printUse ctrl + p to print the page

Dealing with critical challenges in African innovation platforms: lessons for facilitation

Authors: Swaans, K. et alii.
Publication date: 2013, In: Knowledge Management for Development Journal 9(3): 116-135

Innovation platforms are increasingly used by research and development initiatives to actively engage the poor in agricultural innovation processes. Considering the diverse challenges to facilitate these platforms, the authors believe that the key to success is however very much linked to the attitude, skills and capacities of the innovation broker.

This paper highlights seven key issues which in their view are critical to effective platform facilitation and have not received the attention they deserve:

  • the dynamic and evolving nature of platforms
  • power dynamics; gender equity
  • external versus internal facilitation
  • sustainability of the process; issues of scale
  • and monitoring and evaluation.

These issues and implications for facilitation of innovation platforms are discussed based on examples from the field and in relation to current theories.