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 eleventh brief explains how innovation platforms can support work on natural resources management issues that typically require joint action across scale and over time.
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.’
Natural resource problems afflict many African smallholders: they include low soil fertility, low yields, erosion, deforestation, fodder shortages, and lack of water. Individual farmers or communities cannot deal with these problems by themselves, so need outside help. Innovation platforms are a promising way of tackling them because they bring together farmers and other community members with a range of other stakeholders.
|This brief is authored by Michael Misiko (CIMMYT), Paul Mundy and Polly Ericksen (ILRI). 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: