Social Innovation in the context of multi-stakeholder governance at the landscape level (KB-28-002-007, KB-28-002-003)

  • van Oosten, Cora (Project Leader)

Project: LNV project

Project Details


The aim of this project is to approach social innovation from a spatial angle. We call this ‘socio-spatial innovation’, as a framework to understand the myriad of private and civil society driven governance arrangements at landscape level which are currently emerging across the globe. We want to assess the nature of these place-based governance arrangements, and asses their potential for a reconfiguration of governance from political-administrative structures to the socio-ecological realities of landscapes. We aim to develop a ‘research-practice-policy’ approach, which offers room for applied research, capacity development and policy advice at the same time.

In order to so, we will identify 2-3 ‘learning landscapes’ where we can achieve maximum output with minimum investment. This, by making use of existing partnerships, and by deploying partners, local students and Wageningen based students in MSc research.

The first year was concluded with the publication of one scientific article, focused on Indonesia’s West Kalimantan, where landscape governance is driven by the private sector. Here, the major challenge encountered is a lack of policy coherence, which makes socio-spatial innovation at the landscape level rather impossible.

During 2017, we will work on a second case, which focuses on Rwanda. Here, we found an interesting initiative at the national level to integrate the different environmental policy frames into one integrated framework which allows for socio-spatial innovation on the ground (in this case, landscape restoration). We will study the process of policy integration at the national level, but we will also study the ways in which localised landscapes deal with policy conflicts and strive for policy coherence within their own landscape.

During the second half of 2017, we will start working on a third case, where landscape governance is driven by civil society, either in Brazil (Pacto Mata Atlantica) or Kenya (Southern Rift Association of Land Owners), depending on the funding.

All research outcomes will be published in peer-reviewed journals; and presented during scientific events. Through our long term engagement in the case study site, all research outcomes will directly contribute to socio-spatial innovation on the ground, through the participatory nature of the research, and through training and capacity development activities in and between the landscapes. Finally, the outcomes of the research will be integrated in the Global Landscape Academy, which is an online curriculum for landscape professionals which is currently being developed by Centre for Development Innovation and partners (financed by Ministry of Economic Affairs).

Effective start/end date1/01/1631/12/18


  • Rwanda
  • Kenya


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