DEVELOPMENT KITS: INNOVATION & DEVELOPMENT


Erle Frayne Argonza

Good day!

As I’ve been stressing in various articles and lectures of mine, development efforts can only take substance in any community in the presence of innovation interventions. No effort can be regarded as ‘development’ without intervention.

Development theory had already clarified the central import of innovation in any change undertaking. Without which, any such effort to help people move in life would be ‘social work’ or ‘humanitarian work’ rather than development.

Here is a report from the United Nations that deals with the subject, with case studies done in Africa.

[09 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to eldis.org database news.]

Innovation for sustainable development: local case studies from Africa

Authors: United Nations Publications
Produced by: Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations (2008)

This report aims to shed light on the way innovative solutions have arisen to address local sustainable development challenges, examining the determinants of success and the scope for replication. The report focuses on the African experience, and contributes to the documentation for the 16th and 17th sessions of the Commission on Sustainable Development.

The volume is composed of ten case studies, selected for their truly innovative nature, effective implementation, significant outputs and generation of real social welfare improvements. Examples include sustainable community-based beekeeping, community water supply initiatives and innovative water governance. They are grouped under five headings: enhancement of agriculture and fisheries, protection of ecosystems, water management, health improvement and sustainable tourism.

Practical conclusions drawn from the case studies include:

  1.  
    • sustainable projects need to link environmental goals to income generation, draw upon local knowledge and ideas, ensure effective buy-in from stakeholders through local community involvement in project design and implementation, and employ financially self-sustaining business models
    • external forces which impact on a project and affect conditions for success include international markets and national legislation. In some cases though, local success can provide arguments for more accommodating national policies to facilitate replication and scaling up
    • simplicity in project design, committed seed capital and integration of local traditions and cultural heritage appear to be important success factors for innovative local initiatives

Available online at: http://www.eldis.org/cf/rdr/?doc=38653&em=310708&sub=enviro

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