Beyond knowledge brokerage: An exploratory study of innovation intermediaries in an evolving smallholder agricultural system in Kenya

Kilelu, Catherine W., Klerkx, Laurens, Leeuwis, Cees and Hall, Andy (2011). Beyond knowledge brokerage: An exploratory study of innovation intermediaries in an evolving smallholder agricultural system in Kenya. UNU-MERIT.

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  • Sub-type Working paper
    Author Kilelu, Catherine W.
    Klerkx, Laurens
    Leeuwis, Cees
    Hall, Andy
    Title Beyond knowledge brokerage: An exploratory study of innovation intermediaries in an evolving smallholder agricultural system in Kenya
    Publication Date 2011
    Place of Publication Maastricht
    Publisher UNU-MERIT
    Pages 41
    Abstract The recognition that innovation occurs in networks of heterogeneous actors and requires broad systemic support beyond knowledge brokering has resulted in a changing landscape of the intermediary domain in an increasingly market-driven agricultural sector in developing countries. This paper presents findings of an explorative case study that looked at 22 organisations identified as fulfilling an intermediary role in the Kenyan agricultural sector. The results show that these organisations fulfill functions that are not limited to distribution of knowledge and putting it into use. The functions also include fostering integration and interaction among the diverse actors engaged in innovation networks and working on technological, organisational and institutional innovation. Further, the study identified various organisational arrangements of innovation intermediaries with some organisations fulfilling a specialised innovation brokering role, even as other intermediaries take on brokering as a side activity, while still substantively contributing to the innovation process. Based on these findings we identify a typology of 4 innovation intermediation arrangements, including technology brokers, systemic brokers, enterprise development support and input access support. The results indicate that innovation brokering is a pervasive task in supporting innovation and will require policy support to embed it in innovation support arrangements. The paper is not normative about these arrangements.
    Keyword Smallholder agriculture
    Innovation intermediaries
    Agriculture innovation
    Knowledge brokers
    Kenya
    JEL L26
    L32
    N5
    N57
    O13
    O19
    O31
    O32
    O55
    Q12
    Q13
    Q16
    Copyright Holder UNU-MERIT
    Copyright Year 2011
    Copyright type Creative commons
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    Created: Wed, 11 Dec 2013, 16:59:09 JST