For many years, the multistakeholder Prolinnova–Ghana platform has been implementing the Participatory Innovation Development (PID) approach through several successive projects. It has mobilised numerous stakeholders in agricultural research and development (ARD) to identify local innovations within farming communities and to collaborate with farmers in improving these innovations through farmer-led joint experimentation. These projects have all been hosted by the Association of Church-based Development Projects (ACDEP) in Tamale in northern Ghana.
The evidence provided by this work became the basis for the ARD actors involved to start implementing the PID approach as part of the regular work of their institutions. The Prolinnova Working Paper No. 38 “Institutionalising Participatory Innovation Development in a nongovernmental and a governmental organisation in northern Ghana” focuses on the cases of an NGO – Centre for Ecological Agriculture and Livelihoods (CEAL) – and the West Mamprusi Municipal Department of Agriculture (DoA). These two organisations are key members in a local multistakeholder platform (MSP) in the Walewale action-learning site in West Mamprusi Municipality in the North-East Region of Ghana. Both organisations had already gained experience with promoting local innovation and PID in farming communities during earlier Prolinnova initiatives such as the Farmer Access to Innovation Resources (FAIR) project to pilot the use of Local Innovation Support Funds/Facilities (LISFs).
Joe Nchor (ACDEP) and Issifu Sulemana (CEAL) describe how the MSP was set up with a view to institutionalising the PID approach and examine why CEAL and DoA have taken the lead in this process.
Several Country Platforms in the international Prolinnova network are documenting their experiences in integrating the PID approach into state and non-state organisations: farmer organisations, NGOs, local government bodies, research centres, advisory and development organisations, and institutions of higher learning. This is the first in a series of Prolinnova Working Papers to be issued on this topic. Several experiences related to research and education are already included in the Prolinnova webinar series on institutionalising PID.