Clark, Norman; Hall, Andy; Sulaiman, Rasheed and Naik, Guru
Research as Capacity Building: The Case of an NGO Facilitated Post-Harvest Innovation System for the Himalayan Hills.
World Development, 31(11),
This paper reviews a recent donor-funded project concerning the introduction of post-harvest technology to poor hill farmers in India. Rather than conform to conventional development aid projects of either a “research” or an “interventionist” nature, it combines both approaches in a research-action program, which has more in common with a business development approach than a formal social science one. An important conclusion is that the work (and apparent success) of the project is consistent with an understanding of development that emphasizes the importance of innovation systems. It is also an example of the importance of continuous learning and of institutional change. In contrast to much conventional development aid, it is an interesting example of how projects can actually lead to long-term sustainable changes that survive the withdrawal of the donor, having built capacity that truly means self-sufficiency. It is therefore an approach that deserves careful consideration on the part of all participants in international development.
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