Networking for practical change through innovation platforms, Insights from African experiences

1,276 views

Published on

B. Wennink et al, Royal Tropical Institute, The Netherlands

Published in: Business
0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,276
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
8
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
8
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Networking for practical change through innovation platforms, Insights from African experiences

  1. 1. Networking for practical change through innovation platforms: Insights from African experiences Bertus Wennink, Femke van der Lee, Remco Mur Peter Gildemacher
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Innovation is the major driver of local economic development </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation system analysis has been instrumental in identification of systemic flaws </li></ul><ul><li>It has led to important insights: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Integration production & marketing innovation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often a combination of technical, organizational and institutional changes is required for innovation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Innovation is likely to happen there where different experiences and points of view meet </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How can we practically use these insights to stimulate innovation to occur? </li></ul>Amsterdam, The Netherlands www.kit.nl
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>Change is the major driver of local economic development </li></ul><ul><li>Change system analysis has been instrumental in identification of systemic flaws </li></ul><ul><li>It has led to important insights: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Integration production & marketing change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often a combination of technical, organizational and institutional changes is required for change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change is likely to happen there where different experiences and points of view meet </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How can we practically use these insights to stimulate change to occur? </li></ul>Amsterdam, The Netherlands www.kit.nl
  4. 4. From analysis to action <ul><li>How can we practically use these insights to stimulate change to occur? </li></ul><ul><li>Response: pilots with innovation platforms: </li></ul><ul><li>A set of stakeholders that are brought together by their interests in shared issues. It provides a physical or virtual forum for exploring opportunities to address those common issues, and investigating and implementing joint solutions. Stakeholders have a shared objective for coming together, which needs to be clear to all participating and translate into commitment to cooperate. This objective has to be tangible, realistic and achievable (FARA 2007). Innovation platforms are seen here as mechanisms to operationalize the agricultural innovation systems approach, and should therefore follow the main principles of the Agricultural Innovation Systems’ thinking, as defined by Otim-Nape (2009). (Nederlof et al, forthcoming) </li></ul>Amsterdam, The Netherlands www.kit.nl
  5. 5. From analysis to action <ul><li>How can we practically use these insights to stimulate innovation to occur? </li></ul><ul><li>Response: pilots with innovation platforms: </li></ul><ul><li>A diverse group of people deliberately convening to realise change </li></ul><ul><li>Pilots: </li></ul><ul><li>COS-SIS, RIU, SSA-CP FARA, other commodity platforms </li></ul>Amsterdam, The Netherlands www.kit.nl
  6. 6. Lessons drawn from different pilots <ul><li>International writeshop with practitioners and experts for case based analysis (RIU, CoS-SIS, SSA-CP, other) </li></ul><ul><li>Assessment of RIU platforms in Rwanda, Zambia and Tanzania </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation of case-stories by RIU innovation platforms members in Nigeria, Tanzania and Rwanda </li></ul><ul><li>CoS-SIS experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Outcomes: </li></ul><ul><li>RIU reports (to be transformed into book in 2012) </li></ul><ul><li>KIT bulletin: Agricultural Innovation platforms: lessons from and for practitioners (in print) </li></ul><ul><li>IP experiences CoS-SIS (early 2012) </li></ul>Amsterdam, The Netherlands www.kit.nl
  7. 7. Innovation platform impact pathways Amsterdam, The Netherlands www.kit.nl
  8. 8. Platform functions observed by members <ul><li>1. Advocacy for change </li></ul><ul><li>2. Demand articulation </li></ul><ul><li>3. Access to financial services </li></ul><ul><li>4. Access to research and extension services </li></ul><ul><li>5. Access to inputs </li></ul><ul><li>6. Access to markets </li></ul><ul><li>7. Farmer collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>8. Innovation </li></ul><ul><li>9. Communication </li></ul><ul><li>10. Coordination of action between support organisations </li></ul>Amsterdam, The Netherlands www.kit.nl
  9. 9. Facilitation needed <ul><li>Championing: Representing local stakeholders at a higher level by virtue of a leading role in a local organisation. </li></ul><ul><li>Brokering: Make connections between actors that can benefit form each other’s services or roles. </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitation: Stimulating and assisting the interactive process between stakeholders with the objective of improved quality of interaction. </li></ul><ul><li>Thematic leadership (thrust leadership in RIU): Taking the initiative on a certain topic </li></ul><ul><li>Mobilisation: Lobbying essential stakeholders to join a platform or local level organisation. </li></ul>Amsterdam, The Netherlands www.kit.nl
  10. 10. Facilitation needed cont’d <ul><li>Mediation: Conflict resolution. </li></ul><ul><li>Advocacy: Promoting the network and ensuring support of and buy-in into the network by those individuals and organisations that matter. </li></ul><ul><li>Problem solving: Identifying, proposing and providing practical solutions for bottlenecks hindering progress of multi-stakeholder action. </li></ul><ul><li>Technical backstopping: Providing technical advice and training in order to ensure that opportunities discussed are economically, technically and socially viable. </li></ul>Amsterdam, The Netherlands www.kit.nl
  11. 11. Lessons on facilitation <ul><li>Organisation, not an individual </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitation requires a wide-ranging set of skills </li></ul><ul><li>A person combining all required skills is rare, a team may be needed </li></ul><ul><li>Organisation assures more continuity </li></ul><ul><li>A change of style and approach can be refreshing </li></ul><ul><li>Level of independence / impartiality appreciated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Private sector perceived as biased </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other advisors do however also have biases </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Once established the platform participants can over time assume facilitation roles </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitation is highly involving, and as a result costly </li></ul>Amsterdam, The Netherlands www.kit.nl
  12. 12. Platform levels <ul><li>Middle level: </li></ul><ul><li>Most vibrant and practical </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse actors </li></ul><ul><li>Close enough for grassroots influence </li></ul><ul><li>Distant enough for eye on public interests and system overview </li></ul><ul><li>Local: </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Action and individual interest focused </li></ul><ul><li>National / state: </li></ul><ul><li>Distant from action </li></ul><ul><li>Policy orientation </li></ul><ul><li>Risks to become talkshop </li></ul><ul><li>Only works if the ‘big fish’ participate </li></ul>Amsterdam, The Netherlands www.kit.nl
  13. 13. Joint stakeholder activities <ul><li>Essential to attract initial interest of participants and maintain motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Essential to build trust between participants </li></ul><ul><li>Important for quick wins and direct success towards funders </li></ul><ul><li>Risk: </li></ul><ul><li>These activities take center stage </li></ul><ul><li>Innovation objective forgotten and routine management of activities becomes the mandate </li></ul><ul><li>Platform becomes a sort of project implementer and takes over mandate of its members </li></ul>Amsterdam, The Netherlands www.kit.nl
  14. 14. Dilemma’s <ul><li>High cost of facilitation </li></ul><ul><li>Who pays? </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping an innovation focus </li></ul><ul><li>Scaling-up and out </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Initiate many platforms? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate and disseminate results and methods? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Impact assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitation capacity </li></ul>Amsterdam, The Netherlands www.kit.nl
  15. 15. Cautious conclusions <ul><li>Platform is the breeding ground for change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It provides stakeholders with a stimulating environment to reflect on change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Try out new things </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Articulate needs to both in- and outsiders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supports coordinated action between participating actors </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This justifies the rather heavy time and resource investments provided that </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiences are of above-local importance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiences feed into programs of extension / dissemination / communication </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This would need to be substantiated with an ‘impact per dollar’ assessment </li></ul>Amsterdam, The Netherlands www.kit.nl
  16. 16. Amsterdam, The Netherlands www.kit.nl Thank you for your attention

×