Extension and Advisory Services

BUILDING CAPACITIES FOR INNOVATION MANAGEMENT IN EXTENSION AND ADVISORY SERVICES

While facilitating access to technology is important in putting research into use, it has value only when it is bundled together with other innovation-management tasks such as: developing networks, organising producers, communicating research needs, mediating conflicts, facilitating access to inputs and output services, convening innovation platforms, and advocating for policy change and other negotiated changes in practice and action. This has several implications for developing the capacity of extension and advisory services. First, the focus of capacity-building should shift from strengthening technical expertise to developing innovation management expertise. Second, some of these skills and expertise can only be learned by actually doing them on the ground and therefore the approach to building capacity has to be designed in an action-research mode, involving experimentation, reflection and learning. Third, extension and advisory services need to be staffed with people with expertise in some of these tasks.

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