Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Examining Researchers’ Attitudes, Barriers, and Opportunities for Participatory Research: The Case of the Riso-Biosystems Project on Organic Rice

Version 1 : Received: 17 March 2021 / Approved: 18 March 2021 / Online: 18 March 2021 (15:57:32 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Pagliarino, E.; Rolfo, S. Examining Researchers’ Attitudes, Barriers, and Opportunities for Participatory Research: The Case of the Riso-Biosystems Project on Organic Rice. Agriculture 2021, 11, 376. Pagliarino, E.; Rolfo, S. Examining Researchers’ Attitudes, Barriers, and Opportunities for Participatory Research: The Case of the Riso-Biosystems Project on Organic Rice. Agriculture 2021, 11, 376.

Journal reference: Agriculture 2021, 11, 376
DOI: 10.3390/agriculture11050376

Abstract

This paper reports on the conception and implementation of a participatory approach within an agricultural research project aimed at fostering the transition towards organic in the Italian rice district. We investigate the relationships among scientists and stakeholders, exploring researchers’ attitudes, barriers, and potential in relation to participatory research. We use participant observation, in-depth interviews, and systematic cataloguing of communication documents, from the beginning to two years into project implementation, for a total period of three years. The results of the analysis show that, despite a high level of authoritative commitment to participation, scientists reveal a scarcity of knowledge and skills, and poor attitudes that come from a negative perception of participatory research. They engage in various forms of collaboration with stakeholders, as long as decision-making remains essentially in their hands. With the deep analysis of a case study, the paper contributes to the ongoing discussion on the quality of participatory agricultural research, in particular presenting evidence on the key role of researchers and their attitudes. The paper also contributes to the development of a culture of learning by doing, through honest monitoring and evaluation, and the capacity to learn from failure.

Subject Areas

organic rice; agricultural research; participation; public funding; scientists; monitoring and evaluation

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