Unraveling innovation platforms – Insights from co-evolution of innovation in a smallholder dairy development program in Kenya

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Abstract

Challenges facing agricultural development, particularly in developing countries dominated by smallholder farming are increasingly framed in the context of weak innovation systems and capacities in the growing literature on agricultural innovation systems. Innovation systems (IS) approaches emphasize the collective dimension of innovation pointing to the need to effect necessary linkages and interaction among multiple actors. IS thinking also pays attention to the co-evolution of innovation processes, arguing that successful innovation results from alignment of technical, social, institutional and organizational dimensions. These insights are increasingly informing interventions that focus on supporting multi-stakeholder arrangements such as innovation platforms as mechanisms for enhancing agriculture innovation. While much emphasis in analyzing agricultural innovation systems has focused on how these multi-stakeholder platforms are organized and mechanisms through which actors interact, there has been limited analysis that has unraveled how and why such platforms contribute to innovation processes and thus they remain a black-box. This paper therefore aims to address this gap by analyzing innovation platforms as intermediaries in efforts to better understand their contribution in shaping dynamic innovation processes. The paper presents an empirical case study of the East African Dairy (EADD) program in Kenya. The program is led by a consortium of five organizations and provides a platform for building partnerships between farmers, various government and private sector actors to enhance innovation for improving productivity and market access for smallholder dairy farmers. The results show the diverse role of the platform as the innovation process unfolds and draws conclusion relevant to how the concept of platforms is usually approached and calls for a more dynamic view in analyzing them as part of understanding innovation processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages1-11
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventThe 10th European IFSA Symposium on Producing and reproducing farming systems, Aarhus, Denmark -
Duration: 1 Jul 20124 Jul 2012

Conference

ConferenceThe 10th European IFSA Symposium on Producing and reproducing farming systems, Aarhus, Denmark
Period1/07/124/07/12

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