Our publications

Peer-Reviewed Publications:

  • Climate change in the High Andes: Implications and adaptation strategies for small farmers: Global climate change represents a major threat to sustainable farming in the Andes. Farmers have used local ecological knowledge and intricate production systems to cope, adapt and reorganize to meet climate uncertainty and risk, which have always been a fact of life. Those traditional systems are generally highly resilient, but the predicted effects, rates and variability of climate change may push them beyond their range of adaptability. This article examines the extent of actual and potential impacts of climate variability and change on small-scale farmers in the highland Andes of Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. It describes how climate change impacts agriculture through deglaciation, changes in hydrology, soil and pest and disease populations. The article highlights some promising adaptive strategies currently in use by or possible for producers, rural communities and local institutions to mitigate climate change effects while preserving the livelihoods and environmental and social sustainability of the region.  Perez, C., Nicklin, C., Dangles, O., Vanek, S., Sherwood, S., Halloy, S., Garrett, K., Forbes, G., 2010.  Climate Change in the High Andes: Implications and Adaptation Strategies for Small-­scale Farmers.  The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic, And Social Sustainability 6(5).  En Español: Cambio climático en la zona alto-andina: implicaciones y estrategias de adaptación para pequeños agricultores
  • Tackling the new materialities: Modern food and counter-movements in Ecuador: Faced with rising non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the Ecuadorian Government has proposed a model health program targeting individual and environmental level determinants. Drawing on cosmopolitan social theory, the experiences of counter-movements and concerns over food policy, the authors explore how mass pesticide poisoning and obesity can be viewed as the product of the ‘success’ of the modernization policy as well as a specific range of global phenomena configuring civic activity and policy situations. Through the study of NCDs as an emergent social field, the authors examine historical developments and heterogeneity in peoples’ practices for insights on more practical and effective public policy responses. The rise of the consumer–citizen in counter-movements represents a paradoxical, but promising dynamic capable of reconstituting economies, culture, and society. In Ecuador, social action appears to be a largely neglected and under-utilized resource for tackling NCDs and perhaps other highly pressing and seemingly intractable food policy concerns.  Sherwood, S., A. Arce, P. Berti, R. Borja, P. Oyarzun and E. Bekkering. 2013. Tackling the New Modernities: Modern Food and Counter-movements in Ecuador. Food Policy 41:1-10.

Reports, Articles, and Chapters:

  • Being the difference can make a difference: Is it time to stop capacity-building?:  This opinion article explores a third phase of rural development (Development 3.0) that looks for solutions from inside the community itself and sees the researcher and facilitator as a social actor in the process rather than an authority figure.  Published in Spanish.  Paredes, M and Sherwood, S. 2013. Ser la diferencia puede hacer la diferencia: es hora de parar de “fortalecimiento de capacidades”?  LEISA Revista de Agroecologia 29(3).
  • Development 3.0: Development practice in transition:  Following over a half-century of “technology transfer” and “participation”, the paradigm of agricultural modernisation appears to have reached a limit. Directly related to growing concerns over the world’s food systems, there is a sense of welcomed change taking place. At the centre lays a commonly neglected resource: the creativity embedded in peoples’ daily practices and self-organisation.  Sherwood, S., C. Leeuwis, and T.A. Crane. 2012.  Development 3.0: Development practice in transition.  Farming Matters 28(3):40-41
  • Katalysis: helping Andean farmers adapt to climate change: This chapter describes the concept, process and results of the Katalysis project.  In Katalysis the focus is on enhancing local knowledge of climate change and creating opportunities for coping with it. Katalysis starts with the experience and priorities of participants. Through problem-solving and action around priority interests, the focus shifts from concerns at the individual farm level to those at community and watershed level.  Sherwood, Stephen and Jeffery Bentely. 2010. “Katalysis: Helping Andean Farmers Adapt to Climate Change”. In: Participatory Learning and Action 60: Community-Based Adaptation to Climate Change, 65-76.  London: IIED.
  • Katalysis: helping Andean farmers endure climate change:  This article explores how Andean farmers are creatively harvesting and retaining water to deal with the increasing variability in rainfall due to climate change.  Published in Spanish.  Sherwood, S., P. Oyarzun, R. Borja, M. Ochoa, and C. Sacco. 2009. Katalysis: ayudando a los agricultores andinos a sobrellevar el cambio climático. LEISA. March. 24(4):22-24.
  • Local Food Systems: Tzimbuto and Canasta Utopía: In December 2012 Farming Matters ran an article about “Development 3.0”, highlighting the importance of showcasing peoples’ experiences as an inspiration for social change. The Canastas Comunitarias, a movement started by families to address their concerns over food prices (and presented in vol. 28.3 of our magazine) provides a clear example of this approach. Today, the movement has expanded to six cities in Ecuador and has diversified to address new concerns, but remains a perfect example of the benefits of local food systems.  Lema, F., Orarzun, P., Borja, R., Zambrano, S.  2013. Local Food Systems: Tzimbuto and Canasta Utopía. Farming Matters. 29(2):38-40.
  • People: The establishment of strong and efficient partnerships can contribute enormously to family farming, in many different ways. All efforts to enhance learning, however, must ensure that local people remain in control of the process. External agents need to be very aware of the role they want to take and of the role they are, in effect, taking.  Sherwood, S.  2010. People. Farming Matters 26(4):10-11.