Short term consultancy/Training under the Agriculture/Livestock Research Support Programme, Phase II (ARSP II)

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Dr. Steiner, K. G.
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Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
Starting from core issues and then proposing activities, formulating impact hypotheses, and selecting indicators is a rather classical approach. It pretends for the time being that core issues can be treated as separate issues. However,all core issues are somehow inter-linked, since a village and its land management is rather a "living system". In contrast to a "machine" the parts if which are largely known and whose malfunctions can be "repaired", a living system has more inter-relationships- many of them are not known - and has thus a high degree of uncertainty, mainly due to the human component with its different and conflicting agendas. Problems cannot be solved with a "repair shop Mentality",tackling and solving issues independently. Living systems can only be steered - not controlled - by simultaneous impulses at different levels, monitoring their impacts, and modifying the impulses if necessary. However, handling such complex systems is not yet common Knowledge.