Knowledge for Development

Innovation and Inclusive Development

Author: Lynn Mytelka

Date: 08/03/2015


By Lynn Mytelka, Professorial Fellow, UNU-MERIT, France  

 While many small changes that collectively modify products and processes may open up opportunities for including smallholders in the innovation process, Lynn Mytelka anticipates that there are challenges in developing capabilities, strengthening linkages and building a support infrastructure at the local level. 


Mytelka reminds us that ‘innovation is neither research nor science and technology’, and that innovation can take many different forms: from radical changes at the ‘frontier of knowledge’ to a range of small changes. However, small firms and farms must continuously learn to operate in a changing global environment, and governments must invest in building capacity so that they can access critical knowledge and adapt. Using the case of Columbian cut flowers, Mytelka encourages governments to rethink their current policies and practices, build interactive dialogues with smallholder farmers and create a policy environment that will trigger and support smallholder innovation processes.  

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