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Affordances of agricultural systems analysis tools: a review and framework to enhance tool design and implementation

Author: Ditzler, L
Author: Klerkx, L
Author: Chan-Dentoni, J
Author: Posthumus, H
Author: Krupnik, T.J.
Author: Lopez-Ridaura, S
Author: Andersson, J.A.
Author: Baudron, F
Author: Groot, J.C.J.
Year: 2018
ISSN: 0308-521X
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10883/19470
Abstract: The increasingly complex challenges facing agricultural systems require problem-solving processes and systems analysis (SA) tools that engage multiple actors across disciplines. In this article, we employ the theory of affordances to unravel what tools may furnish users, and how those affordances contribute to a tool's usefulness in co-design and co-innovation processes. Affordance is defined as a function provided by an object through an interaction with a user. We first present a conceptual framework to assess the affordances of SA tools. This framework is then applied in a literature review of three SA tools used in agricultural systems research (fuzzy cognitive mapping, bio-economic whole-farm models, and role play and serious games). Through this exercise, we extend the SA tool design and implementation dialogue by illuminating (i) links between lower-level affordances, tool design, and heuristic functioning, and (ii) the central role of use setting and facilitation in mobilizing higher-level, productive affordances. Based on our findings, we make five propositions for how SA tool design and implementation in participatory problem-solving settings can be improved.
Format: PDF
Language: English
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact CIMMYT-Knowledge-Center@cgiar.org indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Article
Place of Publication: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Pages: 20-30
Volume: 164
DOI: 10.1016/j.agsy.2018.03.006
Keywords: Farming Systems Analysis
Keywords: Stakeholder Participation
Keywords: Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping
Keywords: Bio-economic Farm Models
Keywords: Literature Review
Keywords: Role Play
Keywords: Serious Games
Agrovoc: FARMING SYSTEMS
Agrovoc: STAKEHOLDERS
Agrovoc: FARM MODELS
Journal: Agricultural Systems


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  • Maize
    Maize breeding, phytopathology, entomology, physiology, quality, and biotech

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