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Innovations in Institutional Arrangements: Towards Enabling Continuous Transition
 

Innovations in Institutional Arrangements: Towards Enabling Continuous Transition

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[Visit www.innovationstudies.org for more of our work.] Institutional innovation involves enabling new ways of working within an organisation. Two changes have been at centrestage in pressing for ...

[Visit www.innovationstudies.org for more of our work.] Institutional innovation involves enabling new ways of working within an organisation. Two changes have been at centrestage in pressing for institutional innovation in agricultural research and development (ARD): stronger client orientation and greater use of partnerships. Further innovation in ARD Institutions is necessary to reach development goals. It is more sensible to enable institutional change to cope with an evolving situation in a specific context than prescribe changes. Therefore, there is a need to focus on transition rather than on destination in institutional arrangements.

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    Innovations in Institutional Arrangements: Towards Enabling Continuous Transition Innovations in Institutional Arrangements: Towards Enabling Continuous Transition Presentation Transcript

    • Innovations in Institutional Arrangements: Towards Enabling Continuous Transition Andy Hall LINK-United Nations University-MERIT Learning INnovation Knowledge Policy-relevant Resources for Rural Innovation
    • Main Messages
      • 1. Why, in a constantly changing development context, institutional innovations are important
      • 2. Why enabling change is better than prescribing change
      • 3. Need for a new focus on transition rather than destination in institutional arrangements
      • 4. The potential value of learning-based concepts of innovation capacity as a framework for guiding transition
      Learning INnovation Knowledge Policy-relevant Resources for Rural Innovation
    • Institutional Innovation: What do we Mean?
      • Institutions
        • Usually misunderstood to mean organisations
        • Actually means the routines, ways of working and practices that pattern how organisations and individuals do things
      • Innovation
        • Usually misunderstood to mean either invention or technology
        • Actually means creating and putting new ideas into use. These ideas can be technological, institutional, organisational, managerial, policy. Often a combination of these. Ideas from multiple sources
      • Institutional innovation means…
        • New ways of working. In this case new ways of organising and using agricultural research
      Learning INnovation Knowledge Policy-relevant Resources for Rural Innovation
    • Why is Institutional Innovation Important for Agricultural Research?
      • 1. The institutional arrangements established in an early era
      • 2. The goalposts have moved and are continuing to move
      • 3. Challenges, but also opportunities arising from entry of new players in the sector and stronger market links
      • 4. Institutional innovation is needed to adapt agricultural research to the continuously-evolving situation and the promise this presents
      Learning INnovation Knowledge Policy-relevant Resources for Rural Innovation
    • Two major institutional innovations have been widely advocated:
      • Stronger client orientation
      • Greater use of partnerships
      Learning INnovation Knowledge Policy-relevant Resources for Rural Innovation
    • Client Orientation
      • Rationale: Technology supply-led traditions not sensitive to needs of technology users, particularly the poor
      • Response: Farmer participatory methods; bottom-up approaches; producer-funded research; and “better” priority setting
      • Outcome: Some progress, but new methods alone have struggled to change supply-led traditions; i.e., further institutional change is required
      Learning INnovation Knowledge Policy-relevant Resources for Rural Innovation
    • Partnerships
      • Rationale: Innovation (of all sorts) takes place through the interaction of organisations and individuals with different ideas, information and skills
      • Response: Participation; Public-private sector partnerships; research-civil society partnerships; innovation systems approaches
      • Outcome: Far less progress than expected; Difficulty of building up trust with new partners and changing working practices, i.e., further institutional change is required
      Learning INnovation Knowledge Policy-relevant Resources for Rural Innovation
    • Institutional Challenges to Partnership-based Innovation Capacity: Recent Evidence
      • Recent study with the World Bank: Enabling Agricultural Innovation: How to go Beyond Strengthening Research Systems
      • Applied the innovation systems concept to explore innovation capacity
      • Analytical framework: Patterns of linkage; habits and practices; roles of actors; and enabling environment
      • 8 sectors, 4 countries
      Learning INnovation Knowledge Policy-relevant Resources for Rural Innovation
    • Case Studies Employment potential Traditional sector in transformation Export orientation Niche with strong growth Sector Country X X Cassava processing X X Cassava processing X X Pineapple Ghana X X Vanilla X X X X Medicinal plants India X X X Food processing X X X Shrimp Bangla- desh X X X Cut flowers Colombia Learning INnovation Knowledge Policy-relevant Resources for Rural Innovation
    • Why don’t we like to talk to each other?
      • Constantly-changing market demands require innovation: Quality standards; competition; changing consumer preferences
      • Promising sectors begin to fail because the interactions needed for innovation are missing
      • Lack of interaction is a reflection of deep-rooted habits and practices (i.e., institutions) in both public and private sector organisations
      • The market is not sufficient to promote interaction and bring about the institutional changes needed to sustain these new ways of working
      Learning INnovation Knowledge Policy-relevant Resources for Rural Innovation
    • From Prescriptions to Principles
      • The conclusions from the study were:
      • Focus on principles for intervention rather than specific interventions
        • Principle: Building trust between different actors in the sector
        • Options: Establish research consortia with the private sector on selected themes. Establish sector association. Hold sector dialogue
      • 2. Use interventions as a vehicle for learning new ways of working and building up social capital
      • 3. Use the innovation systems concept as a framework for a learning-based approach to institutional change and capacity development
      Learning INnovation Knowledge Policy-relevant Resources for Rural Innovation
    • Why Enabling Institutional Change is better than Prescribing Change
      • The planning paradox
        • New architectures of partnerships are needed
        • But these require the institutional setting to support this new way of working
      • Today’s architecture and way of working need to constantly adapt
      • Therefore, there is no blueprint for institutional arrangements
      • Only way to cope with an evolving situation in a specific context is to adopt a learning-based approach to change
      Learning INnovation Knowledge Policy-relevant Resources for Rural Innovation
    • What to do?
      • Focus debate more on transition than destination
      • Initiate partnerships, but do so to learn how to work in different ways
      • Be more sceptical about the ability of accepted and new ways of working to address goals — particularly when these goals are changing
      • Make use of existing tools and frameworks for following a learning-based approach to institutional change and capacity development
        • Action research; learning based evaluation (see, for example, ILAC in the CGIAR)
      Learning INnovation Knowledge Policy-relevant Resources for Rural Innovation
    • Final Point
      • Like charity, innovations in institutional arrangements must begin at home in agricultural research organisations
      Learning INnovation Knowledge Policy-relevant Resources for Rural Innovation
    • LINK is a specialist network of regional innovation policy studies hubs established by the United Nations University-MERIT (UNU-MERIT) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to strengthen the interface between rural innovation studies, policy and practice and to promote North-South and South-South learning on rural innovation. Learning INnovation Knowledge Policy-relevant Resources for Rural Innovation