This paper compares how the governance of four agro-met services operating in the same basic area of Maharashtra, India, conditions the engagement between the users and the providers of the services. The four cases reveal diverse institutional designs and engagement mechanisms for involvement of end-users and intermediary users and partners.
The report finds that the levels of engagement vary across the four services, depending on the mechanisms employed for furthering participation and feedback within the services. Four broad categories of user engagement are identified to illustrate a ‘ladder of engagement’. The various rungs or levels of this ladder represent how different web-based tools and institutional mechanisms were differently combined to condition various forms of engagement and interaction among partners. These engagement categories range from passive to active and from the involvement of few to multiple kinds of actors and scales in the services. Moving up the ladder indicates an increase in the resources and attention paid to engage farmers and extension agents in the services.
The findings suggest that success in the governance and operations of the agro-met advisories to support farmers’ adaptation and risk decision-making is likely to be highest when farmers are engaged, the provider makes use of multi-modal and multi-way communication systems, and user involvement is combined with on-site extension support and multi-actor partnerships.