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Multi-Disciplinary North-South Collaboration in Participatory Action Research on Food Value Chains: a German-Tanzanian Case Study on Perceptions, Experiences and Challenges

  • F. Graef
  • K. D. Mutabazi
  • S. Sieber
  • F. Asch
  • B. Makoko
  • M. Bonatti
  • M. Brüntrup
  • C. Gornott
  • L. Herrmann
  • R. Herrmann
  • L. Kaburire
  • F. C. Kahimba
  • A. Kimaro
  • A. Kuntosch
  • H. J. König
  • P. Lagwen
  • M. A. Lana
  • C. Lambert
  • C. Levy
  • K. Löhr
  • C. Maeda
  • H. Mbwana
  • D. Mchau
  • M. T. Mnimbo
  • S. Munder
  • L. Mwinuka
  • P. Ngwenya
  • E. Nickson
  • E. Nkonya
  • P. Saidia
  • M. P. Schäfer
  • J. Schindler
  • V. Silayo
  • G. Uckert
  • J. Wambura
  • L. William
Original Paper

Abstract

Upgrading local food value chains is a promising approach to invigorating African food systems. This endeavour warrants multi-disciplinary North-South collaboration and partnerships through participatory action research (PAR) to help leverage appropriate upgrading strategies (UPSs) with a focus on local stakeholders. The more disciplines, cultures, and partner institutions that are involved, the more a project will present challenges in terms of communication and coordinating activities. Our aim was to determine the costs and investigate whether PAR with a multi-disciplinary approach was feasible in rural Tanzania with over 600 local stakeholders and more than 100 scientists. This article presents a self-evaluation of the collaboration and communication of project scientists during their research activities. Despite the overall high satisfaction, the more complex and complicated PAR activities required more cooperation, instructions and communication among the project scientists than had been anticipated in this multi-disciplinary, multi-cultural, and multi–institutional context, resulting in greater tension and dissatisfaction. The findings indicate that this type of large multi-disciplinary PAR is challenging in terms of flexibility in the planning of research activities, the administration of finances, and cross-cultural communication. Potential avenues to overcome these obstacles include a) more communication on PAR activities across cultures to develop a shared vocabulary; b) developing other modes of shared responsibility for a more horizontal collaboration; and c) more face-to-face cross-cultural activities to overcome cultural, disciplinary and geographical distance.

Keywords

Participatory research Food security Food value chains Communication Tanzania Multi-cultural context 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This publication is a product of the project Trans-SEC (www.trans-sec.org). The Trans-SEC project was funded by The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and co-financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The views that are expressed are solely those of the authors and may not under any circumstances be regarded as representing an official position of the BMBF or BMZ. Thanks to the reviewers for their helpful suggestions.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Graef
    • 1
  • K. D. Mutabazi
    • 2
  • S. Sieber
    • 3
  • F. Asch
    • 4
  • B. Makoko
    • 5
  • M. Bonatti
    • 3
  • M. Brüntrup
    • 6
  • C. Gornott
    • 7
  • L. Herrmann
    • 8
  • R. Herrmann
    • 6
  • L. Kaburire
    • 9
  • F. C. Kahimba
    • 10
  • A. Kimaro
    • 11
  • A. Kuntosch
    • 12
  • H. J. König
    • 1
  • P. Lagwen
    • 5
  • M. A. Lana
    • 1
  • C. Lambert
    • 13
  • C. Levy
    • 14
  • K. Löhr
    • 3
  • C. Maeda
    • 15
  • H. Mbwana
    • 16
  • D. Mchau
    • 17
  • M. T. Mnimbo
    • 18
  • S. Munder
    • 19
  • L. Mwinuka
    • 2
  • P. Ngwenya
    • 20
  • E. Nickson
    • 21
  • E. Nkonya
    • 22
  • P. Saidia
    • 10
  • M. P. Schäfer
    • 23
  • J. Schindler
    • 1
  • V. Silayo
    • 10
  • G. Uckert
    • 3
  • J. Wambura
    • 3
  • L. William
    • 24
  1. 1.Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF)Institute of Land Use SystemsMünchebergGermany
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural Economics & AgribusinessSokoine University of AgricultureMorogoroTanzania
  3. 3.Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF)Institute for Socio-EconomicsMünchebergGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Plant Production and Agroecology in the Tropics and SubtropicsUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  5. 5.Agricultural Research Institute (ARI)IlongaTanzania
  6. 6.Department II Competitiveness and Social DevelopmentGerman Development InstituteBonnGermany
  7. 7.Climate Impacts and VulnerabilitiesPotsdam Institute for Climate Impact ResearchPotsdamGermany
  8. 8.Institute of Soil Science and Land EvaluationUniversity of HohenheimHohenheimGermany
  9. 9.DodomaTanzania
  10. 10.Department of Agricultural Engineering & Land PlanningSokoine University of Agriculture (SUA)MorogoroTanzania
  11. 11.World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), ICRAF-Tanzania Country ProgrammeDar es SalaamTanzania
  12. 12.IRI THESys and Faculty of Life Science, Department of Agricultural EconomicsHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany
  13. 13.Institute of Biological Chemistry and NutritionUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  14. 14.International Center for Development and Decent Work (ICDD)Universität KasselKasselGermany
  15. 15.Department of EconomicsThe University of Dar es SalaamDar es SalaamTanzania
  16. 16.Department of Food Science and TechnologySokoine University of AgricultureMorogoroTanzania
  17. 17.Agricultural Research Institute (ARI)MakatuporaTanzania
  18. 18.Development Studies InstituteSokoine University of AgricultureMorogoroTanzania
  19. 19.Institute of Agricultural EngineeringUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  20. 20.German Institute for Tropical and Subtropical AgricultureWitzenhausenGermany
  21. 21.MVIWATA Tanzania, National Network of Farmers’ Groups in TanzaniaMorogoroTanzania
  22. 22.International Food Policy Research InstituteWashingtonUSA
  23. 23.Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF)Institute of Landscape HydrologyMünchebergGermany
  24. 24.Agricultural Council of TanzaniaDar es SalaamTanzania

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