Does Fair Trade in Brazil meet its objective of really increasing fairness and reaching the poor? Can innovation networks successfully be created to increase the access of family farms to cotton innovations and markets? These questions are explored by using Net-Map in the studies below, which were shared by our Net-Mapping colleague Patricia Andrade de Oliveira e Silva. Do you know of Net-Map studies we haven’t featured here? Please share so that we can make them available to the broader community of practice.
1) Fair trade networks : organization, relationship and values. Abstract: The characteristics of the dominant economic system and its implications on agriculture, while creating trends of concentration, standardization and exclusion, they also create opportunities that can act in the opposite direction, allowing the development of niches and differentiation based on product characteristics / services, processes and producers themselves. The Fair Trade has emerged as a proposal for inclusion of players with limited potential of insertion in the conventional market, aiming not only the economic viability, but quality attributes and other dimensions that are not valued by market mechanisms. This doctoral dissertation seeks to answer in which extent Fair Trade can meet its original objectives, working on extended networks of producers and trade. It thus tries to see how some networks of Fair Trade certified and not certified are organized, emphasizing the relationships established and the overriding objectives of the actors involved that determine these relationships. The methodology was based on literature review, interviews, observation and analysis of social networks. Actors from eight Fair Trade networks were interviewed using the method Net-Map Toolbox (SCHIFFER, 2011) to map different relations between actors (support, subsidies, trade, personal, conflicts and norms), their influence and their objectives (economic, group cohesion, development, politcs, exploitation and disruption). To analyze the composition of networks and the cohesion of the relations it were used the programs Ucinet (BORGATTI; EVERETT; FREEMAN, 2002) e NetDraw (BORGATTI, 2002) and densities, reciprocity and transitivity were estimated. Website: http://www.bibliotecadigital.unicamp.br/document/?code=000866836
2) Cotton : networks, technology and environment. Abstract: Since the 1990s the Brazilian cotton industry is showing growth, with the adoption of technologies, particularly genetically modified varieties of cotton, whose cultivation was released in 2005 as a major actor in increased productivity and consequent resumption of culture in ancient regions disadvantaged producers by crises that caused the decline of this culture. We observed a resurgence of cotton production in various regions of the country the scenery is still great disparity between the productive regions of the Mid – West and Northeast. Access to technology, education level, and access to technical assistance are the main vectors of inequalities. With regard to access to technology, it can be stated that regardless of the greater or lesser availability of technologies developed for family farmers, must have showed clear that most main difficulty relates to the ability to innovate, and this is related not only to technology itself, but also to the insertion in the markets, financing conditions, availability of resources, risk analysis, among other factors. Thus the creation of social networks among small cotton farmers has proved to be an alternative in order to have better access to technology. It is in this context that the network of cotton farmers Catuti was chosen to be the object of study of this dissertation in that it draws attention for being an organization of small producers who resumed the cultivation of cotton through the use of transgenic seeds, and present extraordinary gains production, planting and sustainably. The case study showed PAJEK through the software, the organization in network provides the link various actors of distinct natures, which in turn enables the insertion in the market and the adoption of technology by small farmers associated with the Cooperative Rural Producers Catuti (COOPERCAT). Website: http://www.bibliotecadigital.unicamp.br/document/?code=000937662less
When dealing with the challenges of a country like Ethiopia, focusing just on water, or food, or energy is a tall order already. Given how one influences the other, it is, however, not focus which is needed but integration – of issues and also of those people dealing with them. My colleague Christian Stein shared his research on the issue with me. Below is the summary and here is the full paper he wrote, together with Jennie Barron, Likimyelesh Nigussie, Birhanu Gedif, Tadesse Amsalu and Simon Langan for the International Water Management Institute:
“Ethiopia is currently undergoing rapid development, heavily reliant on its natural resources such as water and land. The government’s Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) and its Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy set ambitious targets in a variety of sectors including water, food and energy. In order to avoid trade-offs and create synergies between different development agendas, integrated planning and cross-sectorial coordination is crucial. The so-called ‘nexus approach’ is a recent way to frame the interconnected challenges in water, food and energy with the ambition to align policies for sustainable development.
This study fills a gap in the nexus debate by focusing on concrete actors and the nexus challenges they struggle with, instead of on abstract systems and the resource flows between sectors. Based on participatory, visual network mapping and focus group discussions, the paper illustrates three interdependent challenges of the water-energy-food nexus in the Upper Blue Nile in Ethiopia. First, it points to the central role of biomass-based energy resources and the need to balance national ambitions for hydropower and immediate energy needs for rural communities. Second, it identifies agricultural water management as a critical issue where linkages across sectors and scales need to be improved. Third, it highlights the need to strengthen actors working on environmental sustainability issues, and generating political support for their objectives, by making available evidence on the value of nature for development.
The findings of this scoping study show that participatory network research can facilitate dialogue and colearning among researchers and a range of actors on the interconnected challenges of the water-energy-food nexus. Such collaborative learning processes can play an important role in moving toward better coordination between key actors and improved development planning within the Upper Blue Nile.”
Filed under: Agricultural Networks, case studies, International development, Other people's work | Tagged: Birhanu Gedif, case study, Christian Stein, Ethiopia, International Water Management Institute, Jennie Barron, Likimyelesh Nigussie, Simon Langan, Tadesse Amsalu, Upper Blue Nile, Water-Food-Energy-Nexus | Leave a comment »
First time-use of a Net-Map-procedure in a culture development process
The recently published study on behalf of the Institute for Cultural Policy
offers new ways for the coordination of action for the pilot region in South
Thuringia (central Germany)
©Patrick S. Föhl & Robert Peper
With the decision to perform a network analysis, the Institute for Cultural Policy entered new territory within the framework of cultural development processes. During the process it was planned to highlight previously unknown communication and conflict structures between different stakeholders from politics, administration, arts and culture as well as economy, tourism and civil society. Additionally, so-called white spots (“structural holes”) between representatives of various sectors should be identified. Stakeholders of all relevant domains would be interviewed in order to implement effective coordination structures within the two counties Hildburghausen and Sonneberg. In order to achieve these goals, the Institute for Cultural Policy engaged Robert Peper, a PhD-student from the Leuphana University of Lueneburg, who is trained in visual social network analysis.
By using Net-Map, the network structures between actors of culture, politics, administration, business and civil society could be traced in a very participatory process. In the beginning of the interviews respondents were asked to recall the last three months of their daily interactions with other stakeholders with regards to their cultural work. They were then asked to draw actors on a network card using a large sheet of paper and pens. For this process, standardized name generators were used. In the course of the conversation ego-alteri (connections between interview partner and others) and alteri-alteri relationships (connection between two others, not involving the interview partner) were depicted in the network map. The visualization displayed both the flow of communication as well as the conflicts and future relationships between the actors involved. In order to highlight the most influential actors in the decision making process, the interviewees were asked to mark the influence of individual actors by heightening the respective tokens.
The evaluation of the network analysis, which included 14 Net-Map-interviews with politicians, tourist officers, artists, museum directors among others, revealed surprising findings. Key players and core interactions were identified that were previously unknown but are crucial for the future cultural development of the model region. A regional tourism association appeared as an extremely well-connected node and as an important potential strike for cultural operators in order to obtain access to the business sector. In addition, the regional mayors turned out to be the lynchpins of the collected network, which comprises a total of 167 players. Missing relations could be located e.g. between artists and schools. Many local actors spotted developing a denser network between cultural and educational sectors as the most important task for the future.
The advantage of this Net-Map-based network analysis lies in the possibility to highlight the most important formal and informal interactions of cultural governance processes and to identify gaps in the network structures that need to be closed in order to pool resources and to strengthen communication and decision-making processes for the cultural field of a whole model region. These expectations were fully met with the results of the recently published report. The study served as an important additional tool for the whole cultural development process (which also involved many other tools such as expert interviews, structural analyses, workshops etc.) and was presented at the occasions of different cultural workshops. The process ended in April 2015 and can now be seen as a good example for a modern approach with regards to cultural development planning.
Dr. Patrick S. Föhl, leading project manager of the cultural development processes, sees great possibilities for the use of network analysis – also in other regions: “There is a lot of potential. Participatory social network analysis will play a crucial role in future cultural development processes. In the model region Hildburghausen and Sonneberg it already works. The results of the analysis are an important milestone in the cultural development process and clearly demonstrate the existence of comprehensive networking.”
For further information about the process please visit the following websites:
Filed under: case studies, guest post | Tagged: Artist, case study, cultural development, culture, Germany, Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Network Analysis, Patric S. Foehl, Robert Peper, strategy, Thuringia | Leave a comment »
By relating their own experience to prototypical network patterns, groups can get a deeper understanding of how they work together (or not) and what the opportunities and challenges of each of the different patterns of self-organization are. Also, these patterns give group members a language to talk about how they experience collaboration, what they appreciate or struggle with and what kind of network structure they prefer. In many cases this will be more of an exploration and an exercise to understand other’s preferences better – because every pattern carries challenges and opportunities, there is no one perfect solution for the group to discover.
These cards can be used in many different ways – and the patterns are far from complete. Please find detailed instructions for one exploratory exercise with groups here (inclusive of an easy to print version of the patterns). And don’t hesitate to contact me with questions, ideas for missing patterns, examples of how you used this etc.