Pathways for governance opportunities: Social network analysis to create targeted and effective policies for agricultural and environmental development

Kristine Valujeva*, Elizabeth K. Freed, Aleksejs Nipers, Jyrki Jauhiainen, Rogier P.O. Schulte

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Participatory techniques are widely recognized as essential in addressing the challenges of agri-environmental policy and decision-making. Furthermore, it is well known that stakeholder analysis and social network analysis are useful methods in the identification of actors that are involved in a system and the connections between them. To identify key stakeholders and improve the transfer of information from national-to farm-level, we compared a stakeholder analysis with farmer-centric networks for primary productivity, carbon regulation and biodiversity through the case study of Latvia. Farmer-centric networks show a higher number of stakeholders communicating on the topic of primary productivity network comparing to other topics. We found three pathways for improving knowledge transfer in agri-environmental governance: horizontal strengthening of farming community, horizontal strengthening of policy departments, and vertical strengthening between policy departments and farmers. The first step is to ensure that policy-makers have a common understanding of the results that should be achieved. The second step is the transfer of know-how between farmers to develop new solutions. The third step is the training of advisers in the land multifunctionality and the strengthening of communication and knowledge transfer between policy departments and farmers in order to jointly achieve the desired direction at that national level. Long-term cooperation between many stakeholders, including knowledge transfer, the development and implementation of solutions, and monitoring are essential in order to adequately address global societal challenges. The application of our mixed methods approach to elucidate pathways for improved governance of knowledge and information is of direct relevance to other jurisdictions seeking to transition towards multifunctional and sustainable land management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116563
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • agri-environmental governance
  • Agricultural Knowledge Innovation System
  • Functional Land Management
  • soil functions


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