chapter  1
19 Pages

Introduction: Uniting Science and Participation in the Process of Innovation – Research for Development

ByJacqui Ashby

Researchers are approaching the process of innovation, as well as their own role in improving natural resource management (NRM) in a new way. ‘Research and development’ – also known as R&D – derives from the concept of researchers who are in control of a pipeline for producing technological innovations: an idea goes in at one end of the pipeline, research develops a prototype, and then a fully developed product comes out, ready to be released to eager users, at the other end of the pipeline. In contrast, ‘research for development’ emphasizes the iterative, adaptive nature of innovation in complex ecosystems, which is achieved through systematic enquiry combined with learning based in action. The purpose of this chapter is to set the scene for understanding the evolution of new approaches to innovation in agriculture and NRM and the kind of research and development process needed to realize their potential for NRM.