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Operationalizing inclusive innovation: lessons from innovation platforms in livestock value chains in India and Mozambique


  • Kees Swaans
  • Birgit Boogaard
  • Ramkumar Bendapudi
  • Hailemichael Taye
  • Saskia Hendrickx
  • Laurens Klerkx


Various authors have identified the potential relevance of innovation system approaches for inclusive innovation, that is, the means by which new goods and services are developed for and by the poor. However, it is still a question how best to operationalize this. Innovation platforms (IPs) represent an example of putting an inclusive innovation system approach into practice by bringing different types of stakeholders together to address issues of mutual concern and interest with a specific focus on the marginalized poor. This paper explores the formation and functioning of IPs with the aim of providing lessons on the conditions and factors that play a role in making them effective. The study shows the importance of social organization, representation, and incentives to ensure a 'true' participatory innovation process, which is based on demand and embedded in the context. Critical to this is a flexible planning process stimulating incremental change through so-called innovation bundles (i.e. combinations of technological, organizational, and institutional innovations) and reflexive learning (systematically challenging constraining factors). Furthermore, local institutions embedded in norms and values are crucial to understand people's decisions. Due to weak linkages between value chain actors, innovation brokers have a vital role in facilitating the innovation process. Overall, IPs are a promising model for inclusive innovation, but they require a careful assessment of and adjustment to the institutional context.

Suggested Citation

  • Kees Swaans & Birgit Boogaard & Ramkumar Bendapudi & Hailemichael Taye & Saskia Hendrickx & Laurens Klerkx, 2014. "Operationalizing inclusive innovation: lessons from innovation platforms in livestock value chains in India and Mozambique," Innovation and Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(2), pages 239-257, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:riadxx:v:4:y:2014:i:2:p:239-257
    DOI: 10.1080/2157930X.2014.925246

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    Cited by:

    1. Lema, Zelalem & Lobry de Bruyn, Lisa A. & Marshall, Graham R. & Roschinsky, Romana & Duncan, Alan J., 2021. "Multilevel innovation platforms for development of smallholder livestock systems: How effective are they?," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    2. Staal, Steven J., 2015. "Livestock Marketing and Supply Chain Management of Livestock Products," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 70(1), pages 1-22.
    3. Michael D. van der Merwe & Sara S. Grobbelaar & Cornelius S. L. Schutte & Konrad H. von Leipzig, 2018. "Toward an Enterprise Growth Framework for Entering the Base of the Pyramid Market: A Systematic Review," International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management (IJITM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 15(04), pages 1-34, August.
    4. Tahseen Arshi & Paul Burns, 2019. "Designing An Organization For Innovation In Emerging Economies: The Mediating Role Of Readiness For Innovation," Organizations and Markets in Emerging Economies, Faculty of Economics, Vilnius University, vol. 10(1).
    5. Natalia Molina & Gianluca Brunori & Elena Favilli & Stefano Grando & Patrizia Proietti, 2021. "Farmers’ Participation in Operational Groups to Foster Innovation in the Agricultural Sector: An Italian Case Study," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(10), pages 1-27, May.
    6. Diercks, Gijs, 2019. "Lost in translation: How legacy limits the OECD in promoting new policy mixes for sustainability transitions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(10).
    7. PĂ©rinelle, Anne & Meynard, Jean-Marc & Scopel, Eric, 2021. "Combining on-farm innovation tracking and participatory prototyping trials to develop legume-based cropping systems in West Africa," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 187(C).
    8. Colleen M. Eidt & Laxmi P. Pant & Gordon M. Hickey, 2020. "Platform, Participation, and Power: How Dominant and Minority Stakeholders Shape Agricultural Innovation," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(2), pages 1-21, January.
    9. Dolinska, Aleksandra, 2017. "Bringing farmers into the game. Strengthening farmers' role in the innovation process through a simulation game, a case from Tunisia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 129-139.
    10. Catherine Kilelu & Laurens Klerkx & Amos Omore & Isabelle Baltenweck & Cees Leeuwis & Julius Githinji, 2017. "Value Chain Upgrading and the Inclusion of Smallholders in Markets: Reflections on Contributions of Multi-Stakeholder Processes in Dairy Development in Tanzania," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 29(5), pages 1102-1121, November.

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