Research Problem and Questions

Overarching Research Question: Which forms of agricultural extension contribute to lasting practice change able to support households and communities to create sustainable livelihoods that meet the needs and aspirations of farmers in complex social, political, and ecological contexts (i.e., a good life)?

In order to produce an innovative model of agricultural extension founded on social relations, this project will analyse which models and methods of extension are most effective with different types of smallholders in Northwest Cambodia.

Research Activities:The 5-year project is divided into seven activities: (click on each activity for more information):

Activity 1: Interviews with international and Cambodian extensionists

Activity 2: Census of farmer households in Northwest Cambodia to establish a baseline understanding of household composition, assets, and livelihood activities

Activity 3: Field crop survey and cropcheck 

Activity 4: Assets Based Community Development (ABCD) focus group engagements to develop a relational understanding of farmer livelihoods 

Activity 5: Engage deeply with farmers who have successfully transitioned their practices or livelihoods in order to identify the practices and characteristics of successful and ‘near miss’ transitions

Activity 6: Actively support livelihood development activities with participating farmers 

Activity 7: Empirically analyse and compare the differentiated impacts of different extension activities on people and place, including perceived, material, and economic impacts with participants and throughout their social networks.

Methodology and approach

This project is both multi-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary and draws on qualitative, quantitative, spatial, and economic data and analyses to understand farmers knowledge-practices, including:

  • semi-structured interviews (face-to-face and/or remote)
  • Household surveys (including baseline and follow-up surveys)
  • Focus group discussions
  • Community economies workshops
  • Field analysis of on-farm practices through ‘farm visits’
  • Social network analyses
  • Spatial analysis and mapping of social relations.
  • Knowledge exchanges and facilitated discussions amongst farmers and supporting individuals and organisations
  • Experimental and quasi-experimental methods for impact assessment.
  • Economic analysis of household gross margins