Marina Apgar - Research Fellow
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Marina Apgar is a human ecologist with 20 years experience working directly with marginalised communities in international development across the research-practice divide supporting locally defined development pathways. She has worked extensively with indigenous peoples in Latin America, and collaborated with the Guna people of Panama during her doctoral research that focused on the social and cultural processes that support adaptive capacity for endogenous development of their biocultural territory.
Throughout her work, Marina uses a systems approach to participatory action research and is passionate about understanding and facilitating the creative space between research processes and development outcomes through engaging in complex adaptive systems to support emergence.
Recently, Marina was a Knowledge Sharing and Learning Scientist at WorldFish, leading work on participatory action research in design and implementation of agricultural research planning, monitoring and evaluation and learning systems.
Her current reseach interests include resilence and climate change adaptation of indigenous peoples including forest communities and pastoralists, methodological development for putting complexity aware monitoring, evaluation and learning systems into practice and accompaniment of foundations and bilateral donors as they learn to improve their practice.
English; Greek; Spanish; Guna
A Demonstration Project: How Active Data Can be Shaped and Provide Strong Evidence-Based Programming
Building Resilience and Inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa through Social Learning around Climate Risks
Improving the Impact of Climate Information Services in Kenya’s Arid and Semi-Arid LandsIDS Policy Briefing 145 (2017)
Climate variability and change are affecting millions of poor people in Kenya, particularly in arid and semi-arid lands. Significant investments are being made in developing Climate Information Services (CIS) which are tailored to the needs of pastoralists and agro-pastoralists and aim to help them adapt to the impact of climate change in these regions. More details
Identifying Opportunities to Improve Governance of Aquatic Agricultural Systems through Participatory Action ResearchEcology and Society 22.1 (2017)
Challenges of governance often constitute critical obstacles to efforts to equitably improve livelihoods in social-ecological systems. Yet often, these challenges go unspoken, or are viewed as fixed parts of the context, beyond the scope of influence of agricultural, development, or natural resource management initiatives. More details
Getting Beneath the Surface in Program Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation: Learning from Use of Participatory Action Research and Theory of Change in the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems
In this paper, we share learning from an agricultural research program that used participatory action research and theory of change to foster learning and support transformative change in aquatic agricultural systems. More details
A New Professionalism for Agricultural Research for DevelopmentInternational Journal of Agricultural Sustainability (2017)
Opportunities for Using Complexity-Aware Approaches to Theory of Change
The purpose of this briefing note is to review opportunities for using complexity aware approaches to Theory of Change (ToC) to inform the SDC approach. It provides an overview of complexity-aware approaches and then focuses on demonstrating how complexity thinking can support programming by building on the frameworks currently being used in the project/programme cycle management (PCM) processes. It is aimed at SDC staff, in particular Programme Officers and staff of partner organisations involved in the management of SDC interventions. More details
New insights on navigating complexity in development22 Mar 2018
By Eric Kasper, Marina Apgar
How do we ensure values are at the heart of resilience science?31 Aug 2017
By Marina Apgar
Putting research to use in addressing complex development challenges: are we ready?26 May 2017
By Marina Apgar
Evaluators in Africa (unknowingly) rise to the challenge of complexity11 Apr 2017
By Marina Apgar