Innovation platforms in agricultural research for development

Schut, M and Kamanda, J and Gramzow, A and Dubois, T and Stoian, D and Andersson, J A and Dror, I and Sartas, M and Mur, R and Kassam, S and Brouwer, H and Devaux, A and Velasco, C and Flor, R J and Gummert, M and Buizer, D and McDougall, C and Davis, K and Homann-Kee Tui, S and Lundy, M (2018) Innovation platforms in agricultural research for development. Experimental Agriculture (TSI). pp. 1-22. ISSN 0014-4797

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Innovation platforms are fast becoming part of the mantra of agricultural research for development projects and programmes. Their basic tenet is that stakeholders depend on one another to achieve agricultural development outcomes, and hence need a space where they can learn, negotiate and coordinate to overcome challenges and capture opportunities through a facilitated innovation process. Although much has been written on how to implement and facilitate innovation platforms efficiently, few studies support ex-ante appraisal of when and for what purpose innovation platforms provide an appropriate mechanism for achieving development outcomes, and what kinds of human and financial resource investments and enabling environments are required. Without these insights, innovation platforms run the risk of being promoted as a panacea for all problems in the agricultural sector. This study makes clear that not all constraints will require innovation platforms and, if there is a simpler and cheaper alternative, that should be considered first. Based on the review of critical design principles and plausible outcomes of innovation platforms, this study provides a decision support tool for research, development and funding agencies that can enhance more critical thinking about the purposes and conditions under which innovation platforms can contribute to achieving agricultural development outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : East & Southern Africa
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas
Uncontrolled Keywords: Innovation platforms, agricultural research for development, AR4D, agricultural development outcomes, agricultural innovation systems, monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL), ME&L, agriculture, ex-ante appraisal
Subjects: Others > Agriculture
Others > Agricultural R&D
Others > Innovation
Others > Agricultural Research
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2019 11:49
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2019 11:52
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: This research was undertaken as part of, and funded by, the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (RTB) and supported by CGIAR Fund Donors ( Additional funding support was provided by the Belgian Directorate General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DGD) through the Consortium for Improving Agricultural Livelihoods in Central Africa (CIALCA – The authors thank all innovation platform facilitators and members for their enthusiasm and willingness to share information and experiences.
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