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Change and innovation in the Volta Basin Development Challenge program


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Change and innovation in the Volta Basin Development Challenge program

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Change and innovation in the Volta Basin Development Challenge program

  1. 1. Change and Innovation in the Volta Basin Development Challenge Program A Working Presentation Karen Marie Greenough, PhD V5, VBDC Science Meeting 18 September 2013
  2. 2. Contents  The Research  Objectives  What’s happened  Meeting & Tours  Interviews  Analysis  Tentative “conclusions”  VBDC Changes and “Innovations”  Fostering Innovation?  People: RTF & Villagers  Time  Communication  Investment
  3. 3. Objectives of the Research  To discover changes – possibly innovations – that result from project activities  Among researchers, facilitators and extension agents partnered or subcontracted within the projects  Among local project participants (and non- participants): producers, NGO members, extension agents, bureaucrats, chefferie  To examine the characteristics of “innovations” and “innovators”  To provide some conclusions about the above for future projects
  4. 4. Methods: Meeting & Tours  VSS Tours  V1 Learning Event, Yako PGIS Tour  V2 IP Meetings, BF & Gh  V3 Feedback Meetings, BF & Gh
  5. 5. Methods: Meeting & Tours  V4  Commod Workshops, BF & Gh  White Volta Basin Board Reorganization Meeting  V5  Group d’apprentissage–Burkina  Common System of Documentation  Atelier de Concertation de Haut Niveau  Field Tour & Reflection 2012
  6. 6. Methods: Interviews  VSS Tour interviews  Gave a broader picture of change and drivers of change  Local participants and non-participants: 95  “Non-participants” :  People not selected to participate in IPs or workshops  Interviews will show whether and how ideas generated by project activities are spreading  Researchers, Technicians & Facilitators: 45  Many different stories and experiences  Many different views of change and innovation Place Based Project No. Place Based Project No. Ouaga all 13 Tamale V2 1 Ouahigouya V2 4 Nyankpala V2 6 Bobo V3/5 5 Lawra V2 1 Dedougou V4 2 Babille V2 2 24 Wa V2 1 Participants & other interviewees Bawku V3 2 Dano V4 3 Binaba V3 1 Diébougou V4 6 16 Naburnye V4 1 Tiankora V4 1 Binaba V3/4 21 Diourawo V4 2 Lawra V2 30 Bouroum-Bouroum V4 1 Golinga V2 10 Gaoua V4 3 Digu V2 12 22 73 R,T,F based elsewhere V1 & 2 5 Total Interviewees 140 Participants & other interviewees 5V4 2V4Bolgatanga Bapla GhanaBurkina Faso Researchers, Technicians, Faciliatators Researchers, Technicians, Faciliatators
  7. 7. Analysis  Coding interview transcriptions & field notes  Looking for patterns  Validating (or not) hypotheses and tentative conclusions  Coming up with new hypotheses and conclusions  Reading  Social Network Analysis  People to people  People to Structures  Structures to Structures  Mapping
  8. 8. Tentative “conclusions”  Definitions of “innovations”  There seems to be a difference between northern and local researchers  Local definitions : Not necessarily entirely new, but new to the context, i.e. “new to us”  Characteristics of Innovators  Relatively wealthy: poor people do not have the resources, including time, to innovate  Connected: through commercial networks and/or associations  Participants of projects tend to be selected because of previous project work
  9. 9. Tentative “conclusions”  Communication and innovation  Face to face connections between people are most beneficial  Meetings cannot provide needed comprehensive information  Programs need to study “how” people communicate within the projects and programs  Projects & innovation  All stakeholders must understand the precise type & level of participation  “Stuff” & “Accompaniment”: need local contributions from the start  People waiting for project activities or stuff seem less likely to innovate  Development, especially participatory, takes time “We underestimated the time needed. We need researchers as dedicated staff for the project core. We need to have more modest expectations of impacts.”
  10. 10. VBDC Changes and “Innovations”  Changes in outlooks, knowledge and skills  Local researchers benefit from working with farmers on trial plots.  Villagers share knowledge that they have gained from the projects.  Villagers in Digu and Golinga build animal pens.  Local researchers understand that policy must be developed from the base. “In drafting policy, there should be room for adjustment when you move from one place to another.”  Researchers, Tech, and Facilitators learn from each other. “Well, in terms of experience, one new thing is working on water.” “And then, the researchers’ manner of approaching the question. Don’t just attack things like that. Really try to understand them and their causes.”
  11. 11. VBDC Changes and “Innovations”  New interactions  Between villagers who never worked together before.  Between structures who have never worked together before. “The project has definitely strengthened relationships with partner institutions.”  New technologies and processes  TAGMI  Improved crop varieties  Rainwater harvesting techniques  The participatory techniques of multi-stakeholder platforms
  12. 12. Fostering Innovation? … People  Research for Development involves  a multitude of very different kinds of people  with very different understandings  with very different goals  They don’t always understand each other  They can’t always talk to each other  Their goals may be in conflict with each other  They may only want “stuff” from each other  Villagers want inputs and technology.  Researchers want research results.  Everyone wants their per diem.
  13. 13. Seeing like Researchers “It’s complicated! We have to have complex partnerships for complex problems. Of course, there are transaction costs.” *********** “We need to involve the partner as early as possible to make them to understand the way we imagine the process. This is the most important step of the project, and if we cannot succeed in this first step, all the other steps will not work.” *********** CPWF is “like a kind of laboratory, where people are testing and experimenting without being too mindful what that would mean in terms of demands on people implementing the projects.” *********** “But in recent years, I think innovation is more an issue of psychological appropriation. It’s very important that local people have the impression that it comes from them, you see?” *********** “This project was more like a trial and error. So we did not have the impression that it was really, completely well-planned.” *********** “It is very difficult to have a scientific project, and simultaneously to have to communicate to our stakeholders. This requires different skills; it probably also requires different people.”
  14. 14. Seeing like Villagers “They don’t like us.” “I had to learn to humble myself.” Researchers are a separate species:  They have more money than we will ever see in our lifetimes.  They travel very fast in rich vehicles; wear rich, fancy clothing; live in rich, fancy houses.  They will never understand or respect us.  They can barely stand to be in the places we live.  They won’t drink our water or eat our food.  We watch them rush in and out …  Knowing that when one project leaves another will come;  Strategizing how to get as much as we can out of the one that is here now;  Wondering whether to risk resources by trying new technology.  They can and do leave; we cannot. 1979 ABC diguettes en terre DEF live fencing 1984-2004 GHI1 tree nurseries natural regeneration 2005-2009 GHI2 cordonnes pierres zaï tech training foyers améliorés soap making composting 2006-2009 JKL latrines 2012 foot pedal pump wells 2008 MNO open wells cordonnes pierres improved seed tech training management committees improved zaï composting demi-lunes 2008-present PQR micro-credit soap making soumbala rainwater harvest training A Sketch of Projects in One Village
  15. 15. Fostering Innovation? … Time  An Agricultural Innovation Systems approach  departs from a linear transfer from researcher to farmer  goes beyond previous participatory development approaches  Participatory development takes time for ..  understanding participatory approaches  communication: face to face discussion and informal conversation  for going in-depth to understand the context of situations  Analysis of studies throughout the program takes time.  Time must be designed into the program.  Donors & directors must have the patience necessary for engaging participatory AIS development.
  16. 16. Fostering Innovation? … Communication  Developing innovations takes communication  spontaneous  conversational  respectful  two-way (“n”-way)  The AIS program should monitor how communication is happening among their stakeholders  Can researchers exchange with each other informally and often?  Are researchers, techs and facilitators engaging farmers in respectful exchanges?  Do researchers, techs and facilitators really understand the participatory processes? Me? almost nothing. I mean, what is the definition of an innovation system?
  17. 17. Fostering Innovation? … Investment  Who owns the development?  Researchers are reluctant to give up control.  Local stakeholders have little “stake” in the project.  Why should stakeholders care that you are trying to develop them?  An AIS program needs a careful balance between contributions from local stakeholders and inputs.  Stakeholders should contribute money from the very beginning of project.  This means, however…  R4D personnel must deliver quality product.  All financing must be transparent.  All stakeholders must be engaged in two-way respectful conversations.
  18. 18. Acknowledgements  Aly Diarra, research assistant  Kalie Lassiter, intern  Anna Tarrant, intern  Karin Neumayer, intern  Our translators in Ghana and Burkina, especially Adam Hudu  V5: Funke, Mahamoudou, Adjara, Joachim  Everyone who gave their time for interviews, allowed us to attend your meetings and workshops, and helped us with our site visits.  Thank you!!