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Farmer First Revisited 12 – 14 December 2007 at the Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, UK Presentation, Theme 3a, Institutionalising participation.

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Presentation on theme: "Farmer First Revisited 12 – 14 December 2007 at the Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, UK Presentation, Theme 3a, Institutionalising participation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Farmer First Revisited 12 – 14 December 2007 at the Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, UK Presentation, Theme 3a, Institutionalising participation in large, public R&D organisations Discussant: C Shambu Prasad (Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar)

2 Institutionalising participation in large, public R&D organizations Theme 3a Discussant, C Shambu Prasad, Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar India

3 Stories of change in large R&D organisations What has prompted and prevented change in different settings? Does methodological innovation open up spaces for change? What has caused closure? How is participation in innovation systems understood in different organisational settings? Who have been the champions of change, what has allowed them to be successful? What are the core institutional and organizational challenges for Farmer First in ARD? Personal and historical accounts.

4 Papers and people 1.John Witcombe – CAZS, Bangor – Client oriented breeding and seed supply in India 2.Dannie Romney – CABI – Farmer participation and livestock systems: ILRI’s experience 3.John Dixon – CIMMYT – Institutionalising approaches to farmer participation in FAO and CIMMYT 4.Ruth Meinzen-Dick – CAPRi - Institutionalising innovative approaches to farmer participation in NRM through CAPRI 5.Jamie Watts – ILAC – Institutional learning and change in the CGIAR 6.Rasheed Sulaiman – CRISP - Farmer first or still last? Uneven institutional development in the Indian agricultural innovation system. 7.Li Xiaoyun et al. – Chinese Agricultural University – Pro- smallholders’ Agricultural Science And Technology Policies in China 7 persons, 5 papers, 5 present. Centre – CG – big NARS

5 Micro innovations and ISF challenges Scientists were forced to innovate to provide farmers better choices in complex settings – rainfed and upland conditions. They understood the innovation networks and information flows and developed COB – an improved PPB that moved trials to farmers fields and ensured greater participation How do we take ISF language to non social science researchers? (Dannie… also Jamie and Rasheed) How can they use the lessons learnt in their own work? How to get more actors involved in the system – the need to move beyond researchers and farmers

6 Questions Support for novel approaches mixed, incentives still focused on production of knowledge and not on establishing or enabling partnerships. Learning takes time but outside research mandate. What are the institutions and mechanisms when sources of innovation outside research centres? What would the role of ARCs be?

7 Systemwide challenges CAPRI Why participation may (not) take place How do researchers deal with abstract institutions and social science concerns? Newer institutional mechanisms of governance of IARCs that enable democratisation, consultation and participation of centres (and scientists) Participation is not just for farmers, ‘alienation’ of scientists not spoken about

8 Some institutional innovations Change in language – ‘accommodating’ multiple uses as a theme – new concepts such as legal pluralism Field trips as integral to workshops (breaks down abstractions, meeting local communities, helps builds ties among participants)…. SRI parallel in India Providing learning mechanisms in CG centres to address issues – joint working papers etc. Policy workshops for greater accessibility of knowledge to more actors

9 Democracy, participation, scarcity How to develop a community of researchers across disciplines, centres How scarcity can lead to innovation? ‘Another lesson from farmers’…. Can we have a series on this? What can IARCs learn about managing ones own organisation from farmers managing natural resources? How to institutionalise democracy and participation in IARCs How to create sustainable networks to break out of isolation?

10 Thoughts Global public goods possible only if scientists are part of diverse networks of creative dissenters. The notion of the scientific community needs revisiting. Is the community a system of diverse innovators or is it just those certified by the Science Council?

11 The quiet revolution of ILAC A community of creative dissenters isolated within IARCs that emerged out of raising critical questions on IARCs Speaking about new learning mechanisms in a changed world Pushing for approaches that enable its clients (scientists) to move towards a learning organisation. This involves understanding institutions that enable/hinder innovations, being involved in experiential learning and using these for Change.

12 Some ILAC initiatives ILAC briefs, pilot studies in 4 CGs, study on issues involved in institutionalising ILAC in CG planning, frameworks, facilitation skills etc. Learning laboratories… demands to push ideas beyond CG. Silent on challenges and frustrations – senior managers understand but how do we manage DTD decisions…. Can a new network take over a project and manage?

13 India (Rasheed) and China (Li) Big NARS – constraints and opportunities Indian AIS – diverse, complex and chaotic (and absolutely unaccountable) Seem to demonstrate a ‘power to refuse to change’ (and learn) Rapidly changing nature of Indian agriculture, solutions beyond individual decision making capacities of farmers. Uses the ISF to provide an excellent critique of ongoing reforms that bypasses institutional change How to utilise the rich (cacaphony of) organisational diversity into (a symphony of) innovation?

14 Grass is greener on other side Chinese system responded better, new goals added, greater alignment with international trade. Agri system includes Research (1100, 90% applied), extension (20,000 at county, 150,000 at township, 100,000 professional agri associations, 400,000 technology service agents) creatively titled schemes (agricultural experts in village yards, S&T correspondence system) and performance system Farmers willing to pay, case of Li Denghai farmer becoming a major seed supplier through his seed factory. Concern on small farmers…impact not so positive

15 Rasheed suggest a Community of Practice of policy resarchers but perhaps a need to create a more diverse network of dissenting scientists (at lower levels) and empower them through diverse partnerships. Unexpected and unanticipated spin off of efforts such as SRI. How to get ICAR and IARCs to listen and learn? How do we dissent, subvert, shame institutions towards change?

16 From Honey Bee Newsletter 1993

17 Simple Reversals and Putting farmers first don’t make sense – institutions might be the key! Let us have some creative alternatives.

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