Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The when and where of research in agricultural innovation trajectories

The when and where of research in agricultural innovation trajectories : evidence and implications from RIU's South ASIA PROJECTS

Vamsidhar Reddy, T.S.; Hall, Andy; Sulaiman V., Rasheed

This paper examines the efforts of the DFID‐funded Research Into Use (RIU) programme that sought to explore the agricultural research‐into‐use question empirically.

Two key analytical principles are used to find how research is actually put into use: (1) the configurations of organisations and their relationships associated with innovation; (2) understanding innovation as a path-dependent, contextually shaped trajectory unfolding over time.

The paper suggests new modes of financing to support the undertaking of research AND use together and not as sequential steps. It also confirms the importance of roles played by different types of agencies in the innovation process, which requires adopting capacity building agendas in a system sense rather than technology transfer agendas.

The paper then highlights the important roles played by the pivotal agencies of the innovation process —that have pro‐poor agendas — to steer innovation trajectories in order to achieve poverty reduction objectives.

From here on, the paper is organised as follows. Section 2 presents a framework for exploring the location of research in agricultural innovation. Section 3 presents the case studies that are then discussed in Section 4 to bring out key issues regarding the nature of agricultural innovation trajectories and the use of research within these. The paper ends with policy implications for putting research into use in Section 5.

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