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Monique Salomon PROLINNOVA South Africa STEPS Centre Symposium 2009 24 September PowerPoint Presentation
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PROLINNOVA Global networking for local innovativeness. Monique Salomon PROLINNOVA South Africa STEPS Centre Symposium 2009 24 September The Freeman Centre, University of Sussex. Session 2: Grassroots/ bottom up innovation: How to facilitate emergence and flourishing.

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PROLINNOVAGlobal networking for local innovativeness

Monique Salomon


STEPS Centre Symposium 2009

24 September

TheFreeman Centre, University of Sussex

Session 2: Grassroots/ bottom up innovation: How to facilitate emergence and flourishing

key concerns in this session
Key concerns in this session

If and how can we:

  • Link grassroots to formal R&D?
  • Promote bottom-up initiatives without stifling innovativeness and creativity?
  • Steer bottom-up innovations in environmentally sustainable directions?

“Yes we can….

or at least we are working on it”

who is we
PROmoting Local INNOVAtionin ecologically-oriented agriculture and natural resource management, in short PROLINNOVA

Est. 1999: as international multi-stakeholder network; connecting “islands of success” (e.g. LEISA, Promoting Farmer Innovation, Indigenous Soil and Water Innovations, Farmer Field Schools)

Focus: Farmers/resource users as innovators, stimulating their innovative capacity, and promote partnerships and methodologies that support local innovation processes

Who is “we”

Over 100 organisations(Nov 2006)

global partnership programme
15 country programmes and 3 regions

Africa: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Moçambique, Niger,

Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and

Sahel Region (Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal)

Asia: Cambodia, Nepal, Pacific Region (Solomon


Latin America: Andes Region (Bolivia, Peru,


Global Partnership Programme
what brings prolinnova partners together
Farmers/local resource users are creative and innovators who generate relevant local innovations = new ways of doing things in that locality (software and hardware)

Farmer-led participatory innovation for sustainable development (PID) works and should be mainstreamed and institutionalized within formal R&D and education

Effective research and extension supports and stimulates local innovation processes, and forms strong partnerships with farmers, farmer organisations, Universities, R&D, and CSO’s

What brings PROLINNOVA partners together
community of practice
Community of practice

Farmers, development agents, scientists and policy makers engaging in open and democratic spaces to share experiences, learn from and support each other

country driven activities
Common elements:

Creating the evidence: Studies of local innovation, farmer-led participatory innovation development (PID) on the ground, and Documenting this

Establishing national and sub-national multi-stakeholder platforms for information sharing, joint learning and institutionalizing PID

Capacity building and curriculum development in PID

Policy dialogue and mainstreaming PID at local,

district and national level

Country-driven activities
how the programme hangs together
How the Programme “hangs together”


Country/regional programmes are hosted by local, experienced civil society organizations (CSO’s); Coordinated by multi-stakeholder steering committees, also at international level

Facilitation support

ETC EcoCulture (Secretariat), IIRR Philippines, Centre for International Cooperation/Free University of Amsterdam, and IED Afrique


DGIS (NL),and CTA, DURAS, EED, IFAD, Misereor, Oxfam-Novib, Research-into-Use, Rockefeller Foundation, Worldbank; Country Programmes are run with own contribution (cash and kind).

linking grassroots to formal r d
Linking grassroots to formal R&D
  • “Tuning into” innovation by farmers/resource users (the eye opener)
  • Document these (catalogues, databases, videos etc)
  • Share & promote (farmer-to-farmer, publications, mass media)
  • Or develop further together (joint experimentation)
  • Building a “community of theory and practice”
fish smoking oven niger
Fish smoking oven (Niger)

By M Saidou, JM Dipo, S Haoua, A Mamane

  • South West Niger, men catch fish (“silure”: clariasgariepinus, labeocoubie) smoked by women in local oven (“Banda”)
  • Banda selected by farmers for joint on-farm experimentation by interdisciplinary team (farmers, farmer innovators, researchers, academics, CSO agents and extension staff)
  • 4 new oven designs developed, which were tested and compared (using farmer and scientist criteria and methods) with 4 traditional ovens on-site
  • Results were shared at local, national and international levels
fish smoking oven cont
Fish smoking oven (cont.)

Improved designs preferred:

  • Increased capacity and yield of smoked fish (from 50-80 kg to 250– 350 kg) and reduced wooduse(from 1000 to 167 kg)
  • Safe use and reduced risk (burns, fire, theft,damage), Ease of work, timing, and weather conditions, freeing women to do other activities
  • Better sensory quality and shelf life -> higher commercial value of fish, and reputation of Boumba fish traders
  • Extra income spent on food, housing, social activities, and small stock
  • Improved household gender relations
  • Female innovators start cooperative and strengthen capacities (literacy of 16 women and 9 men)
  • 7 new ovens built without external support
  • Increased local demand, and product innovation:

smoking bought fish in new oven

harnessing innovativeness and creativity


Harnessing innovativeness and creativity
  • Stimulate farmer-to-farmer learning (Fairs, markets, exchange visits, awards etc)
  • Multi-media documenting of innovation

(incl farmer-led documentation)

  • Alternative funding mechanisms (Local

Innovation Support Funds)

  • Tapping into local solutions to global concerns

(e.g. HIV/AIDS, climate change)

  • PID training facilitates attitudinal/behavioural change, but no fundamental shifts within some Government organizations and unfavourablepolicy environments in many countries
  • Hardware/production technology bias; need process orientation and focus on “soft” innovations (social organization, access to resources, marketing)
  • Development challenges needtriple-bottom line solutions (ecological, social, economic)
contact us
Contact us

PROLINNOVA International Secretariat

c/o ETC EcoCulture

Kastanjelaan 5, P.O. Box 63

3830 AB Leusden, The Netherlands

Tel +31 33 432 6024