Searching development strategies for less-favoured areas

R. Ruben, M.H. Kuiper, J. Pender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Rural households in less-favoured areas (LFAs) face multiple constraints for overcoming chronic poverty and resource degradation. Strategic development options can be assessed through interdisciplinary research based on coupling of human and natural systems approaches. Simulation modelling enables the identification of more precise research questions and the definition of appropriate fieldwork methods. We present an overview of the stylized micro-macro modelling framework used for the exploration of production and resource management options and livelihood strategies at household and village level. The simulation outcomes are subsequently used for the identification of feasible pathways for agricultural and rural development in LFAs and for critical incentives that enable households to invest in profitable and sustainable resource management. The interaction between model simulations and topical field research generates useful insights for the design of comprehensive research programmes regarding strategies for sustainable development in LFAs. Stylized models of coupled human¿natural systems based on the behaviour of representative stakeholders provide a practical and flexible framework for exploring critical research issues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-342
Number of pages24
JournalNJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • rural development
  • economic development
  • models
  • simulation models
  • interdisciplinary research
  • income diversification
  • africa
  • integration
  • highlands
  • dynamics
  • market

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