The uses of research: action researching in and across nine agro-enterprise domains: the experience of the convergence of sciences-strengthening innovation systems programme in Benin, Ghana and Mali

J. Jiggins, G. Essegbey, L.W.A. Klerkx, A. van Paassen, R. Pyburn, R. Tossou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This chapter justifies the application of Theory-Guided Process Inquiry (TGPI) to elucidate, with real-time documentation of a standardized set of evidence across nine cases, the process of innovation in contrasting but comparable contexts. There is a significant challenge in coordinating divergent actors’ responses to rapidly changing market, climatic and development needs and opportunities in smallholder agriculture in West Africa, so that individual efforts add up to
effective governance of their respective domains of interest and efficient value chains that deliver worthwhile returns to small-scale producers. In these situations, rigorous research that is responsive to local histories and contexts, and to evolving events, is needed to underpin innovation policy, practice and theory. At the same time, the research should not be too demanding of scarce research resources and capacities, nor be reliant on unrealistic demands for large sets of quality-controlled statistical data. Research encompassed two mutually informative but distinct activities: (i) research carried out by PhD students and members of the innovation platforms (IPs) established in each domain, in order to inform their own actions; and (ii) research carried out in order to understand
the contributions of the IPs and other actors in bringing about transformative change. The chapter concludes with a reflection on what has been achieved through the research practices described.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInnovation systems
Subtitle of host publicationTowards effective strategies in support of smallholder farmers
EditorsJ. Francis, L. Mytelka, A. van Huis, N. Röling
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherThe Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA)
Pages101-123
ISBN (Electronic)9789290815617
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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