The question of how agricultural research can best be used is a topic of some debate in developmental circles. The idea that this is simply a question of better transfer of ideas from research to farmers has been largely discredited. Agricultural innovation is a process that takes a multitude of different forms, and, within this process, agricultural research and expertise are mobilised at different points in time for different purposes.
This paper presents and examines the efforts of the DFID-funded Research Into Use programme's value chain oriented projects in South Asia to shed some light on this process and to understand the mechanisms that allow innovation to take place. These cases seem to suggest that the initial stages of a project's trajectory require the creation of a social architecture of actors, which helps articulate demand for specific research and sets the ground conditions for the process of putting research into use. The study also reveals that actors 'roles are constantly shifting, becoming more or less important, along the course of a project, depending on the need of the hour. The paper then uses this analysis to derive implications for public policy and its ongoing efforts to add value to research investments
RIU 2011 Discussion Paper 23, 40 pp.