Addressing research complexity: Analysing pathways to impact and using transdisciplinary approaches

Evan W. Christen, Michael Mitchell, Christian Roth, Edward Rowley

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper outlines the experience of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) in developing and managing research for development projects concerning land and water resources. The complexity of the contexts in which such research is undertaken has resulted in two discernible shifts. First, to more effectively guide project design and implementation, there has been a shift to focus on research for development aims in terms of what can be achieved by the end of the project, and the project's intended longer term impacts. Improved use of impact pathways analysis has enabled projects in complex contexts to be better designed and evaluated for improvements. Second, there has been a move from interdisciplinary to transdisciplinary approaches that can put farmers and land managers firmly at the centre of the research. These shifts have led to an appreciation that research will need to more strategically address issues of equity in development.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)32-43
    Number of pages11
    JournalAgricultural Science
    Issue number2/1
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


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