| V. PLANNING STAGE
Step 13. State of knowledge review and assessment of research needs
- Assess readiness of each of the designed technologies for direct extension and/or need for further research
- Compile integrated list of research needs, including:
- Need for further D&D (pre-project follow up and/or monitoring of field trials during project implementation
- On-farm trials of candidate technologies
- Farmer managed trials to assess adoptability and elicit farmer’s own design ideas
- Researcher managed trials to evaluate experimental variables under:
- On-station investigations under controlled conditions to obtain detailed information on component interactions, response to management, germplasm screening, etc.
Step 14. Research and extension plan
- Develop overall plan of action, detailing:
- Individual research investigations
- Extension activities
- Integration of research and extension goals and activities
- Collaboration in research and extension networks
VI. IMPLEMENTATION STAGE
Step 15. Implementation of R&D and extension activities
Comparison of D&D with similar methodologies
- Continue to apply the iterative D&D process to refine prototype agroforestry systems on the basis of feedback from research and extension experience (re-diagnosis and re-design)
- Institutionalize communication channels between different programme components (hold periodic meetings to pool experience, assess new developments and modify the plan of action in the light of new experience)
Several methodologies that endeavour to design improved and appropriate land-use systems are currently in use, and at least two of them, the FSR/E and Land Evaluation, have been in use for the longer period than the D&D. Comparisons have been made between D&D and these other longer-established methods . With regard to procedural aspects, D&D is more closely related to the FSR/E (sometimes D&D is even portrayed as a form of FSR/E). According to Raintree, D&D is, however, different from FSR/E in the following aspects:
- It possesses a broader diagnostic scope, giving specific attention to the role of trees within the farming system;
- It has a more elaborate technology design step, which is needed to visualize the more complex landscape intervention typical of agroforestry;
- It may be applied at variable-scales; and
- It places a greater emphasis on the iterative nature of a diagnostic and design process.
- A detailed comparison of D&D with Land Evaluation has been made by Young. He argues that if Land Evaluation is applied to agroforestry, then the wrong methodologies are attempting to accomplish virtually the same task: to find out the best system of improved land use for a given site. One of the main differences, however, appears to be a stronger treatment of environmental aspects in Land Evaluation, and a stronger treatment of social aspects in D&D.
- Another relatively new methodology of similar nature is the agro-ecosystem analysis. This is a conceptually simpler methodology for rapid rural appraisals. Although no systematic comparison has been made between D&D and agro-ecosystems analysis, the two approaches share the same philosophy. Another recent holistic approach to land management that has originated from the rangeland management perspective places a greater emphasis on design as opposed to diagnosis.
- It will thus appear that all these methodologies have the same essential features; each, however, has specific merits for specific situations. The D&D because of its agroforestry orientation is more popular in agroforestry circles. Nonetheless, if agroforestry itself is considered as a subset of farming systems (as Farming Systems experts sometimes claim) and FSR/E becomes broader and visualizes tree on farms as essential components of farming systems, the remaining differences, if any, between FSR/E and D&D will be of purely academic interest.
- But the fact remains that these are only methodologies for logically addressing land-use problems; they are not substitutes for action, i.e., testing, refining, and disseminating interventions. Additionally, a sound grasp of biological and social problems, as well as knowledge of possible interventions and a creative approach, are required of the multidisciplinary teams. The suitability of the diagnosis and the design will be a function of their knowledge and creativity; similarly, the success of the action depends on the merits of the available technologies. Furthermore the methodologies can, at best, only identify the problems and suggest the solutions; the solutions themselves depend on how the knowledge is advanced and applied.