chapter  5
Developing the Art and Science of Innovation Systems Enquiry: Alternative Tools and Methods, and Applications to Sub-Saharan African Agriculture
ByDavid J. Spielman, Javier Ekboir, Kristin Davis
Pages 15

Agricultural education, research and extension can contribute sub-stantially to enhancing agricultural production and reducing rural poverty in the developing world. However, evidence suggests that their contributions are falling short of expectations in sub-Saharan Africa. The entry of new actors, technologies and market forces, when combined with new economic and demographic pressures, suggests the need for more innovative and less linear approaches to promoting a technological transformation of smallholder agriculture. This chapter explores methodologies that can help to improve the study of agricultural innovation processes and their role in transforming agriculture in subSaharan Africa. Specifically, this chapter examines methods that address three key issues:

1 how agents interact in the production, exchange and use of knowledge and information within a system;

2 how agents respond individually and collectively to technological, institutional or organizational opportunities and constraints; and

3 how policy changes can enhance the welfare effects of these interactions and responses.