Research partnership for an agroecology-based solidarity economy in Bolivia and Brazil

Lead Research Organisation: Open University
Department Name: Faculty of Arts and Social Sci (FASS)

Abstract

Objectives:
The partnership combines three research teams to deepen their interdisciplinary skills for participatory action research with community organisations developing agroecological innovation as a crucial means towards sustainable, socially equitable development. The three research teams are: Open University, Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP in São Paolo, Brazil) and the Comunidad de Estudios Jaina (CEJ) in southern Bolivia. Their partnership aims to:
- identify and strengthen community capacities for an agroecology-based solidarity economy, in response to needs and demands of traditional lower-income communities; and.
- develop, combine, test and refine culturally-grounded research methods for making those community capacities more visible, as a basis to strengthen them through multi-stakeholder knowledge co-production.

Integrated expertise:
Within the broad area of agri-food sustainability, the three research teams bring diverse expertise (methodological, thematic and disciplinary) which will be integrated through transdisciplinary research. This addresses real-world problems in order to overcome the distance between specialized and lay knowledges, as well as between research and policy. The results will present an innovative methodology in the project's handbook and final report.

Activities:
Each research team will form an action-research group with members of relevant communities; some already agreed to participate in the project. They will plan a series of three workshops to be held in each case-study area: the Valle Central (Bolivia), Brazil's Litoral Norte; and Brazil's Baixada Santista. In each area, the third workshop will attract many more participants to discuss the results, the project's indicators of success and practical use of the research method.
Meanwhile the Latin American and International Advisory Panels will maintain contact with wider networks, especially the FAO's agroecology programme.
Final project-wide conference will present the draft outputs. This conference will bring together representatives of community participants, support organisations, public authorities (local, state and Federal Ministries), other Federal organisations and Latin American contributors to the FAO's agroecology programme.

Project outputs will emphasise methods relevant to agroecological innovation of traditional communities for a solidarity economy. They will be designed as media tools to gain impact locally, regionally or internationally.
- Methodology handbook for practitioners.
- Report from each pilot case-study (x 3).
- Report on the novel research methodology demonstrating its implementation in practice through the pilot case studies, lessons from them and wider implications (in English).
- Films on the communities' knowledge co-production processes, to be commissioned from - professional film-makers. Bilingual subtitles will be added.
- Summaries: The printed outputs will be double-sided A3 brochures summarising each of the longer outputs above, including a bar code for easily downloading them from the project website. These will be printed (3000 copies) for wide distribution at numerous relevant events in Latin America.
- Papers will be presented at numerous professional conferences and published in academic journals.
All these will be in Spanish and/or Portuguese, except that the longer final report and its summary will be in English.
All will be available on the project's website, which will continue long after the project.

Impacts: The project will have several impacts, in particular: Community organisations' capacities will be enhanced through the research method. Wide participation of their networks will enrich multi-stakeholder knowledge-exchange (diálogos de saberes). Lower-income agroecological communities will demand support measures enhancing their capacities for an agroecology-based solidarity economy.

Planned Impact

The project will have benefits for several groups, as follows:

Lower-income traditional communities: They will benefit from making more visible and strengthening their capacities for an agroecology-based solidarity economy, responding to demands of lower-income traditional communities (especially smallholders, indigenous and women). The results will showcase historical-cultural agro-food legacies which are being (or could be) extended for enhancing community cohesion, producers' livelihoods, short food-supply chains and nutritional quality. For all those aims, the project will identify exemplary practices for knowledge co-production between agroecological communities and external expert bodies. Such communities will have stronger means of gaining, shaping and selectively incorporating such expertise. The project's methods will strengthen and extend exemplary practices of multi-stakeholder knowledge co-production for agroecological innovation. The benefits will stimulate community demands for policy support measures best building their capacities for an agroecology-based solidarity economy.

Support organisations: Conversely, when designing assistance for traditional communities, support organisations will better understand how to engage with communities' aims, knowledges and cultural values. Such bodies include agricultural extension services, NGOs, charitable foundations, academic institutions, etc. At a global level the FAO's agroecology programme will have a stronger basis for support measures and for guidance to analogous efforts by governments. Such organisations can better provide measures which strengthen capacities of traditional communities for knowledge co-production.

Policymakers (from local, regional and national bodies) will better understand how to design support measures to facilitate community capacities for an agroecology-based solidarity economy, as a basis for improving sustainable agro-food production and nutritional quality in socially equitable ways. Relevant policy area include: public procurement, agriculture, agricultural extension, rural development and social development.

Organisations of the three research teams: Those organisations (OU, UNESP, CEJ) will gain capacity for transdisciplinary participatory action-research (PAR) around culturally-grounded methods with community organisations in Latin America. This methodological advance, alongside greater cohesion amongst the three teams, will provide a strong basis for further collaboration through joint grant proposals with more research teams.

Other researchers: The results will inspire and inform PAR by other researchers with analogous communities. Both groups will gain insights about PAR with lower-income traditional communities in the global South, especially Latin America. They will better understand culturally-grounded methods resonating with people's experiences in specific localities, as a basis to take up the project's methods.

Wider rural communities: The results will be helpful for worldwide efforts at strengthening capacities to extend an agroecology-based solidarity economy. Such capacities will enhance livelihoods, nutritional benefits, natural resources, environments, and thus human welfare. Such improvements can build community sovereignty over natural and human resources, as a crucial means towards sustainable development.

Project's partnership: Through those processes the partnership will build its own capacity to carry out interdisciplinary participatory action research (PAR) along several lines - among the three national teams (in UK, Bolivia and Brazil), between the Latin American teams and the community participants, and amongst them all. Their capacity will be enhanced through culturally-grounded research methods for knowledge co-production with traditional rural communities. Through mentoring by UNESP, the project will build capacity of early-career (and community) researchers.
 
Title 'Projeto Povos - Cuidar é Resistir' (To Care is to Resist) film series 
Description In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Fórum de Comunidades Tradicionais (FCT) launched a campaign,'Cuidar é Resistir' (To Care is to Resist). It produced numerous short films under the general title 'Projeto Povos - Cuidar é Resistir'. These depict how traditional communities imposed their own quarantine for collective self-protection, while sustaining themselves through various means of agroecological self-sufficiency and mutual aid. Each film has a specific topic such as: solidarity networks, agroecological production methods, artisanal fishing, women's leadership, community-based tourism, etc. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2020 
Impact The online film series spread the knowledge-exchange process among traditional communities, as well as publicising this process to diverse audiences throughout Brazil and Latin America. 
URL https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa1FoiFcayzJgGSRLMqV3nA
 
Description Our project title, 'Solidarity Economy based on agroecology in Bolívia and Brazil', refers to a decade-long convergence between agroecological production methods and solidarity economy (economia solidária or EcoSol). We call this convergence EcoSol-agroecology networks, meaning that the various initiatives stimulate and depend on multi-actor solidaristic networks. Together they build short-supply chains, called circuitos curtos in Latin America, especially for agroecological products in our study. As our project's short title, AgroEcos indicates that such practices have echoes through replication across space and time, as explained on the website, https://projetoagroecos.wixsite.com/meusite

The project originally planned to investigate two main questions:
? How do EcoSol-agroecology networks develop collective capacities for solidaristic circuitos curtos?
? How can action-research help to identify and strengthen those capacities?
When the Covid-19 pandemic escalated from March 2020 onwards, the project added some questions, in particular:
? How do EcoSol-agroecology networks extend or change their previous practices?
? How do they overcome obstacles, construct learning and conceive new strategies?

Findings:

For EcoSol-agroecology networks, the Covid-19 pandemic created new obstacles, which aggravated prior difficulties from declining government support (especially in Brazil and Bolivia). Creative multi-actor responses sought ways to overcome or bypass the difficulties; they continued to distribute agroecological products through solidaristic circuitos curtos, often maintaining the previous income of their producers. These efforts highlighted, mobilised and extended collective capacities which already existed, while also inspiring similar efforts among groups which became newly involved.

Collective capacities feature democratic self-management of farmers' markets and weekly box schemes; such circuitos curtos have had more diverse means and forms during the pandemic. Agroecological producers have increasingly engaged in cooperative relationships, while 'conscientious consumer' groups expanded community-supported agriculture through weekly box schemes. Producers also arranged exchanges of surplus products for direct consumption or sales.

For building circuitos curtos, collective capacities involve various forms of proximity, often starting from a geographical proximity between producers and consumers. More profoundly, organizational proximities integrate skills of multiple stakeholder groups, especially among small-scale producers and with civil society groups or municipalities. Collective marketing builds socio-cultural proximities between producers and consumers, e.g. by explaining food sources in agroecological production methods and place-specific traditions.

As a form of action research, the project's local teams engaged with multi-stakeholder networks, especially agroecological producers, to deal with the pandemic-era constraints (see section on Engagement activities). This engagement helped to identify their creative adaptations, as well as sometimes to facilitate them; see the next section.

This brief overview generalises about diverse, context-specific forms of EcoSol-agroecology networks. These are described separately in the project's Bulletin no.1, https://3d33eb12-f421-47a1-a45f-76acc45bd2d6.filesusr.com/ugd/5872ec_70e7b1823b734e6aa49c2b8ac672392a.pdf
Each case study also has a brief description in the Narrative Impact section.
Exploitation Route Our knowledge-exchange and engagement activities have already spread people's experiences to EcoSol-agroecology initiatives at an earlier stage of development. We will be monitoring how our project has 'echoes', i.e. replication across time and space, and thus how this process could be amplified.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment

 
Description This section has three parts -- socioeconomic impacts, gender inequalities and environmental impacts. Each part relates the AgroEcos project to Sustainable Development Goals. . SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS In our three case-study areas, EcoSol-agroecology networks have been combining social and economic benefits relevant to several SDGs. Solidaristic circuitos curtos bring benefits such as: social inclusion of otherwise marginalised groups (especially lower-income women, black or indigenous people); skills of collective democratic self-management; greater income for female small-scale producers (SDGs 1, 5, 10), in turn highlighting their contribution to family income; decent dignified work (SDG8); more healthy food at lower prices than organic (SDG3). More generally, multi-actor partnerships have been built to provide those benefits, including civil society groups and municipal officers (SDG17). These efforts build greater self-confidence to share responsibility for group activities. Such benefits have gradually materialised over many years, contingent on specific contexts in the case-study areas. Such benefits preceded the AgroEcos project, which began in January 2020. A couple months later, EcoSol-agroecology initiatives faced great difficulties from the Covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, they found new means to continue solidaristic circuitos curtos or even to expand them. The AgroEcos project played indirect or direct roles in those new strategies. For such responses to the pandemic, below are a few points about each case-study area and the project's role there. For more details, see the trilingual AgroEcos Bulletin no. 1, https://3d33eb12-f421-47a1-a45f-76acc45bd2d6.filesusr.com/ugd/5872ec_70e7b1823b734e6aa49c2b8ac672392a.pdf Our research teams and partners below are also listed in the later section on Collaborations. Baixada Santista, Brazil: When the pandemic jeopardized the previous circuitos curtos there, numerous public webinars were planned by a civil society network, the Fórum de Economia Solidária da Baixada Santista (FESBS), sometimes with UNESP (AgroEcos team). The webinars discussed strategies for overcoming the difficulties and thus continuing the multiple benefits of circuitos curtos. Speakers came from key actors (small-scale women producers, conscientious consumer groups, municipal officers, agri-extensionists) from several towns in the region; likewise other initiatives facing similar difficulties and so replicating such strategies. Bocaina, Litoral Norte, Brazil: Long before the pandemic, The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) had been collaborating with the Fórum de Comunidades Tradicionais de Angra dos Reis, Paraty e Ubatuba (FCT) by funding of the Observatório de Territórios Sustentáveis e Saudáveis da Bocaina (OTSS, Agroecos team) . They have established an alternative development model under the motto 'socio-environmental justice' featuring Community-Based Tourism (TBC). When the Covid-19 pandemic posed great dangers to traditional communities, they restricted access to outsiders and thus suspended tourism, which had been a significant income source. They jointly established the campaign 'Cuidar é Resistir' (To Care is to Resist) to minimize the socio-economic impacts of losing income. OTSS helped in several ways: delivering emergency food supplies; facilitating exchanges of surplus agri-food products; facilitating knowledge exchange and plant seedlings amongst traditional communities in order to enhance agroecological practices and artisanal fishing. This campaign revived the practice of exchanging agri-products within and among different communities. The OTSS also has supported traditional communities to access public policies aiming to reduce their vulnerability. The OTSS team identify people who lack access to pensions, public distribution of food baskets, emergency food or financial aid; the survey helps government agencies to include them. La Valle Central, Bolivia: Before the pandemic, the Comunidad de Estudios Jaina (AgroEcos team) had been collaborating with the women producers of Bioferia, an agroecological farmers' market providing sales opportunities for nearby peasant communities. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the peasants could not reliably move their products to the city, for many reasons. Jaina played a crucial role in establishing a new home-delivery distribution system. Called Canastas Campesinas Alantuya (peasant baskets), this ensured that the producers could continue to sell their products and gain income. By providing home deliveries, this new system expanded sales and thus the women's income. GENDER: contribution to gender inclusivity and equality Research teams (UNESP, OTSS, Jaina): When the AgroEcos project began, each team had a woman in a senior research role. The project gave each team a budget for part-time early-career researchers; the selection process involved gender equality as a criterion and a critical perspective. Consequently, women have held all these posts, thus providing more research opportunities for women. They contributed to perspectives on gender inequalities and means to overcome them through EcoSol-agroecology initiatives. The UNESP team led a literature review on such issues. Case-study areas: As noted above, the project helped indirectly or directly to maintain EcoSol-agroecology initiatives. From various information sources including webinars, we have seen women playing central roles in EcoSol-agroecology networks in the three case-study areas, especially through small-scale producers' cooperatives for collective marketing and farmers' markets. Despite difficulties from the pandemic, such initiatives sustained the women's previous income and public roles for women small-scale producers (relevant to SDG5), especially in the webinars. In the Baixada Santista case study, greater opportunities for circuitos curtos enabled women producers to strengthen their organisational skills as well as to increase their income. As a knowledge-exchange process, such webinars provided opportunities for other women to participate in strategy discussions, within and across the case studies. Through this process, men became more aware of gender inequalities and means to overcome them. Methods to investigate gender inequalities: We await an opportunity to implement our original plan for in-person events; meanwhile we explore all issues through online knowledge-exchanges. Our online interviews have been investigating gender inequalities, for example with the Collective of Morro das Panelas in Peruíbe and UMPES (EcoSol Women's Union of Peruibe). In the Bocaina, Brazil, as well as the Valle Central, Bolivia, we will investigate the role of women's groups in producing and marketing agroecological products, especially how this activity relates to the gender division of labour. ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY impact As exemplified by our case-study areas, EcoSol-agroecology initiatives contribute to environmental sustainability at two levels. Firstly, their agri-food production methods recycle and thus conserve natural resources, increase biodiversity and protect genetic heritage. Secondly, their consumption bypasses agri-industrial food production as well as their unhealthy ultra-processed products. Agroecological alternatives promote responsible production and consumption (SDG12), sustainable agriculture and food and nutrition security (SGD2) and help protect life on land (SDG15). In the AgroEcos case-study areas, EcoSol-agroecology networks have been educating the public about these benefits and thus the need to change the dominant production-consumption patterns. These efforts have been led by networks of small-scale producers or 'conscientious consumers'. Our webinars helped to link these efforts, to sharpen their strategies and to highlight them for practitioners around Latin America. FCT networks value agrobiodiversity, traditional agricultural systems, and the use and management of these resources linked to the knowledge and culture of traditional populations. In these ways, OTSS provides technical and material resources that foster the development of such agroecological initiatives with the aim of preserve agrobiodiversity and guaranteeing people's sovereignty and food security.
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Communities and Social Services/Policy,Environment
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Baixada Santista, Brazil: expanding capacities and support for circuitos curtos
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact From 2016 onwards the Federal government became increasingly hostile to the EcoSol agenda and abolished or reduced support measures. Some local authorities had formal policies for a solidarity economy but did little to implement them. Nevertheless some municipal officers in the Baixada Santista (e.g. in Peruibe and Itanhaem) helped to organise training programmes in the years before the Covid-19 pandemic. These programmes helped to build capacities for circuitos curtos, especially among women's and indigenous cooperatives. Diverse expertise was brought together into the Forum de Economia Solidária da Baixada Santista (FESBS), which then played a stronger coordination role when the pandemic intensified in February 2020. During the pandemic, municipal officers responded to requests from solidarity networks. For example, they helped producers' cooperatives to comply with the hygiene requirements and connected their products to donations for vulnerable individuals, especially by extending the school meals programme. In these ways, women's collective food marketing successfully maintained or even increased their income despite the pandemic. They also strengthened their capacities for democratic self-management of circuitos curtos. This expansion had greater opportunities to educate publics about more sustainable agri-production methods. See more details in Narrative Impact section and the project's trilingual Boletim no.1, https://3d33eb12-f421-47a1-a45f-76acc45bd2d6.filesusr.com/ugd/5872ec_70e7b1823b734e6aa49c2b8ac672392a.pdf In the run-up to the November 2020 local elections, the FESBS launched a campaign demanding that the state and local authorities implement major policy changes favourable to a solidarity economy. This effort gained significant public attention, with more opportunities to inform the public about agroecological production methods. But it is premature identify improvements in policy. Note: In the Researchfish drop-down box I have chosen the least inappropriate option: 'training practitioners'. But it would be more appropriate to say: 'Enhanced the capacity of practitioners and civil society networks'.
URL https://www.facebook.com/groups/1384849224929289
 
Description Bocaina, Litoral Norte, Brazil: enhancing capacities of traditional communities
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Under Brazil's Programa Nacional de Alimentação Escolar (PNAE), OTSS has supported rural producers' networks to ensure that their agroecological products can access school meals by coordinating with the municipalities which administer the programme, and by structuring the delivery logistics for schools. For this purpose, producers depend on a civil society network of various supporters including the OTSS. OTSS has supported agroecological producers for the commercialization of their products, both within and beyond the PNAE for school meals. During the pandemic, the traditional communities decided to protect themselves from the virus by blocking outsiders. The OTSS-FCT partnership enhanced capacities of traditional communities to recover agri-food and artisanal traditions, especially food exchanges within and among those communities. Even while schools were closed during the pandemic, municipalities continued the PNAE for food distribution to families by other means, with help from the OTSS especially for traditional communities. See more details in the Narrative Impact section and the project's trilingual Boletim no.1, https://3d33eb12-f421-47a1-a45f-76acc45bd2d6.filesusr.com/ugd/5872ec_70e7b1823b734e6aa49c2b8ac672392a.pdf Note: In the Researchfish drop-down box I have chosen the least inappropriate option: 'training practitioners'. But it would be more appropriate to say: 'Enhanced the capacity of practitioners and civil society networks'.
URL https://www.facebook.com/forumdecomunidadestradicionaisangraparatyubatuba/
 
Description La Valle Central, Bolivia: building capacities for Canastas Campesinas
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact After the coup d'etat against the Left-wing MAS government in November 2019, the subsequent Right-wing government was hostile to indigenous peasant organizations. Nevertheless support came from some municipal councils. When the Bioferia farmers' market could no longer operate during the pandemic, Jaina (AgroEcos team) gained support from municipal officers to initiate a box scheme for home delivery. Jaina persuaded the municipality to allocate greater logistical support and funds, thus expanding the pilot scheme into the Canastas Campesinas Alantuya. This maintained the previous income of women agroecological producers, while also enhancing their organizational capacities for short food supply chains (circuitos curtos). The new scheme also informed consumers about environmental benefits of agroecological methods. See more details in Narrative Impact section and the project's trilingual Boletim no.1, https://3d33eb12-f421-47a1-a45f-76acc45bd2d6.filesusr.com/ugd/5872ec_70e7b1823b734e6aa49c2b8ac672392a.pdf The November 2020 general election was won by Movement for Socialism (MAS)-Political Instrument for the Sovereignty of the Peoples (MAS-IPSP). The new government has been more responsive to demands to support EcoSol-agroecology networks. Jaina has worked with local Parliamentary representatives to clarify ways to strengthen public policies for solidaristic food provision, building on the experience of the Canastas Campesinas Alantuya, e.g. 'ollas communitarias', outdoor soup kitchens. Note: In the Researchfish drop-down box I have chosen the least inappropriate option: 'training practitioners'. But it would be more appropriate to say: 'Enhanced the capacity of practitioners and civil society networks'.
URL https://www.facebook.com/Alantuya-100178328314601/
 
Description Food sovereignty through agroecology in South America: Interdisciplinary methods for participatory action research
Amount £23,200 (GBP)
Funding ID GCRFNGR6 
Organisation United Kingdom Research and Innovation 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2021 
End 12/2021
 
Title Transcriptions of webinars 
Description The project organized several public webinars, posted on youtube here, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTHr_m07BdMnU1bembYe_hQ; The project also participated in several FESBS webinars, posted on its channel, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7aWYfIdp9AELFinBY0IV7w?view_as=subscriber The UNESP team transcribed some recordings (of course in Portuguese and/or Spanish). Eventually the transcripts will become more widely available. Initially these have been used for an NVivo analysis towards sharpening the original research questions and then interview questions for specific groups. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Early stage; see above. 
 
Description "Food sovereignty through agroecology in South America: Interdisciplinary methods for participatory action research", grant no. GCRFNGR6 in this programme https://acmedsci.ac.uk/grants-and-schemes/grant-schemes/gcrf-networking-grants 
Organisation Sao Paulo State University
Country Brazil 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The OU participates in all the activities and advises UNESP on its coordination role, especially plans for each monthly meeting. Initially this means partners exchange knowledge and useful documents on all themes of the project. Given ongoing uncertainties about the pandemic, alongside national restrictions on foreign visitors in South American countries, the project is postponing decisions on when to plan mutual visits and whether the workshop could be done in-person rather than online. See next sub-section for details of our activities.
Collaborator Contribution Building on the AgroEcos project, UNESP (Brazil) and the OU jointly applied for this grant. The main activities will be: knowledge-exchange of relevant literature, theoretical perspectives and experiences around the project theme; mutual visits to partners' research sites; and presentations for a continent-wide workshop. The Steering Group includes partners in five other DAC countries and thus builds equity into the partnership. They are: Argentina: Professor Raúl Paz, Instituto de Estudios para el Desarrollo Social (INDES), Universidad Nacional de Santiago del Estero (UNSE), Santiago del Estero Bolivia: Dr Georgina Catacora-Vargas, researcher at the Working Group on Political Agroecology of the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO). Colombia: Dr Luis Felipe Rincón Manrique, AgroSavia, the national agri-research institute. Ecuador: Dr Myriam del Carmen Paredes, Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO), Quito Peru: Professor Roberto Úgas, Programa de Hortalizas, Universidad Agraria La Molina (UNALM), La Molina, Lima. Each partner is involving more colleagues. We have added the Comunidad de Estudios Jaina (AgroEcos partner) for their expertise and literature review of Participatory Action Research.
Impact Premature for a project that began in January 2021.
Start Year 2021
 
Description Agroecology-based Solidarity Economy in Bolivia and Brazil (short name AgroEcos), AHRC-GCRF project no. AH/T004274/1 
Organisation Comunidad de Estudio Jaina
Country Bolivia, Plurinational State of 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The OU has coordinated and facilitated the overall project in several ways. For example: structuring project meetings, initiating (and drafting) presentations for international events, proposing Advisory Panel members and liaising with them, contributing a literature review on EcoSol-agroecology, advising other partners on their literature reviews, helping to refine the research questions, sending specific suggestions for the research focus to each partner, advising on interview plans, etc. Each partner contributed a literature review; each was discussed at a project meeting. Partners' specific contrinutions are listed in the next sub-section. Given the ongoing pandemic, blocking our original workshop plan for each case-study area, the project team discussed other ways forward. In mid-2020 the project carried out interactive webinars, initally from each case study and its research team (see Engagement Activities) and subsequently on specific themes. Speakers were mainly practitioners of various kinds, e.g. small-scale producers (especially women), civil society solidarity networks, community-supported agriculture, municipal officers, agri-extension officers and our research teams. The webinars were widely publicised via Facebook pages, Whatsapp groups and our Advisory Panel members. The webinars attracted participants mainly from Brazil, though also more widely from around Latin America (e.g. Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina). Average attendance was 60-80 participants; they sent questions which were discussed by the speakers. Transcriptions of the webinars, alongside many other sources, provided material for NVivo analysis by small groups from the research teams. AgroEcos youtube channel with recordings of our webinars, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTHr_m07BdMnU1bembYe_hQ Each one is also listed in the most relevant place in the Engagement Activities section.
Collaborator Contribution AgroEcos (short name of project) has three partners. Each partner contributes a local case study with a community agri-food initiative as well as a literature review of analytical perspectives. In particular: Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP, São Paulo State University), in partnership with the Fórum de Economia Solidária da Baixada Santista (FESBS) for the study of that region. UNESP helps to coordinate regular discussions among all the three partners, plans for the webinars, transcriptions of the recordings, and the NVivo analytical process. Also contributed a literature review on gender inequalities and means to overcome them. It manages the project website and the AgroEcos youtube channel with recordings of our webinars, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTHr_m07BdMnU1bembYe_hQ Observatório de Territórios Sustentáveis e Saudáveis da Bocaina (OTSS), Brazil, in partnership with the Fórum de Comunidades Tradicionais (FCT) for the Bocaina case study. Also contributed a literature review on means to structure, record and portray processes of Participatory Action Research. In mid-2020 the OTSS produced several short films on how traditional communities have responded to the pandemic; these are listed in the Artistic & Creative Products section. It has been carrying out social cartography with such communities to map their strategic responses during the pandemic; later the other teams will learn from those methods. Comunidad de Estudio Jaina, Tarija, Bolivia, in partnership with Bioferia, women agroecological producers who cooperatively organise marketing arrangements, for the case study of that locality. Also contributed a literature review on methods of Participatory Action Research. It has liaised with Advisory Panel members. With women's agroecological cooperatives, Jaina helped to create a new system of collective marketing.
Impact See under other sections, especially Narrative Impacts and Engagement Activities. Disciplines: rural sociology, human geography, feminist studies, Science & Technology Studies (STS), participatory action research As regards the question below on formal agreements: Each partner has a Collaboration Agreement emphasising partners' roles but does not explicitly cover material transfer or confidentiality.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Agroecology-based Solidarity Economy in Bolivia and Brazil (short name AgroEcos), AHRC-GCRF project no. AH/T004274/1 
Organisation Observatório de Territórios Sustentáveis e Saudáveis da Bocaina (OTSS)
Country Brazil 
Sector Learned Society 
PI Contribution The OU has coordinated and facilitated the overall project in several ways. For example: structuring project meetings, initiating (and drafting) presentations for international events, proposing Advisory Panel members and liaising with them, contributing a literature review on EcoSol-agroecology, advising other partners on their literature reviews, helping to refine the research questions, sending specific suggestions for the research focus to each partner, advising on interview plans, etc. Each partner contributed a literature review; each was discussed at a project meeting. Partners' specific contrinutions are listed in the next sub-section. Given the ongoing pandemic, blocking our original workshop plan for each case-study area, the project team discussed other ways forward. In mid-2020 the project carried out interactive webinars, initally from each case study and its research team (see Engagement Activities) and subsequently on specific themes. Speakers were mainly practitioners of various kinds, e.g. small-scale producers (especially women), civil society solidarity networks, community-supported agriculture, municipal officers, agri-extension officers and our research teams. The webinars were widely publicised via Facebook pages, Whatsapp groups and our Advisory Panel members. The webinars attracted participants mainly from Brazil, though also more widely from around Latin America (e.g. Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina). Average attendance was 60-80 participants; they sent questions which were discussed by the speakers. Transcriptions of the webinars, alongside many other sources, provided material for NVivo analysis by small groups from the research teams. AgroEcos youtube channel with recordings of our webinars, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTHr_m07BdMnU1bembYe_hQ Each one is also listed in the most relevant place in the Engagement Activities section.
Collaborator Contribution AgroEcos (short name of project) has three partners. Each partner contributes a local case study with a community agri-food initiative as well as a literature review of analytical perspectives. In particular: Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP, São Paulo State University), in partnership with the Fórum de Economia Solidária da Baixada Santista (FESBS) for the study of that region. UNESP helps to coordinate regular discussions among all the three partners, plans for the webinars, transcriptions of the recordings, and the NVivo analytical process. Also contributed a literature review on gender inequalities and means to overcome them. It manages the project website and the AgroEcos youtube channel with recordings of our webinars, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTHr_m07BdMnU1bembYe_hQ Observatório de Territórios Sustentáveis e Saudáveis da Bocaina (OTSS), Brazil, in partnership with the Fórum de Comunidades Tradicionais (FCT) for the Bocaina case study. Also contributed a literature review on means to structure, record and portray processes of Participatory Action Research. In mid-2020 the OTSS produced several short films on how traditional communities have responded to the pandemic; these are listed in the Artistic & Creative Products section. It has been carrying out social cartography with such communities to map their strategic responses during the pandemic; later the other teams will learn from those methods. Comunidad de Estudio Jaina, Tarija, Bolivia, in partnership with Bioferia, women agroecological producers who cooperatively organise marketing arrangements, for the case study of that locality. Also contributed a literature review on methods of Participatory Action Research. It has liaised with Advisory Panel members. With women's agroecological cooperatives, Jaina helped to create a new system of collective marketing.
Impact See under other sections, especially Narrative Impacts and Engagement Activities. Disciplines: rural sociology, human geography, feminist studies, Science & Technology Studies (STS), participatory action research As regards the question below on formal agreements: Each partner has a Collaboration Agreement emphasising partners' roles but does not explicitly cover material transfer or confidentiality.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Agroecology-based Solidarity Economy in Bolivia and Brazil (short name AgroEcos), AHRC-GCRF project no. AH/T004274/1 
Organisation Sao Paulo State University
Country Brazil 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The OU has coordinated and facilitated the overall project in several ways. For example: structuring project meetings, initiating (and drafting) presentations for international events, proposing Advisory Panel members and liaising with them, contributing a literature review on EcoSol-agroecology, advising other partners on their literature reviews, helping to refine the research questions, sending specific suggestions for the research focus to each partner, advising on interview plans, etc. Each partner contributed a literature review; each was discussed at a project meeting. Partners' specific contrinutions are listed in the next sub-section. Given the ongoing pandemic, blocking our original workshop plan for each case-study area, the project team discussed other ways forward. In mid-2020 the project carried out interactive webinars, initally from each case study and its research team (see Engagement Activities) and subsequently on specific themes. Speakers were mainly practitioners of various kinds, e.g. small-scale producers (especially women), civil society solidarity networks, community-supported agriculture, municipal officers, agri-extension officers and our research teams. The webinars were widely publicised via Facebook pages, Whatsapp groups and our Advisory Panel members. The webinars attracted participants mainly from Brazil, though also more widely from around Latin America (e.g. Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina). Average attendance was 60-80 participants; they sent questions which were discussed by the speakers. Transcriptions of the webinars, alongside many other sources, provided material for NVivo analysis by small groups from the research teams. AgroEcos youtube channel with recordings of our webinars, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTHr_m07BdMnU1bembYe_hQ Each one is also listed in the most relevant place in the Engagement Activities section.
Collaborator Contribution AgroEcos (short name of project) has three partners. Each partner contributes a local case study with a community agri-food initiative as well as a literature review of analytical perspectives. In particular: Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP, São Paulo State University), in partnership with the Fórum de Economia Solidária da Baixada Santista (FESBS) for the study of that region. UNESP helps to coordinate regular discussions among all the three partners, plans for the webinars, transcriptions of the recordings, and the NVivo analytical process. Also contributed a literature review on gender inequalities and means to overcome them. It manages the project website and the AgroEcos youtube channel with recordings of our webinars, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTHr_m07BdMnU1bembYe_hQ Observatório de Territórios Sustentáveis e Saudáveis da Bocaina (OTSS), Brazil, in partnership with the Fórum de Comunidades Tradicionais (FCT) for the Bocaina case study. Also contributed a literature review on means to structure, record and portray processes of Participatory Action Research. In mid-2020 the OTSS produced several short films on how traditional communities have responded to the pandemic; these are listed in the Artistic & Creative Products section. It has been carrying out social cartography with such communities to map their strategic responses during the pandemic; later the other teams will learn from those methods. Comunidad de Estudio Jaina, Tarija, Bolivia, in partnership with Bioferia, women agroecological producers who cooperatively organise marketing arrangements, for the case study of that locality. Also contributed a literature review on methods of Participatory Action Research. It has liaised with Advisory Panel members. With women's agroecological cooperatives, Jaina helped to create a new system of collective marketing.
Impact See under other sections, especially Narrative Impacts and Engagement Activities. Disciplines: rural sociology, human geography, feminist studies, Science & Technology Studies (STS), participatory action research As regards the question below on formal agreements: Each partner has a Collaboration Agreement emphasising partners' roles but does not explicitly cover material transfer or confidentiality.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Academic seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Seminar presentation by Les Levidow, 'To conserve is to resist': Traditional communities mobilise agri-food and musical cultures for a territorialized development in the Bocaina, Brazil. School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London. The event publicity was widely circulated to SOAS academics and the author's contacts, then transmitted on Zoom. The film was then posted on youtube as below and was widely circulated. As an immediate benefit, the talk brought together complementary research within the Development Studies Department (as event sponsor) and the Music Department, beyond the options in the drop-down box below.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://youtu.be/9fZcyx43sUw
 
Description Interactive webinar on EcoSol-agroecology in El Valle Central, Bolivia, 22.07.2020, 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact Knowledge-exchange with fellow practitioners of EcoSol-agroecology networks
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkeMUoCQo0c&t=1567s
 
Description Interactive webinar on EcoSol-agroecology in the Baixada Santista, Brazil, 17.06.2020, 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact Knowledge-exchange with fellow practitioners of EcoSol-agroecology networks
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eq1nXwpdoDw
 
Description Interactive webinar on EcoSol-agroecology networks in the Bocaina, Litoral Norte, Brazil, 02.07.2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact Knowledge-exchange with fellow practitioners of EcoSol-agroecology networks, as reported to its local networks,
https://www2.unesp.br/portal#!/noticia/35871/comunidades-tradicionais-debatem-agroecologia-na-pandemia
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://youtu.be/2o963VAfqAs
 
Description International webinar on Brazil's agri-food solidarity economy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Rachel Dixon, Lidia Cabral, Claudia Schmitt and Les Levidow, "How can Brazil sustain its food solidarity economy post-Covid?". This article resulted from a November 2020 webinar, 'Building back from Brazil's pandemic: localising agri-food systems as a solidarity economy', hosted by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS, Univ of Sussex). This brought together the AgroEcos project with other research projects in Brazil,
https://www.ids.ac.uk/events/building-ahead-from-brazils-pandemic-localising-agri-food-systems-as-a-solidarity-economy/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.ids.ac.uk/opinions/how-can-brazil-sustain-its-food-solidarity-economy-post-covid
 
Description Presentations at SEAE-SOCLA Jornadas Tecnicas 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Three presentations from the AgroEcos partners at an international online conference of Spain's Agroecological Association: SEAE-SOCLA Jornadas Tecnicas, 'Salud de los agroecosistemas y bienestar humano: indicadores de la producción ecológica' (Agroecosystem health and human well-being: indicators of ecological production), 28-29 October 2020. On the webpage below the AgroEcos project site consolidates the three Abstracts with links to the recordings including discussion. The full papers in the Proceedings (Acta) each have a separate entry in the Engagement category.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://projetoagroecos.wixsite.com/meusite/post/xxviii-jornadas-t%C3%A9cnicas-seae-socla-sociedad-c...
 
Description article in academic bulletin 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Les Levidow, Meanings lost and found: Translating 'sociotechnical' for a Brazilian counter-hegemonic agenda, EASST Review, March 2021, special section on 'Translations', European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://easst.net
 
Description article in national newspaper 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Iniciativa "Todo por la vida" en Tarija cuenta con 20 productoras (Initiatve 'All for Life' in Tarjia involves 20 producers), El Pais, 24 marzo 2020.
After the Comunidad de Estudios Jaina helped women's cooperatives to establish a new food-basket delivery system, Bolivia's national newspaper published the above article. This attracted local interest to increase the municipal support, to volunteer assistance and/or to subscribe to the weekly baskets through the Facebook page of the new system at https://www.facebook.com/Alantuya-100178328314601/.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://elpais.bo/iniciativa-todo-por-la-vida-en-tarija-cuenta-con-20-productoras/
 
Description blog on project website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Sansolo, D., Villani, G.G., Levidow, L. 2021. Pesquisa-ação-participativa na pandemia: aspeitos metodológicos (Participatory Action Research in the pandemic: methodological aspects), 15.02.2021, posted on AgroEcos website below (Brazil), transation on the OU website, http://www.open.ac.uk/ikd/blog
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://projetoagroecos.wixsite.com/meusite/post/pesquisa-a%C3%A7%C3%A3o-participativa-na-pandemia-a...
 
Description blog post on project website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Levidow, L. 2020. 'Return to normal' from the Covid-19 crisis? Brazil's solidaristic agri-food initiatives towards a different future, 07.05.2020. São Paolo. Brasil: UNESP AgroEcos site as below. This article was also posted on the FAO agroecology website, attracting more interest to the project website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://projetoagroecos.wixsite.com/meusite/post/return-to-normal-from-the-covid-19-crisis
 
Description online workshop to design a cooperative marketing app 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact App for cooperative marketing: During the Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil, producers' cooperatives have used social media to reach more consumers, who make advance payments through social media. But Whatsapp commercial programs constrain the users, e.g. by deducting a percentage of the sales for the program owner, and by lacking space to explain the agroecological production methods.
To overcome those constraints, tech experts have devised alternative designs through discussions with many EcoSol-agroecology networks. Design options were discussed at AgroEcos webinars, e.g. Alternativas digitais que facilitam a comunicação entre produtores e consumidores (Digital alternatives that facilitate producer-consumer communication), 16.07.2020, youtube link below. The new design has been in a pilot phase, generating interest from EcoSol-agroecology networks in the Baixada Santista.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Cl3xnrBdrs
 
Description regional newspaper article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Silva, NJR da, Reis, M.F. e Sansolo, D.G. 2020. Iniciativas econômicas solidárias na Baixada Santista: reações frente à Covid (Solidarity economy initiatives in the Baixada Santista: reactions to Covid-19), La Folha Santista, 09.06.2020. Santos: Brasil.
Co-authored by UNESP and FESBS, this article initiated a regular series highlighting the region's EcoSol-agroecology activities and proposing effective support measures from public policies at several levels. The articles generated greater interest in such activities through the FESBS and other Facebook pages of specific initiatives which create solidaristic links between producers and consumers. Greater support has taken many forms: ordering food deliveries, visiting drive-thru farmers' markets, volunteering to help these efforts, and advocating supportive policies (including local election candidates).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://folhasantista.com.br/noticias/cidades/meioambiente/iniciativas-economicas-solidarias-na-baix...