Living with rodent pests: unifying stakeholder interests to prioritise pest management in rural Madagascar

Kathryn Scobie* (Corresponding Author), Xavier Lambin, Sandra Telfer, Mendrika Fenohasina Rasahivelo, Rova Nandrianina Raheliarison, Minoarisoa Rajerison, Juliette C. Young

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rodent pests can have major social, economic, and environmental impacts. Their management, therefore, represents a complex socio-ecological problem involving a network of stakeholders from across different sectors, with diverging and sometimes competing interests. Failure to incorporate stakeholder interests can result in ineffective or unsustainable management programmes, with unintended negative consequences for people and nature. Participatory approaches to decision-making have been proposed as suitable strategies to tackle complex problems, yet, these processes are often considered too difficult, costly, or time-consuming to implement. To facilitate a participatory approach to rodent control in Madagascar, we identified and mapped key stakeholders and developed a multisector framework for guiding rodent management programmes based on current literature and expert recommendations. We then carried out interviews and focus groups with stakeholders and end-users to validate the final framework. The final framework unifies stakeholder interests around the dimensions of People, Resources, Knowledge and Power. Combined application of the stakeholder map and framework provides decision-makers with the tools to identify stakeholder interests; to explore areas of conflict, as well as areas of agreement; and to ensure that these are addressed within the design of control programmes. As an assessment tool, the framework can also be used to evaluate the responsiveness of programmes to the needs of different stakeholders and assess whether objectives are being reached. We recommend the application of the stakeholder map and framework to encourage and strengthen participatory approaches aimed at rodent pest control. Due to the inclusive and interdisciplinary nature of the framework, it can be applied to address numerous complex social, environmental, and economic issues across scales, sectors, and systems. Read the free Plain Language Summary for this article on the Journal blog.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-725
Number of pages13
JournalPeople and Nature
Issue number2
Early online date29 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2023
EventThe 7th International Conference on Rodent Biology and Management - Arusha, Tanzania, United Republic of
Duration: 5 Jul 20228 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

We thank all those who took part in interviews and focus groups, as well the partner organisations (IMPACT Madagascar, Feedback Madagascar and Ny Tanintsika) who generously facilitated and supported focus groups. KS was supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) under the EastBio DTP [grant number BB/M010996/1]. This work was also supported by the Wellcome Trust [095171/Z/10/Z]; the Medical Research Council [MR/T029862/1]; and by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) (using the UK's Official Development Assistance (ODA) Funding) and Wellcome [219532/Z/19/Z] under the NIHR-Wellcome Partnership for Global Health Research. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Wellcome, the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. For the purpose of Open Access, the authors have applied a CC BY license to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising.

Data Availability Statement

The data on which this research is based are archived on secure servers at the corresponding author's institution. In order to preserve confidentiality and the anonymity of research participants, the data are not made publicly available.

Additional supporting information can be found online in the Supporting Information section at the end of this article.


  • agriculture
  • community-based intervention
  • Madagascar
  • management actions
  • public health
  • rodent control
  • stakeholder engagement


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