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

Swaans, K., Cullen, B., Van Rooyen, A., Adekunle, A., Ngwenya, H., Lema, Z. and Nederlof, S. 2013. Dealing with critical challenges in African innovation platforms: Lessons for facilitation. Knowledge Management for Development Journal. 9 (3), pp. 116-135.

TitleDealing with critical challenges in African innovation platforms: Lessons for facilitation
AuthorsSwaans, K., Cullen, B., Van Rooyen, A., Adekunle, A., Ngwenya, H., Lema, Z. and Nederlof, S.
Abstract

Innovation platforms are increasingly used by research and development initiatives to actively engage the poor in agricultural innovation processes. These platforms are forums for action and learning, where different types of actors come together to address issues of mutual concern. However, the dynamic nature of the innovation process, and the differences in interest, capacity and power among the actors involved, pose a challenge in the facilitation of these platforms. We believe that the key to success is very much linked to the attitude, skills and capacities of the innovation broker. This paper highlights seven key issues which in our 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 will be discussed based on examples from the field and in relation to current theories.

Keywordsinnovation platforms; facilitation; innovation brokers; Africa
JournalKnowledge Management for Development Journal
Journal citation9 (3), pp. 116-135
ISSN1871-6342
Year2013
PublisherFoundation for the Support of the Knowledge Management for Development Journal
Web address (URL)http://journal.km4dev.org/index.php/km4dj/article/view/154
Publication dates
Published2013
LicenseCC BY-NC-ND 2.5

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