Learning INnovation Knowledge LINK

policy-relevant resources on innovation for a new rural economy

LINK seeks to stimulate debate and share lessons on rural innovation policy and practice through research and advisory services. (left column).

Homepage and latest news;
Research; Fodder Experiment; Benchmarking; Discussion Papers; Partners; Links;
Address: LINK Secretariat, 8-2-608/1/2, Karama Enclave, Banjara Hills, Road No 10, Hyderabad 500 034, INDIA;

About /overview: /OVERVIEW – The work of LINK is a response to three issues: 

  • 1.The new demands placed on public policy by emerging realities in the rural sector, where globalisation, technological change, ecological concerns, migration and agricultural multi-functionality call for the reconfiguration of capacities for resilience and innovation
  • 2.The policy and operational challenges presented by a systems understanding of innovation
  • 3.The need to bridge the gap between innovation studies and the planning process in national and international arenas. The work of LINK falls into four major areas, the key features of which are as follows:

1. Research:

The central research thrust of LINK is the elaboration of a contemporary understanding of rural/agricultural innovation capacity and its policy implications for enabling innovation.
Research in East Africa has investigated innovation response and resilience capacity in the livestock sector — response to markets and response to droughts and disease outbreaks. Related research in India has explored innovation capacity in mango export systems — responses to new market opportunities and quality standards.

Research in West Africa has explored innovation processes associated with the promotion of NERICA rice. In India a study has been undertaken on the role of tacit knowledge in livestock sector innovation.
Currently the main focus of LINK’s research is a large-scale, multi-site action research experiment to explore ways of strengthening fodder innovation capacity. The experiment, funded by UK’s DFID, has been undertaken with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and a large array of implementation agencies.

2. Benchmarking and Policy Dialogues:

Systems perspectives on innovation capacity suggest that traditional science and technology indicators are not an adequate way of generating information on existing capacities for innovation policy. Alternatives options to generate information for benchmarking purposes and international comparisons are discussed in the literature and these include: consultation, policy and business climate reviews, foresight and visioning. However, the use of these approaches is in its infancy — particularly for the rural sector, where levels of investment in agricultural research remain the principle tool used to track capacity.

LINK is backstopping its Latin American partner CONDESAN to undertake a synthesis of rural innovation practice in the Andean region. LINK’s South Asia partner is experimenting with innovation capacity benchmarking approaches, including policy dialogues, with funding from IDRC. A similar initiative is planned in East Africa with LINK’s partner ACTS. The vision of these initiatives is for these to mature into a more permanent architecture of institutional and policy learning on rural innovation.

3. Advisory Services: … (full long text).

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