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Research for Development Platforms: Science for impact in Humidtropics

Presentation given by Dr. C. Almekinders, Department of Knowledge, Technology and Innovation, Wageningen University, at the launch of the East and Central Africa Action Area meeting, 20-23 May 2013, Bukavu, DR Congo.

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Research for Development Platforms: Science for impact in Humidtropics

  1. 1. Research for Development (R4D) PlatformsConny Almekinders, KTI, WURMay 21, 2013, BukavuScience for impact in Humid Tropics
  2. 2. Why R4DWhat it means for role of researcherR4D platforms
  3. 3. Contribution of research to policy and developmentprocesses is questioned● Research is not used ‘correctly’ or ‘abused’● There is a mismatch between demand and supply● Research does not reach (enough) stakeholdersIncreased acknowledgement of complexity / need forinnovation and learning● Enhance the contribution of research to policy,development and action● Technology requires re-organisation of socio-organisational networksWhy R4D?
  4. 4. From:● Successful generation, transfer, adoption anddiffusion of technology● Research(ers) driven● Institutions and politics are externalTo:● System’s capacity to generate and respond tochange● Resilient multi-level networks and platforms● Enabling environments for change● Research and non-researchRe-defining research
  5. 5. R4D platforms can function as a space or enablingenvironment for exploring pathways to deal withcomplex problems...Humidtropics R4D platforms as catalyst for change andactionUnpacking system complexity● International● Regional● National● Subnational● Local● Biophysical● Socio-cultural● Economic● Institutional● Political● Policymakers● Researchers● Farmers● Private sector● NARS
  6. 6. R4D platform can spawn different IPDry resistant Bt maize for climateadaptation in NicaraguaParasitic weeds inrainfed ricefarming inTanzaniaR4Dtoincreasefoodsecurity,reducepoverty,etc.
  7. 7. Align research with existing innovation, policy ordevelopment processesContinuously reconcile demand and supply of researchFacilitate R4D and Innovation PlatformsProgress M&EGenerating ‘new’ knowledge is important, but may alsonot always be necessaryMulti-stakeholder research: Increase quality andownership of researchRole of research modified
  8. 8. Basic incentives for involvementFlexibility (RQs, planning, budget, mandates, outcomes,stakeholder involvement)Understanding, commitment (passion), engagement, co-ownership (excitement for a common goal)Everybody investsUrgency/ relevance● Align with what is already going onMomentum and championsSpace for success and failure, for collaboration,negotiation and conflictWhat are the prerequisites
  9. 9. Increased complexity/ uncertainty: open processesNew roles, obligations and mandates for research(ers)From project-oriented to process-oriented researchFlexibility and dynamic research configurationsNew research approaches (action research) withoutundermining the value for more traditional researchapproachesNeed to remain credible, legitimate and relevant towardsmultiple stakeholdersStakeholder inclusion/ exclusion, representation andengagementImplications & challenges for research
  10. 10. What are R4Ds?R4D platforms can function as a space or enablingenvironment for exploring pathways to deal withcomplex problems...Humidtropics R4D platforms as catalyst for change andaction
  11. 11. Both are:● Multi-stakeholder platforms for collaboration,learning and action● Enabling environments or incubators for innovation● Negotiation and action-orientedIPs can be organised around thematic, systems, techno-logical, geographical or sectoral (value chain) issues:● Climate Change (theme)● Biotechnology (technology)● River basin management (multi-level)● Rice, wheat, maize, etc. (commodity)R4D platforms and IP?
  12. 12. What are R4Ds?R4D platforms can function as a space or enablingenvironment for exploring pathways to deal withcomplex problems...Humidtropics R4D platforms as catalyst for change andaction
  13. 13. My definition of an R4Ds?a group of researchers of different disciplines (you?!)complemented with a selected representation ofstakeholdersto enables you to re-investigate, better understand andre-define the problem(s) you want address in an actionsite.To arrive at a fuller understanding of the (complexity ofthe) problemnew stakeholders may have to be included in order todefine useful/effective interventions. R4D platforms maytransform in IPs?
  14. 14. What WUR can contribute?Back up research in the diagnostic phaseSupport in designing/implementation platform processesAnalysis of the platform dynamics/processes; theunfolding of innovationThinking through and analysing up-scaling processesHow:Smart partnershipsMSc and PhD students, postdocs (in collaboration withAfrican Univerisities?)

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