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This project report from Wageningen UR (as a contribution to the CGIAR Humid Tropics research program) examines critical issues for reflection when designing and implementing research for development in innovation platforms’. The current document therefore aims to increase awareness about the complexity of research in innovation. The underlying idea is that innovation platforms can facilitate institutional changes and support system innovations through increased interaction, negotiation and learning between stakeholders, including (new) roles of research(ers).
An innovation platform is 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. This brief explains what innovation platforms are and how they work, and it describes some of their advantages and limitations.
The chapter is a part of the book Innovation platforms for agricultural development edited by Iddo Dror, Jean-Joseph Cadilhon, Marc Schut, Michael Misiko and Shreya Maheshwari. It introduces the background for the setting up of innovation platforms (IPs), initiation and function of the three IPs in Ethiopian highlands, innovation fund to support fodder development, the role of different actors in scaling up, outcomes and impact of the intervention, and lessons learned.
The presentation was given in January 2009 and introduced why a new approach for livestock development for poverty alleviation was desirable, innovation, innovation systems and value chains, building of innovation platforms, learning-oriented monitoring and evaluation, and scaling up and out.