Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Valuing local knowledge as a source of expert data: Farmer engagement and the design of decision support systems
Authors: Oliver, David
Fish, Robert
Winter, Michael
Hodgson, Chris J
Heathwaite, A Louise
Chadwick, Dave R
Contact Email:
Keywords: Decision support
Local knowledge
Questionnaire survey
Stakeholder participation
Water quality
Issue Date: Oct-2012
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Oliver D, Fish R, Winter M, Hodgson CJ, Heathwaite AL & Chadwick DR (2012) Valuing local knowledge as a source of expert data: Farmer engagement and the design of decision support systems, Environmental Modelling and Software, 36, pp. 76-85.
Abstract: Engagement with farmers and landowners is often undertaken by the research community to obtain information relating to typical land, livestock and enterprise management and generally centres on responses to questionnaire surveys. Farmers and land managers are constituted as expert observers of ground-level processes and provide diverse information on farming practices, enterprise economics and underpinning attitudes towards risk. Research projects designed to inform policy and practice may rely on such data to understand better on-the-ground decisions that can impact on environmental quality and the rural economy. Such approaches to eliciting local-level expert knowledge can generate large quantities of data from which to formulate rules relating to farm enterprise types. In turn, this can help to inform the structure of Decision Support Systems (DSS) and risk-based tools to determine farming practices likely to impact on environmental quality. However, in this paper we advocate the need for integrated farmer participation throughout the whole research process - from project inception through to community qualitative validation and legitimation - and thus not just for the elicitation of questionnaire responses. With farm questionnaire surveys being adopted widely by the research community, it is an opportune time to highlight a recent case study of the Taw catchment, Devon, UK. This serves as an example of co-construction of a DSS via a co-ordinated and integrated approach to expert elicitation with a farmer questionnaire survey as a central methodology. The aim of the paper is to detail the core aspects of an iterative cycle of participatory environmental management and DSS development for water quality protection and consider the multiple benefits of co-ordinated programmes of engagement with the farming community in this process.
Type: Journal Article
DOI Link:
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Biological and Environmental Sciences
Lancaster University
University of Exeter
North Wyke Research
Lancaster University
North Wyke Research

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Environmental Modelling and Software 2012.pdf1.56 MBAdobe PDFUnder Embargo until 31/12/2999     Request a copy

Note: If any of the files in this item are currently embargoed, you can request a copy directly from the author by clicking the padlock icon above. However, this facility is dependant on the depositor still being contactable at their original email address.

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.