Promote Local Innovation in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (NRM) Programme
PROLINNOVA is an NGO-initiated programme to build a global learning network to promote local innovation in ecologically-oriented agriculture and NRM. The focus is on recognising the dynamics of indigenous knowledge (IK) and enhancing capacities of farmers (including forest dwellers, pastoralists and fisherfolk) to adjust to change - to develop their own site-appropriate systems and institutions of resource management so as to gain food security, sustain their livelihoods and safeguard the environment. The essence of sustainability lies in the capacity to adapt.
The programme builds on and scales up farmer-based approaches to development that start with discovering how farmers do informal experiments to develop and test new ideas for better use of natural resources. Understanding the rationale behind local innovation transforms how research and extension agents view local people. This experience stimulates interest on both sides to enter into joint action. Local ideas are further developed in a participatory process that integrates IK and scientific knowledge. Joint action and analysis lead to mutual learning.
PROLINNOVA seeks to:
- demonstrate the effectiveness of user-led innovation for sustainable development†
- build farmer-extension-researcher partnerships†
- enhance capacities of farmers, researchers and extension agents in participatory approaches†
- pilot decentralised funding mechanisms to promote local innovation†
- stimulate national and regional policy dialogue to favour local innovation†
- set up platforms for reflection, analysis and learning about promoting local innovation†
- integrate participatory approaches to farmer-led innovation and experimentation into research, extension and education institutions
PROLINNOVA Sudan country programme
The programme in Sudan aims at building/strengthening partnerships between the different stakeholders involved in agriculture, Natural Resources Management (NRM), agricultural research and development in the country.
Practical Action Sudan Office is the coordinating NGO for the start-up phase of the programme. The preparatory work started in 2004 by contacting the concerned government institutions namely: the Technology Transfer and Extension Administration (TTEA) and the Agricultural Research and Technology Corporation (ARTC). Practical Action, TTEA and ARTC agreed to form a National Steering Committee (NSC) to lead the overall strategic direction of the Programme.
During 2007-8, the project trained 75 individuals on Participatory Innovation Development (PID), facilitated farmer to farmer learning exchange visits where farmers from Darfur visited the Northern state and vise versa learning from each experiences. Two workshops were held on local innovation awareness raising, building partnerships, lobbying and influencing organizations in Kassala and Blue Nile states. The result of this work was compiled in booklets and leaflets (Arabic and English) which focused on selected local innovations (see www.prolinnova.org).
Future aims include:
- Building the capacity of the local partners to identify and document innovations and innovators.
- Supporting farmers' research and farmer-led documentation.†
- Continuing to support PID training of key partners.†
- Integrating and mainstreaming gender issues through all Sudan programme activities.†
- Continuing to get stakeholders together (farmers to farmers- farmers to extensionists and researchers).†
- Scaling up and mainstreaming activities with ongoing projects.
- Addressing climate change as it is becoming a cross cutting issue and building on already existing PID initiatives that have climate change aspect.
- Develop/improve format for M&E information by partners.
Read more about Participatory Innovation Development in detail in Practical Action Sudan's Sharing newsletter
Promotion of Invention and Industrial Innovation conference
The Ministry of Industry, Sudanese Inventors General Union, and the Ministry of Science & Technology held a conference on "Promotion of Invention and Industrial Innovation" during March 2009. The meeting was to discuss the existing inventions and industrial innovations and the role they can play in the socio-economic development of Sudan.
The meeting looked at the challenges faced by Sudanese inventors and the role of government and the private sector in the promotion and utilization of these inventions. Mohamed Majzoub Fidiel, Practical Action Sudan's Country Director, participated in the conference to discuss five of the papers presented on the theme of education and research institutions on invention and innovation. Several of these innovations were on display - ten innovations were selected to be supported by the government for further development, and at least two of these benefited from Practical Action Technical Enquiries Service.
A memorandum of understanding was signed on 26th March 2009 between Practical Action Prolinnnova Program, the National Center of Research (NCR) and the Unit of Technology Research. The memorandum targeted building a partnership between the two parties and enhancing the role of Participatory Innovation Development (PID).