Assessing participatory processes and outcomes in agricultural research for development from participants' perspectives
To analyze the experiences of farmers involved in a participatory plant breeding project in West Africa, we develop a two-dimensional framework for evaluating the process and outcomes of participatory agricultural research for development projects. On one axis, we draw on existing typologies to describe the participatory process as consultative, collaborative, or collegial. On another axis, we theorize and test the outcomes of participation; specifically, whether the process achieves instrumental goals, is empowering for participants, or is manipulative toward participants. Qualitative interviews with farmers and technicians indicate a range of instrumental and empowering outcomes emerging from the participatory process, which support food security through access to seeds and a new ability to share information learned through the research process.