FARMS4Biodiversity WP2: Community Social Dynamics

Lead: Hanson Nyantakyi-Frimpong (University of Denver) and Chiye Chafuwa (University of Malawi)

Concept: Micro-level social dynamics operating at the household and community level, involving key social roles and positions, such as gender, marital status, class and health status, can interact with macro-level social forces, such as policies and government programs, to influence farmer practices and land use change.

Objective: To examine how community social dynamics (e.g. related to class, gender, health status) and local land tenure institutions articulate with macro social forces (e.g. agricultural policies, extension services, international agreements) to influence agroecological practices, land use, and related measures of resilience.

Data Collection and Analysis:

  • Conduct a panel survey (n=1000) to assess general patterns and test hypotheses about relationships between community level social factors, land use and biodiversity.
  • Use in-depth interviews (n=100) combined with survey data to examine how community-level social factors articulate with macro-level forces to shape agroecological practices, perceptions and use of wild biodiversity and ecosystem services.
  • Facilitate community discussions revolving around common themes and potential solutions. Community discussions will include policy-makers and other decision-makers to facilitate cross-sectoral learning.
  • Use content analysis of agricultural policy documents and media to triangulate quantitative and qualitative findings related to how macro-level social, political, and economic forces influence farmer decision-making.

Expected results and use:

  • In-depth descriptive and quantitative analytical report of the social factors indfluencing land use and biodiversity.
  • Develop potential solutions at the community and regional level based on these key social factors.
  • A policy brief addressing identified macro social forces that impact land use and biodiversity.