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Monitoring innovation platforms in agricultural research

Innovation platforms are widely used in agricultural research to connect different stakeholders to achieve common goals. To help document recent experiences and insights, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) recently published a series of short innovation platform ‘practice briefs’ to help guide the design and implementation of innovation platforms in agricultural research for development.

This fifth brief explains what monitoring systems do for an innovation platform, who is involved, how it works, and what to do with the findings.

Monitoring helps spot innovation platform problems and make adjustments early

An innovation platform is defined as ‘a space for learning and change. It is a group of individuals (who often represent organizations) with different backgrounds and interests: farmers, traders, food processors, researchers, government officials etc. The members come together to diagnose problems, identify opportunities and find ways to achieve their goals. They may design and implement activities as a platform, or coordinate activities by individual members.’

Monitoring aims to assess the functioning and effectiveness of innovation platforms to improve policy and practice, develop capacity and improve links among actors. The information it gathers can be used to improve the management of the platform and its activities, change policies, and promote larger scale changes. These changes occur at various scales—farm, community, market, watershed, policy, research, etc.—and with diverse actors. The monitoring system seeks to document and value these changes.

Download the brief

See all the briefs

More on innovation platforms

Related ILRI materials on innovation systems

This brief is authored by Mark Lundy (CIAT), Ewen LeBorgne (ILRI), Eliud Birachi (CIAT), Beth Cullen (ILRI), Birgit Boogaard (ILRI), Adewale Adekunle (FARA) and Michael Victor (CPWF). It is a contribution to the CGIAR Humidtropics research program. The development of the briefs was led by the International Livestock Research Institute; the briefs draw on experiences of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food, several CGIAR centres and partner organization.The series comprises 14 briefs:

  1. What are innovation platforms?
  2. Innovation platforms to shape national policy
  3. Research and innovation platforms
  4. Power dynamics and representation in innovation platforms
  5. Monitoring innovation platforms
  6. Innovation platforms for agricultural value chain development
  7. Communication in innovation platforms
  8. Developing innovation capacity through innovation platforms
  9. Linking action at different levels through innovation platforms
  10. Facilitating innovation platforms
  11. Innovation platforms to support natural resource management
  12. Impact of innovation platform
  13. Scaling and innovation platforms
  14. Addressing gender dynamics in innovation platforms

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