Abstract for: Dynamic decision making in coupled social-ecological systems

Climate change will lead to significant yield reductions in maize dominated farming systems in sub Saharan Africa. Combined with a growing and more demanding population, food systems in this region thus face the challenge of undergoing a considerable transformation in order to meet the challenges of achieving food security and adapting to climate change. Increasing food security and adapting to climate change is a dynamic decision making task that involves a wide range of stakeholders such as farmers, the private sector, consumers, civil society, and policy-makers. In this paper, we focus on the particular stakeholder group of small-scale farmers in Zambia and collect interview data on the multiple decisions they make in the course of a year. Our data provides a rich description of farmersí dynamic decision making and their adaptive capacity to deal with existing and future challenges related to food security. As people also need an enabling institutional and policy environment to successfully adapt in the longer term and diversify livelihoods for positive wealth accumulation, we reflect on the use of a multi-method approach that combines our qualitative interviews with quantitative system dynamics modeling.