Articles authored by Lilja, Nina

Practical Notes

This study assessed the extent to which participatory methods had been used by CIMMYT, and how the scientists perceived them. Results suggest that participatory approaches at the Center were largely 'functional' - that is, aimed at improving the efficiency and relevance of research - and had in fact added value to the research efforts. The majority of projects surveyed also placed emphasis on building farmers' awareness. This is understandable if we think that the limiting factor in scientist-farmer exchange is the farmers' limited knowledge base.


This article reviews, through reference to the published literature, some key questions about participatory research. When should participatory research be used? How should participatory research be applied? What about quality of science in participatory research? Are there any institutional issues associated with the use of participatory research? And what are the benefits and costs of participatory research?

Guest Editorial

Participatory research approaches are increasingly popular with scientists working for poverty alleviation, sustainable rural development, and social change. This introduction offers an overview of the special issue of Development in Practice journal on the theme of 'operationalising participatory research and gender analysis'. The purpose of the special issue is to add value to the discussion of methodological, practical, philosophical, political, and institutional issues involved in using gender-sensitive participatory methods.

Guest Introduction

The international workshop ‘Rethinking Impact: Understanding the Complexity of Poverty and Change’ (Cali, Colombia, 26–28 March 2008) explored the challenges inherent in evaluating agricultural research-for-development efforts, identifying lessons and approaches for sustainably improving livelihoods. Use-oriented research which links knowledge with action has greater welfare and development impacts. Researchers must help to link diverse stakeholders in order to create and share knowledge for effective, sustainable action.