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Striving for Higher Impacts in Agricultural Research and Development

Michael M. Waithaka and Isaac J. Minde

No 9529, 2004 Inaugural Symposium, December 6-8, 2004, Nairobi, Kenya from African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE)

Abstract: Over the years, substantial investments in agricultural research have been made in sub-Saharan Africa. The few studies on research investments show impressive returns that are comparable to those achieved in developed countries. However, problems such as recurrent hunger, poverty, food insecurity and natural resource degradation continue to plague the region. Agricultural development arena is changing rapidly toward non-linear innovation systems of complex actor networks and multiple sources of innovations characterized by dynamic and iterative learning processes that constantly inform, renew and advance the state of the systems. Most actors and institutions are not linked effectively often from imaginary boundaries created by prescribed mandates and parochial interests. While more investments in research and development are required for the region, it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify them in the wake of competing needs in the face of shrinking national budgets. The few impact assessments that have been carried out in the region have been incidental and not linked to the research planning cycle implying that lessons from previous research efforts are not used when planning for subsequent research and development efforts. We are proposing impact orientation to track impact to the attainment of institutional and overall development goals. This calls in part for impact assessment to be made an integral part of planning, monitoring and evaluation along with appreciation of the impact chain and actors involved in the innovation process to demonstrate relevance to development goals and thus justify funding.

Keywords: Research; and; Development/Tech; Change/Emerging; Technologies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 8
Date: 2004
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.9529

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