Role of Participation in Achieving Sustainable and Resilient Agri-food Systems in Face of Emerging External Shocks: A Coupled Citizen Science and Nature-based Solutions Approach (CS-NbS)

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    Project Manager :
    Taha Loghmani

    Considering its crucial position at the Resource Nexus interface and its role as the primary consumer of global freshwater resources and the main contributor to food security, scholars have called for agri-food systems to undergo significant transformation. The critical question remains, however, as to how governance can be leveraged to steer this transformation beyond existing public policy research on the participation variable. Current research has primarily emphasized ‘what is (status quo) and what needs to be’ rather than proposing methodological approaches towards the latter.

    In selecting rural and peri-urban regions as agents of transformation, this research project aims to design methodological approaches to integrate decentralized and coupled Citizen Science and Nature-based Sanitation Solutions (CS-NbSS) within the existing grey infrastructure. Thus far, CS and NBS have been prominently featured in literature due to their value for the construction and promotion of sustainable attitudes and contexts, which have resulted in the underlying systems to behave sustainably.

    With a focus on the food and WASH sectors as the primary concerns of less-developed communities, their local governments, and academia, this project will apply mixed-method research to collaboratively design, implement, monitor, and evaluate the CS-NBSS living lab experiences of three case studies; incorporating and assessing the effect of such systems on the participation variable, food, household, and urban resilience, as well as their potential to support sustainable urban transformations.

    The first research paper of this doctoral study shall gather and assemble the related concepts from the state-of-the-art literature in the disciplines of public policy, environmental governance, sustainability governance, agroecology, citizen science, nature-based (sanitation) solutions, food systems resilience, and urban resilience. This literature review will also act to identify suitable case studies and to gather relevant data. The resulting concepts shall then be utilized to build a theoretical framework, the application and design of which could be tested via an appropriate methodological approach in the following (second) paper. The output of the methodological paper will form the basis of the third research paper, which will focus on implementing small-scaled CS-NBSS across the selected case studies and the analysis of the initial findings using mixed-method research comparatively. As a result, empirical evidence can be expected to identify participatory conditions that would lead to sustainable and resilient agri-food systems.

    This project is funded by

    The Saxon State Ministry for Science, Culture and Tourism (SMWK).