease vectors, and provision of washing facilities for personal and domestic hygiene. The conventional approach to environmental sanitation is characterised by a linear waste management system, where valuable plant nutrients are often not only wasted, but also create pollution problems in receiving waters. Closing the nutrient loop is one of the main objectives of a more ecological approach to environmental sanitation. Reuse of wastewater and organic waste in urban agriculture may contribute to closing this nutrient loop. In addition to food security and income generation, urban agricultural activities can thus help to improve public health and resource management. However, some urban agricultural processes, such as “agricultural practices”, “soil quality management” and “irrigation”, still requires further research." ISHS Acta Horticulturae 2004, No. 643: International Conference on Urban Horticulture Available from: ISHS Acta Horticulturae