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Nurturing innovation processes by building multiple stakeholder partnerships. Opportunities and challenges for research. : [Preprint]

Triomphe B., Hocdé H., Faure G.. 2007. In : Workshop Enhancing Agricultural Innovation Systems, March 22-23, 2007, Washington. s.l. : s.n., 8 p.. Workshop Enhancing Agricultural Innovation Systems, 2007-03-22/2007-03-23, Washington (Etats-Unis).

Top-down approaches to innovation development are still frequent or even dominant in many circles. Among other features, they are characterized by the typically sovereign role of researchers in diagnosing problems, developing hypotheses and designing a research process. These results are then typically passed over to specialized agencies (such as extension) to disseminate the technologies and other solutions imagined by researchers. However, such linear approaches have long ceased to be the only paradigm for designing and delivering the innovations needed to help agriculture, and most notably farmers, adapt to rapidly evolving demands and a changing natural and socio-economic environment. Starting in the 1970s, mostly successive, complementary approaches have been developed to find effective ways for research to better understand and effectively collaborate with a range of stakeholders to solve problems, generate knowledge and learn together so as to foster sustainable development. These approaches include Farming Systems ("Systèmes Agraires" in the francophone sphere) and a host of participatory approaches from Research-development paradigms (Jouve et Mercoiret 1987), to Participatory Rural Appraisal (Chambers 1989), Participatory Technology Development (Ashby and Sperling, 1995; Veldhuizen and al., 1997), Participatory Learning Action (Scoones at al., 1994), Action-Research (Liu, 1992) and Empowerment approaches (Gonzalves and al., 2005). Each one of these stresses different aspects or different stakeholders in the innovation and capacity-development process (continuum). One way of linking all the components together is to use an Innovation Systems Perspective (Hall et al., 2006). This complements the above-mentioned approaches by insisting on the need for careful coordination among the many stakeholders involved in innovation processes - be they government-orchestrated or opportunity-driven innovations - to help these take root and progress.

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