Rural Development Priorities

Report
AAEA Post-Conference Workshop:
USDA NIFA Projects Best Practices
Marriott Wardman Park, Washington, DC ● August 7, 2013
Stephan J. Goetz, Director
The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development
and Pennsylvania State University
Contact: Stephan J. Goetz, Director ● [email protected] ● (814) 777-4656 ● http://nercrd.psu.edu
Presentation Outline
• The Benefits (and Challenges) of inter- and
trans-disciplinary collaboration
• An Example: EFSNE AFRI Global Food Security
project
• Some Take-Aways
Contact: Stephan J. Goetz, Director ● [email protected] ● (814) 777-4656 ● http://nercrd.psu.edu
About collaboration
• Problems facing society are increasingly
complex
• Working across disciplines is no longer
optional but required by many funders
• Many breakthrough insights occur
serendipitously, through collaboration
Six Impediments to Natural/Social
Sciences Collaboration
Mooney et al. PNAS, Feb. 26, 2013, 110, S1:3671
• Unrealistic expectations between disciplines
• Nature of data available by disciplines
• Natural scientists propose projects to social
scientists without coproduction of plan
• Scale of research focus dissimilar (local vs. global)
• Academic reward systems differ among
disciplines
• Lack of acceptance of the value of alternative
knowledge systems
Pecking Order
Pecking Order
Source: Language Log, UPenn
About collaboration
• Richard Ogle (2007) Smart World:
Breakthrough Creativity and the
New Science of Ideas, Harvard
Business School Press, 302pp.
• Significant challenges arise…
– Different cultures, expectations
– Different languages
– Distance barriers
Some benefits of collaboration
Bell Labs in New Jersey in 1966. The long hallways encouraged interaction
among researchers. By JON GERTNER Published: February 25, 2012 in NYT
BCG/Myelin Repair Foundation
Network mapping tool for research
on Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Shows who is working on common
problems. Can shave years off
research, while also helping firms
hone corporate strategy.
Source: Hindo, B. Business Week, Inside Innovation
EFNSE NIFA GFS Grant
• Title: Enhancing the Food Security of Underserved
Populations in the Northeast U.S. through Sustainable
Regional Food Systems Development (EFSNE), NIFA
Grant No. 2011-68004-30057
• 12 NE partner institutions, 11 core disciplines
• $5 million, 5 years: 2011-16 Planning, Architecture, Urban Design
EFSNE
Nutrition/Dietetics, Food Systems
Ag Economics
Ag/Biological (Systems) Engineering
Agronomy/Soil and Crop Science
Sociology, Community Dev.
Educational Leadership
Communications, Public Health
10
Northeast NIFA/AFRI-GIS Project Sites and Collaborators
Collaborating Institutions
Agricultural Research Service/USDA – Orono, ME and Beltsville, MD
Columbia University, Urban Design Lab
Cornell University, Ithaca and Syracuse Cooperative Extension
Delaware State University
Economic Research Service/USDA Washington, DC
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (PD)
Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group
Tufts University, Friedman School of Nutrition
Syracuse
The Pennsylvania State University
University of Vermont
West Virginia State University
ARS/Orono, ME
New York
Pittsburgh
Philadelphia
Baltimore
Charleston
EFSNE
ARS/ERS Wash DC
Rural Study Sites (DE, NY and VT)
Metro Study Sites
Advisory Council
Robert King, Professor, Univ. of Minnesota
Toni Liquori, NYC School Food FOCUS
David Marvel, President, Fruit and
Vegetable Growers Assoc. of Delaware
Joyce Smith, Operation Reachout
Southwest, Baltimore
Evaluation Consultant
Ted Wilson, The Headwaters Group 11
EFSNE
EFSNE: NIFA GFS Grant
• Basic question: Can regional supply chains provide
“healthier” foods to low-income consumers, at prices they
can afford?
• Nine in-depth study sites and covering 300 NE counties
• Hypothesis of underlying market failure
Supply
Demand
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/images/ChipleyFarmersMarket2008005.jpg
12
EFSNE
The Basic Question
• Addressed through five specific objectives
– Consumption
– Distribution
– Production
– Outreach/Extension
– Education
• Each has one leader
– Frequent communications
EFSNE
Study Design
One of 9 locations
(e.g., Baltimore)
Location
One neighborhood or
community per (underserved)
location; focus groups
Two stores on average
per neighborhood; consumers
patronizing the stores; HMBs
Supply chains,
business owners
Agricultural production
capacity, 300 NE counties
Local
HMB
Regional
National
International
Some Take-Aways
• Start early with a core group, communicate
often; meet face-to-face if possible
• Anticipate some lead time (1-2+ years); start
with smaller projects…
• Choose one point person, but break up the
project (problem) into smaller, manageable
parts; let the experts lead the components
– Starting with the proposal writing, and subsequently
– E.g., allow for different scales, units of analysis,
analytical tools
Some Take-Aways
• Often “muddling through” day by day (a messy
process); clarity comes later
• Joint writing activity can build bonds
• Develop a clear, compelling hypothesis that
addresses stakeholder (granting agency) needs,
& is sufficiently broad for everyone to buy into
• Be flexible, accommodate and respect
differences (disciplines, functions, academic
rank, career goals and needs)
Some Take-Aways
• Strategically recruit the “right” people: personal
contacts and networks work best
– Right mix of disciplines and experience vs. up to
date skills
– Do need shared research ideas, interests, skills
– Accomplished professionals, but able to keep egos
in check
– See the whole as bigger than the sum of the parts
– Generalists and specialists
– Mutual trust and respect; chemistry
EFSNE Project Network: 2006
1
2
10
6
21
15
18
11
19
4
12
7
16
20
3
5
8
13
17
9
14
Average density
2006:
1.75
Legend
1: if knew of this individual in 2006
2: if ever cited this person's published work
3: if had working relationship with (in local or regional foods)
Colors represent k-cores
EFSNE Project Network: 2012
Average density
2006:
1.75
2012:
18.29
t-stat:
(9.92)
Legend
Line colors show intensity of interaction
Colors represent k-cores
What Social Sciences Contribute
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Framing problems; unifying concepts
Production, consumption behavior
Incentives, motivation, feedback
Modeling skills
Economic value, impacts, returns to research
Individual vs. group action (e.g., networks)
OMB memo “suggests [that] agencies learn how
to harness research findings from the social and
behavioral sciences.” July 26, 2013
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/memoranda/2013/m-13-17.pdf
Thank you
Contact: Stephan J. Goetz, Director ● [email protected] ● (814) 777-4656 ● http://nercrd.psu.edu

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