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Impact Network Analysis: A framework for evaluating the effects of technologies through linked socioeconomic and biophysical networks
Karen Garrett: University of Florida
<div>Decision-making about disease management is ultimately driven by money. Farmers decide what management strategies to adopt, and sponsors decide what research and development projects to support, based on their financial constraints. Understanding how to optimize the effects of research and data collection typically requires integration across three general types of system components: (a) the type and quality of information and other technologies, (b) socioeconomic networks that determine communication and influence about technology use, such as networks of farmers, and (c) biophysical networks where decisions about use of technologies determine epidemiological outcomes. Impact Network Analysis is a framework to integrate these three components, providing a systems perspective to evaluate potential outcomes from research and development investments. Impact Network Analyses can also be used to assess the resilience of a system to new perturbations, such as climate change or the introduction of a new pathogen. Network analysis, as compared to more aggregated models, allows for consideration of the role of geographic and social structures on the likelihood of success of technological innovations. Applications of Impact Network Analysis will be illustrated for disease management in the field, in seed systems, and in postharvest food chains. Experimental choice games will also be introduced, in the context of evaluating willingness to pay for new technologies.</div>

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