A public bad game method to study dynamics in socio-ecological systems (Part ii) : Results of testing musa-game in rwanda and adding emergence and spatiality to the analysis

Galarza-Villamar, Julissa Alexandra; McCampbell, Mariette; Galarza-Villamar, Andres; Leeuwis, Cees; Cecchi, Francesco; Galarza-Rodrigo, John


This article is the second in a series of two and presented findings from field-testing an experimental boardgame (Musa-game) with banana farmers in four villages in Eastern Rwanda. The conceptualization and design of the Musa-game were described in Part I. Musa-game gives insights into how farmers’ individual and collective decision-making and actions regarding management of a public bad interplay with other factors and characteristics of the socio-ecological system (SES). A public bad is a non-rivalrous, non-excludable issue that causes loss of social-welfare of individuals and communities. The method contributes contextual understanding about the emergence of phenomena that arise from the interactions between human and non-human actors. Musa-game was framed to study one public bad challenge in particular: the infectious crop disease Banana Xanthomonas Wilt disease (BXW). Findings increased the knowhow about the emergence and governance of conditions that hinder or enhance the spread of infectious diseases like BXW. Analysis of qualitative and quantitative data suggested that individual farmers’ actions were influenced by perceptions of risk, affecting both individual and collective disease management. Additionally, the used experimental treatments allowed us to evaluate the influence of communication on risk-governance strategies. It appears that a combination of possession of technical knowledge about the disease, opportunities to communicate about the disease, and a collective disease management strategy enables the best individual actions and collective performance.