Knowledge for Development

S&T Organisations / Web resources

New European Innovation Partnership to focus on 'Agricultural Sustainability and Productivity'

Late February 2012, the European Commission unveiled its plans for two new European Innovation Partnerships (EIPs) that will go some way to meeting the environmental and social issues facing Europe in the near future. The EIP that focuses on agriculture will deal with the increasing challenges food security poses for Europe, where, in this century, there will be a sharp rise in demand for feed, fibre, biomass, and biomaterials. This demand will come at the same time as a slow-down in production, due to cuts in agricultural research and the effects our actions have had on the environment and natural resources. This new partnership will seek to encourage innovations for sustainable food security. (CORDIS, 01/03/2012)


Practical Action - Food production: Sustainable approaches to agriculture

Practical Action's experience in Food Production is that traditional crop and animal combinations can be adapted to increase productivity - when the biological, land and labour resources are efficiently used. This has enhanced not only yields and the food security of farmers, but also the agricultural diversity and environmental integrity of the production system. These low-input, sustainable agriculture approaches are a win-win strategy - more stable levels of total production per unit area than high-input systems, economically favourable rates of return, a livelihood acceptable to small farmers and their families, and sustainable use of the natural resource base. Practical Action's work with small scale farmers and pastoralists aims to help them increase their food production capacity, to achieve sustainable livelihoods in the context of a rapidly changing global food system. With farmers in East Africa, Latin America, Southern Africa and elsewhere, Practical Action assists communities to develop and improve low-input sustainable agriculture.


Testing conventional zero-pesticide systems

Res0Pest is a ground-breaking network which studies the effects of pesticide-free cropping systems on pest populations with a particular eye on natural biological regulations. As reported by ENDURE, this initiative is coordinated by INRA-CIRAD. Launched in 2011, Res0Pest identifies technical barriers, tests alternative techniques and gains knowledge on agronomic practices and biological regulation of populations that could improve the management of pests.    (ENDURE Network, 13/06/2014)


PROLINNOVA: building partnerships to promote local innovation processes

Ann Waters-Bayer, Chesha Wettasinha & Laurens van Veldhuizen, 2007. The international programme PROLINNOVA seeks to build partnerships among major stakeholders in agricultural research and development to enhance processes of farmer-led participatory innovation. It starts with identifying innovations developed by farmers in order to give recognition to their creativity and to serve as entry points to genuine partnership in local-level research and development. The stakeholders involved in participatory innovation development (PID) reflect on how this differs from the way they conventionally work. They consider whether and how it leads to better results, above all, to strengthening the capacity of farmers and other actors to continue to innovate and adapt to changing conditions. They identify what institutional and policy changes are needed to enhance PID. Based on their joint analysis and on-the-ground PID experiences, they engage in policy dialogue to bring about these changes. This paper describes the origins of the PROLINNOVA initiative and the concepts behind it, the structure of partnerships at different levels - field, national and international - to promote local innovation, and the experiences made in establishing them. Particular attention is given to the role of NGOs in facilitating these multistakeholder partnerships. The numerous challenges faced and PROLINNOVA partners’ attempts to address them are a source of mutual learning.



The Global Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems (GLOBELICS) is a global network of scholars who apply the concept of 'Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building System' (LICS) as their analytical framework. The network is especially dedicated to the strengthening of LICS in countries in the South.


ILAC - Institutional Learning and Change Initiative

The ILAC Initiative brings together a group of national and international partners who are committed to strengthening the contributions of collaborative applied R&D programs to pro-poor agricultural innovation. Hosted by Bioversity International, the initiative works with a range of collaborative programs and other partners in four main areas: Applied research and evaluation; Capacity development; Fostering leadership for pro-poor innovation; Communications and knowledge sharing.


Fodder Innovation Project

The overall focus of the project is on improving the livelihoods of the rural poor through increasing their options to feed livestock. Initial project activities showed that the issue of addressing fodder scarcity was much more complex than simply providing technologies such as improved germplasm. Accordingly the project changed its learning approach from technology to a partnership mode for alliance building and finally towards a facilitated multiple-actor and institutional perspective. Current project activities experiment with ways of building capacity required to innovate in order to address issues of fodder scarcity in equitable and sustainable ways. Project locations are in Nigeria and India.


Practicing agricultural innovation in Africa: a platform for action

The overall objective of this World Bank Forum, held in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, May 12-14, 2008, was to facilitate learning on key policies, practices, and actors that help enable innovation and technology development in agriculture, food industry, rural energy and physical environment in African countries, using analytical materials – in the form of case studies – to stimulate dialogue and debate. The dedicated web pages for the Forum present, among other things, country reports for Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.


IDRC's Innovation, Policy and Science programme

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has supported research on science and technology (S&T) and innovation policy issues since its creation. The Innovation, Policy and Science (IPS) program area carries on this work, focusing on improving understanding of innovation processes and systems in developing countries, strengthening research in support of S&T policies, and enhancing social inclusion and multi-stakeholder participation in decision-making related to S&T. IPS funds research on governance, public understanding, access and benefits associated with new technologies like biotechnology and nanotechnology.