Harnessing Local and Outsiders' Knowledge: Experiences of multi-stakeholder partnership to promote farmer innovation in Ethiopia

Publication Type:

Conference Proceedings

Authors:

Amanuel; Tesfahum

Source:

Innovation Africa Symposium, Kampala, Uganda (2006)

Keywords:

farmer innovation; indigenous knowledge; Innovation; local innovation; NGOs; participatory innovation development; partnership

Abstract:

Innovation is a process and it is also a function of the interaction of institutions, individuals or groups in a particular domain, which is governed and influenced by policies, norms, institutional and societal culture as well as specific socio-economic contexts. Farmer innovations are also outcomes of indigenous knowledge or outsiders' knowledge, which takes place as a result of informal experimentation and conscious interactions with people and the physical world. Promoting Farmer Innovation and Experimentation in Ethiopia (PROFIEET) is a national learning and advocacy platform of civil society organizations and government institutions involved in research, extension and education. The platform is specifically dealing with creating an enabling environment at local and national level for the promotion of farmer innovation and integration of Participatory Innovation Development (PID) in the major stakeholder institutions. In the past three years, PROFIEET has learnt many lessons that help to strengthen the initiative to support the efforts of innovative farmers and institutions in Ethiopia. This paper deals with the process of forming PROFIEET, the major challenges PROFIEET is trying to address, the basic philosophy and conceptual framework, the major lessons learned and the methodological approach taken by PROFIEET. This initiative is part of the international network for promoting local innovation in ecologically-oriented agriculture and natural resource management (PROLINNOVA). The conceptual discourse and methodological approaches are shared by a number of similar networks in many countries, which are operating under the auspice of this international network.

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