Innovation: Innovation Systems In African Agriculture - Recommendations for policy, research and practice

Last update: 22.08.2013
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Keywords: 
innovation process, multi-stakeholder, triggers, drivers, enabling environment
The JOLISAA project aimed to increase understanding of agricultural innovation systems focusing on smallholders livelihoods and the articulation of local/traditional and global knowledge. Lessons learnt about past and ongoing experiences with agricultural/rural innovation in East, Southern and West Africa were synthesised by combining joint case-study assessment with capacity-strengthening and networking at various scales.

Case studies tackled diverse innovation types and scales: from natural resource management to production and agribusiness, from local initiatives to national and regional ones. Joint learning was fostered by engaging diverse stakeholders, including researchers, practitioners and policymakers. The project delivered relevant, pragmatic and collectively validated recommendations to the EC and to African decision-makers for future research, practice and policy.

Over 42 months, a small consortium of European and African partners involving highly experienced and motivated research, development, capacity-strengthening and networking institutions facilitated an iterative process consisting of five interlinked thematic Work Packages (WPs):

- In WP1, an analytic framework and an operational approach was developed based on an innovation-system perspective and carefully adapted to the context and experiences of three regions in Africa.
- WP2 involved joint assessment and learning from a series of case studies in Kenya, South Africa and Benin.
- In WP3, the capacity of members of existing multistakeholder innovation platforms to assess their experiences and to facilitate innovation was strengthened, in close interaction with case-study development.
- In WP4, lessons was shared and discussed within existing national innovation platforms across Africa and with European/ international institutions.
- WP5 compiled and shared the project outputs and delivered them in formats suitable for a range of audiences, from academia to policymakers.

PROJECT GOALS:

JOLISAA's goal was to assess how smallholders’ innovativeness, knowledge, capacities and other resources can be tapped into, strengthened and linked effectively to those of other stakeholders – public or private, local or global – to contribute to reducing rural poverty and improving food security in Africa.

JOLISAA aimed to support this message through:

- A comprehensive assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of existing approaches to, and experiences with, multi-stakeholder innovation at various scales
- Better understanding of the factors that push and pull the out-scaling of innovations and the role of both scientific and local knowledge in this process
- Shared insights into the actual and potential roles of local and external stakeholders (both public and private) in triggering and sustaining innovation.
Based on a comparative analysis of a collection of innovation case studies developed in Benin, South Africa and Kenya based on a common analytical framework and approach.
JOLISAA aimed to assess and learn from past and ongoing experiences in three countries in Africa (Benin, Kenya and South Africa) with multi-stakeholder approaches to agricultural innovation development, particularly looking at the role of local knowledge and innovation in the process.
JOLISAA synthesised findings and lessons learnt by combining joint case-study assessment with capacity strengthening and networking.

The project provides recommendations to the European Commission and African decision-makers for future policy, research and practice in agricultural research and development (ARD).
In this way, JOLISAA hopes to contribute to the identification of research and policy priorities addressing the needs and demands of small-scale farmers and other rural actors.

The recommendations include the following among others:
1. Existing local innovation processes should be better recognized and supported rather than ignored or discarded.
2. Innovation should be approached in its various dimensions (technological, institutional and organizational).
3. Steering of innovation processes should be approached in a flexible, open-ended manner and over the long-term

Others have also been identified: see details on JOLISAA web site.

This innovation is the result of the project

Title: Joint Learning About Innovation Systems In African Agriculture

Acronym: 
JOLISAA

Runtime: 
01.02.2010 to 31.07.2013

Status: 
completed project

Organisations and people involved in this eco-innovation.

Please click on an entry to view all contact details.

CENTRE DE COOPERATION INTERNATIONAL EN RECHERCHE AGRONOMIQUE POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT

Field: Fishing and aquaculture, Agriculture, Scientific research and development, Education (France)

Role in project: Project Coordination

Contact person: Dr. TRIOMPHE Bernard

Website: http://www.cirad.fr

Phone: +33-467-615614

Contact

KENYA AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE

Field: Agriculture, Scientific research and development, Education (Kenya)

Contact person: Dr. KAMAU Geoffrey

Website: http://www.kari.org

Phone: +254-204183301

Contact

STICHTING DIENST LANDBOUWKUNDIG ONDERZOEK

Field: Agriculture, Scientific research and development, Education (Netherlands)

Role in project: Associated partner

Contact person: Dr. JOLANDA Van Den Berg

Website: http://www.wageningenur.nl/en/Expertise-Services/Research-Institutes/lei.htm

Phone: +31-703358165

Contact

STICHTING ETC

Field: Agriculture, Scientific research and development (Netherlands)

Role in project: Associated partner

Contact person: Dr. WATERS-BAYER Ann

Website: http://www.etc-international.org

Phone: +31-304-32600

Contact

STICHTING INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR DEVELOPMENT ORIENTED RESEARCH IN AGRICULTURE

Field: Agriculture, Scientific research and development, Education (Netherlands)

Role in project: Associated partner

Contact person: Dr. HAWKINS Richard

Website: http://www.icra-edu.org

Phone: +31-317422938

Contact

UNIVERSITE D ABOMEY CALAVI UAC -FACULTÉ DES SCIENCES AGRONOMIQUES FSA

Field: Agriculture, Scientific research and development, Education (Benin)

Role in project: Associated partner

Contact person: Dr. VODOUHE Davo Simplice

Website: http://www.bj.refer.org

Phone: +229-95607868

Contact

UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA

Field: Agriculture, Scientific research and development, Education (South Africa)

Contact person: Dr. STEVENS Joe

Website: http://www.up.ac.za

Phone: +27-124203249

Contact