Journeying from Research to Innovation: Lessons from the Department for International Developments Crop Post Harvest Research Programme, Partnerships for Innovation, Final Report


This review of the Crop Post-Harvest Programme was funded by the UK Department for International Development. It examined a large number of project documents, and interviewed key informants in nine countries: the UK, India, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Ghana.

The report concludes that the Crop Post-Harvest Programme (CPHP) represents an exciting experiment in improving the impact of research funding. The review was not able to attribute quantified impacts of specific DFID-funded research projects, particularly in terms of poverty reduction. Despite this, the review provided prima facie evidence that the IS approach is more likely to lead to innovation (and thereby poverty impact) than the previous more conventional research-funding model.

The report provides a number of important lessons about how to achieve innovation and identified some of the pitfalls to be avoided. The key elements of the IS approach are simple, are widely understood and can be implemented effectively even at the level of individual projects. However, a hands-on approach to project and programme management is required. This requires additional expenditure, but these are ‘investments’ in the capacities necessary for innovation rather than overheads.