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Exploring dynamic mechanisms of learning networks for resource conservation

Petr Matous, University of Tokyo; University of Sydney
Yasuyuki Todo, Waseda University


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The importance of networks for social-ecological processes has been recognized in the literature; however, existing studies have not sufficiently addressed the dynamic nature of networks. Using data on the social learning networks of 265 farmers in Ethiopia for 2011 and 2012 and stochastic actor-oriented modeling, we explain the mechanisms of network evolution and soil conservation. The farmers’ preferences for information exchange within the same social groups support the creation of interactive, clustered, nonhierarchical structures within the evolving learning networks, which contributed to the diffusion of the practice of composting. The introduced methods can be applied to determine whether and how social networks can be used to facilitate environmental interventions in various contexts.

Key words

composting; Ethiopia; network dynamics; social learning; soil conservation; stochastic actor-oriented modeling

Copyright © 2015 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087