Developing participatory methods and metrics for the assessment of agroecological farming systems and food and nutrition security

The amount of documented evidence on the performance and benefits of permaculture and other agroecological production approaches is disproportionately low compared to the degree of practice on the ground. Yet practitioners are demanding both guidelines and methods with which to record and analyse their work and to feed this into a broader evidence database. Such a database could be used for research and advocacy to promote more sustainable policy and practise.

Summarising the collaborative work of several NGO and research partners, this paper presents the state of the art with regard to the participatory development of a set of metrics and tools for measuring the performance of permaculture systems. Such systems are complex and multi-faceted, and as a first step this paper focuses on two facets that are of major current concern in the development context: agroecological farming systems and food and nutrition security. Recording and monitoring changes in these two areas, and any corresponding relationship between the two areas, will serve to increase our understanding of the way in which agriculture impacts on nutrition and vice versa, and what we can do to improve this relationship.

About

Julia Wright works as Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Agroecology Water and Resilience, Coventry University. She has over 30 years experience in international development, focussing on organic farming and food security.

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Coventry University Centre for Agroecology, Water & Resilience

 

About

George is a founder of GardenAfrica which, for the past 12 years, has been designing and developing innovating health and plant-based livelihoods initiatives in partnerships with civil society organisations in Southern and East Africa. She is particularly interested in developing strategies which assist vulnerable people and decision makers to make informed choices about the conservation of their biodiversity, and in creating more inclusive and sustainable forms of community engagement, which view the environment and its hosts as part of a long-term solution.

 

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www.gardenafrica.org.uk

About

I have been the Research Coordinator for The Permaculture Association Britain for three years. I hold a PhD in Urban Studies from Glasgow University. Previously I have worked in anti-poverty work, community development, history and archaeology teaching, organic food retailing and farming. I am married with two young daughters and live in Newcastle upon Tyne.

 

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www.permaculture.org.uk/research

About

Anne-Marie Mayer is a freelance consultant on the links between agriculture and human nutrition. She works for international organizations on research, design, evaluation, and documentation of nutrition and agriculture programmes and policy. She has a PhD in international nutrition and has been applying Permaculture design principles to her work over the past 25 years. Her goal is to bring sustainable design principles to global nutrition problems.

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annemariebmayer.wordpress.com/

 

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