Convergence of Sciences: the management of agricultural research for the small scale farmers in Benin and Ghana

D. Hounkonnou, D.K. Kossou, T.W. Kuyper, C. Leeuwis, P. Richards, N.G. Röling, O. Sakyi-Dawson, A. van Huis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The Convergence of Sciences programme (CoS) addresses the sub-optimal impact of science on the livelihoods of resource-poor farmers in West Africa, particularly in Benin and Ghana where it operates. CoS aims to develop insights into the pathways through which investment in science and technology can improve rural lives. To this end, CoS features participatory experimental and action research by eight PhD students, who each develop technologies and institutional arrangements with groups of farmers. The ninth PhD student carries out comparative `research on agricultural research¿. The current article deals with a higher aggregation level than the individual project: the management of the programme as a whole. How did CoS try to zero in on the small windows of opportunity West African farmers face? How did it manage the ensuing issues of trans-disciplinarity, and of interaction among students, (social and natural science) supervisors, and other key stakeholders? How does it face up to the issues that arise with respect to scaling up? One of the most interesting aspects of CoS is that it not only deals with technical innovation within the constraining institutional and policy framework conditions, but also experiments with incipient ideas about how to stretch them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-367
JournalNJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences
Issue number3/4
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • diffusion of research
  • implementation of research
  • organization of research
  • benin
  • ghana
  • resource-poor farmers

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