Participatory Approaches to Research and Development in the Southeast Asian Uplands: Potential and Challenges

  • Andreas NeefEmail author
  • Benchaphun Ekasingh
  • Rupert Friederichsen
  • Nicolas Becu
  • Melvin Lippe
  • Chapika Sangkapitux
  • Oliver Frör
  • Varaporn Punyawadee
  • Iven Schad
  • Pakakrong M. Williams
  • Pepijn Schreinemachers
  • Dieter Neubert
  • Franz Heidhues
  • Georg Cadisch
  • Nguyen The Dang
  • Phrek Gypmantasiri
  • Volker Hoffmann
Part of the Springer Environmental Science and Engineering book series (SPRINGERENVIRON)


Participatory approaches have been discussed as alternatives to and complementary elements of more conventional research on sustainable land use and rural development in upland areas of Southeast Asia. Following a brief overview of the history of participatory approaches (Sect. 9.1), this chapter discusses the potential and limitations of applying Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools to field research practice in Vietnam (Sect. 9.2) and of involving stakeholders in priority setting, modeling and environmental valuation in the Southeast Asian uplands (Sect. 9.3). Section 9.4 scrutinizes the use of the Payments for Environmental Services (PES) tool, which aims to actively engage smallholder farmers in preserving fragile mountain ecosystems in Southeast Asia by rewarding them in cash or in kind. Section 9.5 provides an example of a successful multi-stakeholder knowledge and innovation partnership in northern Thailand – in the form of a litchi processing and marketing network formed among Hmong villagers, an approach which uses a promising action-research approach towards building sustainable rural livelihoods among ethnic minority groups.



Attribute-Based Choice Modeling


Analytical Hierarchy Process


Common Agricultural Policy


Clean Development Mechanism


Citizen Expert Group


Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research


Contingent Valuation Method


Good Agricultural Practice




Farmer Participatory Research


Mail Surveys


Non-Governmental Organization


Payments for Environmental Services


Participatory Learning and Action


Participatory Rural Appraisal


Participatory Technology Development


Participatory Valuation Methods


Rapid Rural Appraisal


Strategic Niche Management


US Dollar



We would like to thank the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) for funding this research project under the Collaborative Research Program entitled ‘Sustainable Land Use and Rural Development in Mountainous Regions of Southeast Asia’ (The Uplands Program – SFB 564). Also the co-funding of the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) is acknowledged. We are grateful for the helpful comments of Manfred Zeller and Ulfert Focken, Gary Morrison for reading through the English, and Peter Elstner for helping with the layout. We are particularly indebted to the farmers and other local stakeholders who participated in the project, for their active involvement during the research activities.

Open Access. This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2013

Open Access This chapter is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Neef
    • 1
    Email author
  • Benchaphun Ekasingh
    • 2
  • Rupert Friederichsen
    • 3
  • Nicolas Becu
    • 4
  • Melvin Lippe
    • 5
  • Chapika Sangkapitux
    • 1
  • Oliver Frör
    • 6
  • Varaporn Punyawadee
    • 7
  • Iven Schad
    • 8
  • Pakakrong M. Williams
    • 8
  • Pepijn Schreinemachers
    • 9
  • Dieter Neubert
    • 10
  • Franz Heidhues
    • 9
  • Georg Cadisch
    • 5
  • Nguyen The Dang
    • 11
  • Phrek Gypmantasiri
    • 12
  • Volker Hoffmann
    • 8
  1. 1.Kyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural EconomicsChiang Mai UniversityChiang MaiThailand
  3. 3.CSIV InternationalNewcastle upon TyneNewcastle upon TyneUK
  4. 4.CNRS – UMR ProdiGMontpellierFrance
  5. 5.Department of Plant Production in the Tropics and Subtropics (380a)University of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  6. 6.Institute for Environmental Sciences, Environmental EconomicsUniversität Koblenz-LandauKoblenz-LandauGermany
  7. 7.Faculty of EconomicsMae Jo UniversityChiang MaiThailand
  8. 8.Department of Agricultural Communication and Extension (430a)University of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  9. 9.Institute of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences in the Tropics and Subtropics (490)University of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  10. 10.Department of Development SociologyUniversity of BayreuthBayreuthGermany
  11. 11.Department of Soil ScienceThai Nguyen University of Agriculture and ForestryThai NguyenVietnam
  12. 12.Center for Agricultural Resource Systems ResearchChiang Mai UniversityChiang MaiThailand

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