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The application of Rapid Appraisal of Agricultural Innovation Systems (RAAIS) to agricultural adaptation to climate change in Kazakhstan: A critical evaluation

Barrett, T., Feola, G., Krylova, V., Khusnitdinova, M.
Agricultural systems 2017 v.151 pp. 106-113
climate change, politics, systems analysis, Kazakhstan
Place-based social, cultural, institutional and political dynamics not only influence the innovation capacity of agricultural systems, but also the willingness of relevant actors to be involved in participatory research processes, and the dynamics of their participation. This paper critically discusses the modification and application of one particular participatory approach to agricultural systems analysis (Rapid Appraisal of Agricultural Innovation Systems [RAAIS]) to agricultural adaptation in Southeast Kazakhstan. We consider the overall effectiveness of the method as a research tool, practical issues in the implementation of workshops, definition of and selection of participant groups, as well as the questions of participation and empowerment within the workshops themselves. We find that although RAAIS is adaptable to alternative theoretical frameworks, its implementation in different socio-cultural and political contexts may require more consideration than is apparent in previous discussions. In particular, the appropriate training of workshop organisers is of crucial importance to the success of this methodology. These findings will be useful to those adapting participatory research methods to different research topics and contexts more broadly.