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Valuing local knowledge as a source of expert data: Farmer engagement and the design of decision support systems

Oliver, D.M., Fish, R, Winter, M., Hodgson, C.J., Heathwaite, A.L., Chadwick, D.R. (2012) Valuing local knowledge as a source of expert data: Farmer engagement and the design of decision support systems. Environmental Modelling and Software, 36 . pp. 76-85. ISSN 1364-8152. E-ISSN 1873-6726. (doi:10.1016/j.envsoft.2011.09.013) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2011.09.013

Abstract

Engagement with farmers and landowners is often undertaken by the research community to obtain information relating to typical land, livestock and enterprise management and generally centres on responses to questionnaire surveys. Farmers and land managers are constituted as expert observers of ground-level processes and provide diverse information on farming practices, enterprise economics and underpinning attitudes towards risk. Research projects designed to inform policy and practice may rely on such data to understand better on-the-ground decisions that can impact on environmental quality and the rural economy. Such approaches to eliciting local-level expert knowledge can generate large quantities of data from which to formulate rules relating to farm enterprise types. In turn, this can help to inform the structure of Decision Support Systems (DSS) and risk-based tools to determine farming practices likely to impact on environmental quality. However, in this paper we advocate the need for integrated farmer participation throughout the whole research process - from project inception through to community qualitative validation and legitimation - and thus not just for the elicitation of questionnaire responses. With farm questionnaire surveys being adopted widely by the research community, it is an opportune time to highlight a recent case study of the Taw catchment, Devon, UK. This serves as an example of co-construction of a DSS via a co-ordinated and integrated approach to expert elicitation with a farmer questionnaire survey as a central methodology. The aim of the paper is to detail the core aspects of an iterative cycle of participatory environmental management and DSS development for water quality protection and consider the multiple benefits of co-ordinated programmes of engagement with the farming community in this process. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2011.09.013
Additional information: Unmapped bibliographic data: AD - Biological and Environmental Sciences, School of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Centre for Rural Policy Research, Department of Politics, University of Exeter, Exeter, Devon EX4 6TL, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Rothamsted Research, North Wyke, Okehampton, Devon EX20 2SB, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] DB - Scopus [Field not mapped to EPrints] M3 - Article [Field not mapped to EPrints]
Uncontrolled keywords: Decision support, Expert, Farmer, Local knowledge, Questionnaire survey, Stakeholder participation, Uncertainty, Water quality
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Robert Fish
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2017 10:53 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 18:32 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/59872 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Fish, R: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7198-0403
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