Overcoming challenges to ecosystem health calls for breaking down disciplinary and professional barriers. Through reflection on a research and development project to address pesticide-related concerns in northern Ecuador, this article presents challenges encountered and accommodations made, ranging from staff recruitment, through baseline assessments and community education activities, to mobilising for policy change. In so doing, it exposes underlying problems of paradigm and process inherent in bringing researchers and development practitioners together, in addition to the problematic role of advocacy that is associated with joint research and development initiatives in the fields of agriculture and health.
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