Initial diagnosis of local context for agricultural development projects: cognitive maps to conceptualize socio-ecological systems and elicit stakeholders viewpoints

Tardivo Caroline, Delmotte Sylvestre, Le Page Christophe, Barbier Jean-Marc, Cittadini Roberto. 2014. Initial diagnosis of local context for agricultural development projects: cognitive maps to conceptualize socio-ecological systems and elicit stakeholders viewpoints. In : 11th European IFSA Symposium, "Farming systems facing global challenges: Capacities and strategies", 1- 4 April 2014 in Berlin, Germany.. Eds. Thomas Aenis, Andrea Knierim, aja-Catrin Riecher, Rebecka Ridder, Heike Schobert, Holger Fischer ; IFSA. s.l. : s.n., pp. 589-599. European IFSA Symposium. 11, Berlin, Allemagne, 1 April 2014/4 April 2014.

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Abstract : This communication presents a diagnosis of the local context as a preliminary step to support collaborative learning for agricultural development at the regional scale. Our method is based on a two-step investigation: a description of the socio-ecological system (defined in this paper as the combination of the agricultural system, the ecological system, and the local socio- economic system) and a stakeholde r analysis aiming to support the design and the evaluation of the forthcoming participatory process. Cognitive maps (CM) are used to formalize both analyses. Twenty semi-structured interviews were conducted in a south-of-France agricultural region, the plateau de Valensole, with various stakeholders concerned with the development of agriculture and who have different missions and knowledge (heads of cooperatives, advisors, representatives of public organizations, representative of farmers' unions...). The interviews focused on the description of the region, on stakeholders involved in agricultural management, and on the current state, issues and possible evolutions of the agricultural system. Based on interviews' transcripts, a CM was built for each of the twenty interviewed stakeholders. Each map contains the concepts quoted by the interviewee (structural components, stakeholders and characteristics) and their links characterized by cause-effect relationships . During the forthcoming steps, the CMs will be completed and validated by a second round of interviews with stakeholders. They will then be compared in order to support a stakeholder analysis based on stakeholders' viewpoints. They will also be aggregated in order to conceptualize the socio-ecological system, to be potentially used later for a computerized model. In this paper, we present two resulting maps to show their contribution to the socio-ecological system conceptualization and stakeholder analysis. Those cognitive maps allow for synthetizing types of knowledge (e.g. empirical, technical and scientific) and many viewpoints at different scales (e.g. field, farm and region. (Résumé d'auteur)

Classification Agris : E14 - Development economics and policies
U30 - Research methods
C30 - Documentation and information

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Tardivo Caroline, INRA (FRA)
  • Delmotte Sylvestre, INRA (FRA)
  • Le Page Christophe, CIRAD-ES-UPR GREEN (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0002-1920-0091
  • Barbier Jean-Marc, INRA (FRA)
  • Cittadini Roberto, INRA (FRA)

Source : Cirad - Agritrop (

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