Sunday, October 26, 2008

Innovation, information, communication - maximising research impact

An important change in the discourse on agricultural and rural development is the emergence of an ‘innovation systems perspective’ that focuses on interactions among different actors working to bring change. According to Hall, the innovation systems perspective fundamentally recognizes that the determinants of innovation, as a process of generating, accessing and putting knowledge into use, are the interactions of different people and their ideas, and the social setting of these interactions and relationships.

At last week’s workshop to discuss how improved communication can help maximize the impact of agricultural research in Africa, we caught up with David Spielman of IFPRI and Patti Kristjanson of ILRI - both of whom work in this area.

We asked David to explain what such innovation systems entails:

We also spoke to Patti Kristjanson, Leader of the ‘Innovation Works’ Initiative at the International Livestock Research Institute in Kenya for an example of such thinking, in action, so to speak. The 'Innovation Works' initiative is about "how we do the research, more innovatively, with partners, to have more impact on sustainable poverty reduction." According to Kristjanson, how the research is done "absolutely matters" - she and her colleagues have identified some principles and strategies that can "indeed increase the probability that the research will generate knowledge that leads to actions." More ...

By coincidence, during the Addis Ababa workshop, Louise Clark, Knowledge Transfer manager at the Research Into Use Programme launched a new blog with the name: RIU: An Innovation System Story!

The Addis Ababa workshop is organized by the Global Development Network (GDN) in partnership with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the World Bank Institute (WBI), and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), with support from the Information and Communications Technology – Knowledge Management (ICT-KM) program of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

Photos from the workshop
Video interviews at the workshop
More stories on this blog / on IAALD blog / on ICT-KM blog
Euforic news on communication and knowledge-sharing
R4D news on research communication

story by Peter Ballantyne