Public Participation Approaches for a New Era in Dryland Science and Stewardship in the Global South

  • D. L. CoppockEmail author
Part of the Springer Climate book series (SPCL)


The drylands of the Global South are facing challenges from human population growth, unsustainable land-management practices, and climate change. Such problems are complex and can no longer be adequately addressed using traditional, top-down means. Rather, increased reliance on public participation is needed to better identify key research questions and interventions that promote positive change. Major actors in these approaches would include communities, applied researchers, outreach agents, policy makers, and planners working in tandem. The process involves embracing “engaged research” within a framework of an “innovation system”—referred to here by the acronym ERIS. Such concepts have recently gained acceptance, and now is the time to implement them. Project donors are key to this transformation of applied research and professional practice because they can provide incentives. ERIS projects must be long term with a diversity of pragmatic and transdisciplinary scholarly achievements. An ERIS platform for inter-project coordination could be part of a comprehensive Agadir platform. The main option to institutionalize ERIS approaches is via policies that alter how government agencies and their stakeholders work together.


Action research Engaged research Extension Community-based research Innovation systems Outreach Participatory rural appraisal Participatory policy making Participatory planning 



Special thanks to Elisabeth Huber-Sannwald and the editorial team for the invitation to submit this chapter. Several illustrations (i.e., Table 7.2 and Figs. 7.4, 7.5, and 7.6) have been reprinted from a paper by Coppock (2016) that has open-access status with Elsevier. Brian Kartchner (Utah State University) assisted with producing the figures.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environment and SocietyUtah State UniversityLoganUSA

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