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Sustainability 2010, 2(1), 1-29; doi:10.3390/su2010001
Article

Structured Mental Model Approach for Analyzing Perception of Risks to Rural Livelihood in Developing Countries

1,2,†,*  and 1,†
1 Social and Industrial Ecology, Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstr. 190, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland 2 Institute of Systems Sciences, Innovation and Sustainability Research, University of Graz, Merangasse 18, A-8010 Graz, Austria These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 November 2009 / Accepted: 21 December 2009 / Published: 24 December 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Forum for Sustainable Development)
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Abstract

This paper presents the Structural Mental Model Approach aimed at understanding differences in perception between experts and farmers regarding the various livelihood risks farmers are confronted with. The SMMA combines the Sustainable Livelihood Framework with the Mental Model Approach and consists of three steps: (i) definition and weighting of different livelihood capitals; (ii) analysis of livelihood dynamics, and (iii) definition of the social capital by means of agent networks. The results provide a sound basis for the design of sustainable policy interventions such as communication and educational programs which consider farmers’ priorities and viewpoints.
Keywords: mental models; sustainable rural livelihood; livelihood risks of farmers; developing countries mental models; sustainable rural livelihood; livelihood risks of farmers; developing countries
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Binder, C.R.; Schöll, R. Structured Mental Model Approach for Analyzing Perception of Risks to Rural Livelihood in Developing Countries. Sustainability 2010, 2, 1-29.

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