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What do complex adaptive systems look like and what are the implications for innovation policy?

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  • Andy Hall

    (United Nations University, Maastricht, the Netherlands)

  • Norman Clark

Abstract

This paper explores the use of complex adaptive systems theory in development policy analysis using a case study drawn from recent events in Uganda. It documents the changes that took place in the farming system in Soroti district during an outbreak of African cassava mosaic virus disease (ACMVD) and the subsequent decline in cassava production-the main staple food in the area. Resultant adaptation impacts are analysed across cropping, biological, economic and social systems each of which operate as an interlinked sub-systems. The policy implications of this story suggest a policy agenda that recognises adaptation capacity as the life blood of complex adaptive systems. Since these types of system are found in all realms of human activity, it follows that strengthening this capacity is a key developmental priority that requires linking together new configurations of actors and resources to tackle an ever changing set of contexts. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Andy Hall & Norman Clark, 2010. "What do complex adaptive systems look like and what are the implications for innovation policy?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(3), pages 308-324.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:22:y:2010:i:3:p:308-324
    DOI: 10.1002/jid.1690
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/jid.1690
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rufin Baghana & Pierre Mohnen, 2009. "Effectiveness of R&D tax incentives in small and large enterprises in Québec," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 91-107, June.
    2. Ekboir, Javier, 2003. "Why impact analysis should not be used for research evaluation and what the alternatives are," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 166-184, November.
    3. Hall, Andy & Sulaiman, Rasheed & Bezkorowajnyj, Peter, 2008. "Reframing technical change: Livestock Fodder Scarcity Revisited as Innovation Capacity Scarcity: Part 2. A Framework for Analysis," MERIT Working Papers 003, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    4. Biggs, Stephen D., 1990. "A multiple source of innovation model of agricultural research and technology promotion," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(11), pages 1481-1499, November.
    5. Hall, Andy & Clark, Norman & Naik, Guru, 2007. "Technology Supply Chain or Innovation Capacity?: Contrasting Experiences of Promoting Small Scale Irrigation Technology in South Asia," MERIT Working Papers 014, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    6. Hall, Andy & Sulaiman, Rasheed & Bezkorowajnyj, Peter, 2008. "Reframing technical change: Livestock Fodder Scarcity Revisited as Innovation Capacity Scarcity: Part 3. Tools for Diagnosis and Institutional Change in Innovation Systems," MERIT Working Papers 004, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
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    Cited by:

    1. Pant, Laxmi Prasad, 2016. "Paradox of mainstreaming agroecology for regional and rural food security in developing countries," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 305-316.
    2. repec:bla:agecon:v:48:y:2017:i:3:p:317-326 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:agisys:v:165:y:2018:i:c:p:321-334 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:agisys:v:167:y:2018:i:c:p:72-82 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Kilelu, Catherine W. & Klerkx, Laurens & Leeuwis, Cees, 2016. "Unraveling the role of innovation platforms in supporting coevolution of innovation: Contributions and tensions in a smallholder dairy-development program," IFPRI book chapters,in: Innovation for inclusive value-chain development: Successes and challenges, chapter 9, pages 269-302 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Beliyou Haile & Carlo Azzarri & Cleo Roberts & David J. Spielman, 2017. "Targeting, bias, and expected impact of complex innovations on developing-country agriculture: evidence from Malawi," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 48(3), pages 317-326, May.
    7. Kilelu, Catherine W. & Klerkx, Laurens & Leeuwis, Cees, 2013. "Unravelling the role of innovation platforms in supporting co-evolution of innovation: Contributions and tensions in a smallholder dairy development programme," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 65-77.
    8. Schut, Marc & Klerkx, Laurens & Rodenburg, Jonne & Kayeke, Juma & Hinnou, Léonard C. & Raboanarielina, Cara M. & Adegbola, Patrice Y. & van Ast, Aad & Bastiaans, Lammert, 2015. "RAAIS: Rapid Appraisal of Agricultural Innovation Systems (Part I). A diagnostic tool for integrated analysis of complex problems and innovation capacity," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 1-11.
    9. repec:ags:afjrde:280063 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Schut, Marc & van Asten, Piet & Okafor, Chris & Hicintuka, Cyrille & Mapatano, Sylvain & Nabahungu, Nsharwasi Léon & Kagabo, Desire & Muchunguzi, Perez & Njukwe, Emmanuel & Dontsop-Nguezet, Paul M. & , 2016. "Sustainable intensification of agricultural systems in the Central African Highlands: The need for institutional innovation," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 165-176.
    11. repec:eee:agisys:v:164:y:2018:i:c:p:116-121 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:3:p:592-605 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Dolinska, Aleksandra & d'Aquino, Patrick, 2016. "Farmers as agents in innovation systems. Empowering farmers for innovation through communities of practice," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 122-130.
    14. Klerkx, Laurens & Aarts, Noelle & Leeuwis, Cees, 2010. "Adaptive management in agricultural innovation systems: The interactions between innovation networks and their environment," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 103(6), pages 390-400, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N57 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Africa; Oceania
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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