Institutions for poverty reduction: understanding and enabling institutional changes that promote pro-poor post-harvest innovation

The main hypothesis of this policy research project was that institutional change is an important way of shaping pro-poor innovation. The project addressed the nature of institutional changes - new/modified ways of working, rules, norms that bring about pro-poor innovation. Different actors in rural innovation systems need capacities and skills to create and sustain these pro-poor institutional changes. The project used a combination of approaches - (i) a synthesis of lessons learnt from past initiatives, (ii) build and enable a learning alliance with a key intermediary actor in rural innovation and development, such as the rural banking system, and (iii) conduct wider participatory policy consultations at the national level, that are crucial for building ownership of the policy research process and for uptake of lessons/policy recommendations. Action research explored the nature of institutional changes that bring about pro-poor innovations. These lessons were used for capacity development and policy consultations held at regional and national levels. In collaboration with the Centre for Technology and Development, New Delhi, UNU/INTECH, Maastricht (Sponsored by Natural Resources International, UK, 2005), the project was completed and its final report was submitted on January 15, 2006, and the report was accepted by the sponsor.

Dr Rajeswari S Raina, who was a Senior Research Fellow at CPR worked on this project.