Asian societies are complex and undergoing rapid change. Notions of gender, class, caste, ethnicity, and age are integral to understanding power relations and decision-making processes concerning the access, use, and management of natural resources. As well, a sound understanding of social difference is needed to find answers to the questions of who participates and how, and who benefits and how from development interventions, projects, programs, and policies.
This book documents and reflects on the steps that researchers are taking to implement social and gender analysis, including questions of class, caste, and ethnicity, into their everyday work. It combines both learning experiences and scientific results, representing academic and nonacademic sectors, a variety of research organizations, and a number of natural resource management questions, including biodiversity conservation, crop and livestock improvement, and sustainable grassland development. The learning studies – from China, India, Mongolia, Nepal, and Viet Nam – illustrate challenges, opportunities, successes, and disappointments, and highlight the different methods used and adapted in the diverse contexts of South and Southeast Asia. The book concludes with a comparative analysis of the learning studies, which highlights common issues and challenges.
Ronnie Vernooy is a senior program specialist at the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa, Canada. He obtained his PhD in the sociology of rural development from Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and joined IDRC in 1992. His research interests include farmer experimentation and organization, natural resource management, agricultural biodiversity, and participatory (action) research methods including monitoring and evaluation. His current work focuses on Southeast Asia, Central America, and Cuba. He has authored and edited numerous publications, including Seeds that Give: Participatory Plant Breeding (IDRC 2003).