Maude Quinio thesis

Reshape knowledge capitalisation and sharing to support the change of practices towards agroecology, a socio-cognitive framework based on a user-centered approach

Maude Quinio - PhD in agronomy (UMR Agronomie - INRAE)

PhD supervisor: Marie-Hélène Jeuffroy (INRAE – UMR Agronomie), ABIES Doctoral School

Co-supervision : Françoise Détienne (CNRS, TélécomParis), Laurence Guichard (Ex- INRAE)

The thesis was defended on 1 July 2021


To fuel agroecological transition, agricultural systems need to be changed profoundly, thus requiring innovative design processes. These changes call for revisiting both the knowledge used during design processes and the collective approaches for the production and mobilisation of knowledge. To address the lack of scientific knowledge, and the need to design locally adapted cropping systems, design processes require knowledge from farmers gained from the implementation of innovative practices, thus interrogating the production, formalisation and capitalisation of knowledge. In this context, our research aims at rethinking knowledge capitalisation and sharing, and embeds the combined use of theoretical bases from system agronomy and ergonomy. It is based on the case study of the GECO web tool, but our findings are put into a broader perspective.

We implemented a user-centered approach composed of i) the diagnosis of use situations to examine which knowledge was shared between designers and how, to collectively build new agroecological systems, ii) the development of frameworks of cognitive resources, with specific knowledge structure, to support the exploration and implementation of agroecological systems in the field and iii) the improvement of these resources through user tests, with designers and facilitators of design workshops who were likely to draw on these resources in their design process or with contributors producing these resources (i.e. farmers, advisors, teachers, researchers). Finally, we recommend an innovative framework of knowledge capitalisation through the use of a single online platform, aiming at mixing scientific and local knowledge. This knowledge is held by a wide range of actors from dispersed geographical territories and from diverse R&D organisations. We also suggest the development of an online epistemic community aiming at producing cognitive resources, in a collaborative and evolutive way, emerging from interactions between production and use of resources.

This thesis presents a socio-cognitive framework to rethink knowledge capitalisation and sharing on agroecological systems, towards the support of design processes.

Modification date: 05 July 2023 | Publication date: 16 June 2021 | By: OR