Project: Research project

Project Details


Complex agri-environmental problems, including nonpoint source pollution and streamflow and aquifer depletion, threaten food production, human health, and ecological integrity. Solutions to these problems often require cooperation and participation of large numbers of private landowners. To build support for these efforts and improve outcomes, policy and practice have increasingly turned to stakeholder engagement processes as a central component of program implementation. Stakeholder engagement is believed to build trust and enable the individual and collective behavior changes required to improve agri-environmental outcomes. While stakeholder engagement is widely used, scientific research on whether and how, and under what conditions, it actually leads to improvements in social, economic, and environmental outcomes remains uncertain. Without improved knowledge of stakeholder engagement processes and associated outcomes, we risk wasting resources, damaging relationships, and ultimately failing to achieve lasting social and environmental change.To address this gap, we will hold a series of meetings culminating in aprofessionally facilitated workshop where scientists, practitioners, and community stakeholders will review existing research and build a research agenda on how best to study and evaluate the impacts of stakeholder engagement. The workshop will enable researchers from diverse disciplines to compare research methods and results, and to engage with practitioners to collaboratively assess the science and practice of stakeholder engagement on working agricultural landscapes. The project will develop a report outlining what is currently known about the effectiveness of stakeholder engagement, research needed to improve our knowledge, and a future research agenda, that will be disseminated to scientists, practitioners, and policymakers through various channels. We will also organize a special issue of a peer-reviewed scientific journal to reach a broader scientific audience and catalyze additional research. Finally, we will assist in organizing a new research network for scholars and practitioners to continue efforts to conduct research on stakeholder engagement. Through these activities, this project will lead to increased and more focused research on stakeholder engagement, and catalyze new collaborations and networking across scientist, practitioner, and community stakeholder participants, and therefore contribute to improved coordination to address water resource challenges in agricultural working landscapes.

Effective start/end date9/1/208/31/22


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture: $49,748.00


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