Research for development to improve health outcomes from agriculture for rural communities: what is needed?
There is great potential through collaborative research to understand and address how multiple constraints impede outcomes from research for development in rural communities. However research frameworks, and tools used to monitor and evaluate them tend to be discipline-specific, and thus fail to capture the benefits of interdisciplinary research approaches. The aims of this paper are 1) to identify key agencies in Australia working at the intersection of agriculture and health in low- and middle-income countries, 2) to examine case studies presenting experiences at the intersection of health and agriculture, and 3) to identify approaches to overcome barriers to integrated research efforts, leading to more effective development outcomes. We identified key barriers including isolated and fragmented organisational cultures and capabilities, discipline-focused approaches, lack of multisectorial cooperation in programming, limited evaluation of how impact is measured beyond scientific output, poorly integrated monitoring and evaluation approaches and the failure to address economic empowerment of women and youth. To address these challenges we discuss a holistic approach to international development assistance that requires changes in thinking and action by organisations and individuals. These involve, for example, organisational capability development, interdisciplinary approaches, multisectorial cooperation in program planning, and integrated impact evaluation approaches.
KeywordsAfrica Asia-Pacific Interdisciplinary research International development Multidisciplinary research
This work was funded by a Workshop Grant from the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre at The University of Sydney. We thank Chris Russell for chairing the workshop.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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