Innovation systems and institutional change
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Innovation systems and institutional change

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Innovation systems and institutional change Innovation systems and institutional change Presentation Transcript

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  • Niels Röling and Dominique Hounkonnou (CoS-SIS Program Management Committee) INNOVATION IN EXTENSION AND ADVISORY SERVICES, 15-18 NOV. 2011, NAIROBI INNOVATION SYSTEM APPROACH TO ENHANCING SMALLHOLDER AGRICULTURE IN AFRICA
  • AGRIC. EXTENSION: SICK BUT NOT DEAD
    • Not much left after T&V… but lots of initiatives and experiments
    • Early 90s: CTA & partners try to capture these:
      • Donor workshop in Wageningen (first contours of Neuchâtel initiative, 1994)
      • Conference in Cameroun
    • IAASTD 2009 signed by 58 nations: smallholders key to global food security
    • Institutions matter: Innovation System (IS) Approach to development of smallholder agriculture
  • The SSA-Challenge Programme
    • Major FARA experiment with an IS approach: 36 Innovation Platforms (IP) in a controlled experimental design ($ 26 million)
    • Statistical analysis (Pamuk, Bulte & Adekunle, in prep.): IPs ‘work’, and better than conventional extension and controls: more poverty alleviation, more and more diverse innovative activity
    • Statistical analysis (Van Rijn & Bulte, in prep.): mechanism by which IPs work is linkage with external actors; becoming part of network of such actors
    • Similar findings from CoS 5 years after: technologies that involve factors over which farmers have no control do not persist (Sterk et al. , in prep.)
  • CoS-SIS: Convergence of Sciences: Strengthening Innovation Systems
    • 9 Innovation Platforms, € 4.5 million
    • Focus on understanding mechanisms
    • 30 years of promoting science-based technologies to increase yields per ha have left us with few successes (e.g., Gabre-Mahdin & Haggblade 2004)
    • Institutions explain a major proportion of the variance in the quality and quantity of smallholder production (cocoa Ghana, cotton Benin, rice Mali)
    • Not absence of institutions: complex institutional context often ‘unhelpful’ for smallholders
  • Performance Indicators
    • Ability to ‘think institutions’, in addition to cost-benefit; technological transfer; participation; etc.
    • Not dismiss institutions as ‘politics’ about which one can do little
    • Ability to scope and diagnose: translate smallholder constraints into attributes of institutional context
    • Analyse actor networks to identify key actors and champions who can take concerted action.
    • With those actors: design institutional experiments and measure impact
  • Experience industrial agricultures
    • Institutional development preceded technology-enhanced growth in productivity;
    • Agricultural leaders developed vision of an enabling context for family farming: synergy of farmer education, extension, research, credit, crop insurance, subsidies, land tenure, equitable market access, etc.
    • Not a uniform package but adaptive, context- and domain-specific
  • Some Concrete Measures (1)
    • Develop capacity of commodity research institutes (e.g., CRIG) to carry out institutional research and experimentation
    • Make available competitive research grants for institutional research
    • Develop and implement curricula for academic training of agricultural scientists in institutional ‘thinking’ and research
  • Some Concrete Measures (2)
    • Initiate a task force in the Ministry of Agriculture to prioritise (domain-specific?) institutional bottlenecks to smallholder development
    • Make available budget for interaction : key stakeholders need to meet, innovation emerges from interaction
    • Transform extension into innovation Process facilitation
  • Unhelpful institutions metaphor