The SAMBA role play game in Northern Vietnam: An innovative approach to participatory natural resource management

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Berkley, CA: University of California Press for the United Nations University and the International Mountain Society


The present article describes an experiment using the SAMBA role play game as a research tool in Bac Kan province of Vietnam, in the framework of the Mountain Agrarian Systems Program, a joint research project of the Vietnam Agricultural Science Institute, the International Rice Research Institute, the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, and the Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement. The role play game was a follow-up to intensive field surveys and multi-agent modeling done in the same commune. We present the game and its rules, the sequence of events during a role play session, and an analysis of the process. The results of this experiment show that role play can be a useful tool, both for validation of hypotheses about the forces behind land use change and for conducting participatory research on natural resource management.


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Ecosystem management, Farm planning, Research planning, Ecosystem, Planning, Land use planning, Best management practices, Program planning, Tropical zones, Land use management, Modeling, Survey research methods, Resource management tools, Agricultural ecosystems, Natural resource management, Agriculture, Ecosystem Farm/Enterprise Scale


Mountain Research and Development 24(2): 101-105