New Insights into Promoting Rural Innovation: Learning from Civil Society Organisations about the Effective Use of Innovation in Development

This project drew lessons for innovation policy to meet poverty reduction goals. The project pilot tested the use of the innovation systems framework in a number of rural technology sectors in India and East Africa. The purpose was to use the framework (i) as an appropriate approach for understanding innovation processes that reduce poverty, and (ii) derive lessons from innovation processes associated with civil society led initiatives that are effectively using science, technology and innovation (ST&I) in poverty reduction. It tested the proposition that the civil society sector has been successful in leading initiatives where innovation is used for pro-poor rural development. An innovation in the research methodology was the creation of a Rural Innovation Policy Working Group (RIPWiG) in India to link the research more effectively to policy makers. This policy group served as a prototype mechanism for generating a policy debate on rural innovation grounded in on-going empirical experiences of innovations for development.

Dr Rajeswari S Raina, who was a Senior Research Fellow at CPR worked on this project in collaboration with UNU/INTECH- Maastricht, CRISP- Hyderabad and XIIM, Bhubaneswar. (Sponsored by UNU/INTECH, 2005-2006)