Useful links

This list is intended to provide links to related networks, bibliographic sources, databases and other organisations that are in some way involved in the dynamics of indigenous knowledge, promoting local/ farmer innovation and institutionalisation of participatory innovation development (PID) approaches. While acknowledging that there are many other possible contacts and links to be added, especially if we consider the broader themes of participatory research and development, we seek here to provide a fairly concise and accessible list of organisations that have direct linkages and affinity with the Prolinnova initiative.

Access Agriculture ( is a nongovernmental non-profit organisation registered in Kenya with a global mandate for showcasing and sharing videos in local languages in support of sustainable agriculture and natural resource management (NRM) in the Global South. It facilitates the translation, distribution and use of farmer training videos and provides training in extension methods and organisation of advisory services. It tries to promote the transition toward agroecology and organic farming. Prolinnova and Access Agriculture have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for collaboration in video-mediated learning.

ACDC ( The Agricultural Communications Documentation Centre is a unique literature collection and documentation service housed within the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The collection exceeds 45,000 documents on agriculture-related communication in more than 200 countries and is still growing. All documents in the collection emphasise the human and social dimensions and not the physical or technical aspects. A keyword search on “farmer innovation”, for example, provides an extensive list of useful documents.

Agrecol Assocation for AgriCulture & Ecology ( is an NGO based in Germany with members from mainly German-speaking countries in Europe. It promotes locally adapted, ecologically sound land use in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. Members are engaged professionally in development cooperation in NGOs, consulting groups, universities and independently. They meet twice yearly for theme-focused weekends organised by members. Themes have included open-source seed, agroecology, research with farmers, urban agriculture, marketing ecological products, multifunctional land-use, organic beekeeping and mobile animal husbandry/pastoralism. Agrecol informs and supports policy dialogue through events such as workshops and conferences and through publications. It is a member of the Coalition of European Lobbies for Eastern African Pastoralism, hosts the OpenSourceSeeds initiative and is the Northern Focal Point of the Prolinnova network.

AgriCultures Network is a group of organisations seeking to mainstream the values, principles and practices underlying agroecology and family farming. Its members all over the world are locally rooted and globally connected. It facilitates co-creation of knowledge and practice-based advocacy at community level as well as between farmer organisations, researchers, academia, policymakers and civil society actors. For several decades, it has nurtured a community of individuals and organisations engaged in sustainable agriculture. The network produces regional magazines (versions of Farming Matters in different languages) on sustainable farming, reaching about a million readers globally. It also supports the systematisation of practical experiences, promotes policies to support agroecology and belongs to a global movement for agroecology & food sovereignty rooted in family farming.

AGRIDEA (www.agridea-ch/en) is a centre for agricultural advisory and extension services based in Switzerland. It promotes exchange of knowledge and experience between people working in agricultural advisory services, research, practice, administration or policy in various thematic domains. In Europe, AGRIDEA has developed a broad network of links with agricultural training bodies and actors involved in agricultural policy. Its international’s services include: Development and acquisition of new methods for extension and further training; Training for facilitators and extension specialists; Dissemination of knowledge adapted to practice; Support for innovative projects and extension services; Coordination of networks; and Encouragement of collaboration between all stakeholders in agricultural knowledge systems.

AGRO-INSIGHT ( is a media group that merges expertise from science, communications and graphic design to support sustainable agriculture and equitable trade. It uses video and printed material to enhance impact on rural communities. It brings weekly blog stories on family farming, agricultural advisory services, farmer innovation, ICTs and communication. Agro-Insight is co-founder of the international NGO Access Agriculture (see above).

AGROMISA ( was a Knowledge Centre for Small-Scale Sustainable Agriculture based in Wageningen, The Netherlands. Set up in 1934, it was connected to the Agricultural University of Wageningen and was divided into two parts: a resource information centre and a projects and programmes section. It built up an on-line library and produced the AgroDok series (plenty of practical, agricultural booklets in English and French), the AgroSpecial series and various educational materials for agriculture and animal husbandry in warm climates. The Centre closed in 2021 but the Agromisa documents can still be downloaded free of charge from the website.

A Growing Culture ( is an American-based NGO that seeks to advance a culture of farmer autonomy and agroecological innovation. It tries to reframe the way the world views farmers, facilitating collective learning and catalysing innovation through farmer-to-farmer exchange, and supporting on-the-ground efforts for farmer-led research and documentation. It advocates for farmers’ rights to shape their own agricultural systems. It supports appropriate technologies and open frameworks to advance on-the-ground movements and leverage the potential of local knowledge. It documents sociocultural, environmental and technical solutions in farming and natural resource management. Prolinnova has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with AGC.

Climate Change, Agriculture & Food Security ( was a CGIAR Research Program that addressed the challenge of global warming and declining food security on agricultural practices, policies and measures through collaboration between the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centres (CGIAR) and the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP). It brought together international researchers in agriculture, climate, environmental and social sciences to identify and address the key interactions, synergies and trade-offs between climate change and agriculture. It sought to implement an innovative and transformative agricultural research programme in the context of climate change and uncertainty about future climate conditions. Although CCAFS has ended, its publications are still available on its website.

Community-Based Natural Resource Management Network ( provides networking tools to link practitioners, managers and researchers working on CBNRM, allowing them to exchange experiences, manage relevant knowledge and support learning across countries, sectors, cultures and languages. Attention is given to local knowledge and institutions and to participatory approaches, within a nation-state framework characterised by increasing weight on decentralisation, governance and transparency. The website is in English, French, German, Norwegian, Portuguese and Spanish.

CTA Knowledge for Development ( is a portal of the website of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) that supports policy dialogue on science and technology for agricultural and rural development in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. It enables the ACP scientific community – agricultural scientists, technical staff, policymakers, farmers and other stakeholders – to share and review results of national and regional efforts and to collaborate in harnessing science and technology for agricultural development in their countries. The dossiers on innovation, participatory approaches, IK, financing ARD and IPR contain useful material related to farmers’ involvement in ARD, including farmer innovation.

ELDIS ( is hosted by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in the UK. It supports free and open access to useful and relevant research on global development challenges. It profiles work by a global network of research organisations and knowledge brokers sharing information on development policy, practice and research. Agriculture, food security, IK, participation and IPR are just a few of the many subjects covered.

GFAR ( The Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation is a multistakeholder initiative that contributes to eradicating poverty, achieving food security, and conserving and managing natural resources. It seeks to enhance national capacities to generate, adapt and transfer knowledge. Prolinnova was originally established in the year 2000 as a GFAR Global Partnership Programme.

GFRAS ( The Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services seeks to enhance the performance of advisory services to better serve farm families and rural producers, thus contributing to improved livelihoods in rural areas and sustainable reduction of hunger and poverty. Rural advisory services help empower farmers and better integrate them into systems of agricultural innovation. The GFRAS structure reaches smallholder farmers via the regional rural advisory services networks, made up of national-level platforms that include actors from all sectors working in rural advisory services, and work directly with smallholders. National platforms help prioritise national-level issues and formulate demands to be taken to the regional and global levels.

GRAIN (, based in Spain, is an international NGO that promotes the sustainable management and use of agricultural biodiversity based on people’s control over genetic resources and local knowledge. The website can be accessed in English, French and Spanish. It contains all GRAIN’s publications, including back issues of the quarterly magazine “Seedling”.

Groundswell International (, based in the USA, is a worldwide partnership of local organisations and individuals in civil society supporting rural people to transform their communities and to overcome poverty. It envisions a world where communities learn from and support each other locally and globally and take action to protect their rights and resources; build local economies that generate physical, spiritual and environmental wellbeing for all; and have a voice in the decisions that impact their lives.

Howtopedia ( “Simple technologies, simply shared” through a collaborative library for practical knowledge. Howtopedia is a Swiss non-profit organisation, supported by Practical Action and the International Network for Technical Information (INTI), that aims to establish a major collaborative platform for simple technologies, convinced that sharing low-tech know-how across borders and organisations is essential for an independent and self-sufficient form of sustainable development. You can participate in by editing and adding content and/or promoting the Howtopedia community among your networks.

INSARD ( INcluding Smallholders in Agricultural Research for Development was a 3-year EU-funded project (2011–13) that sought to make it easier for civil-society organisations (CSOs) – both NGOs and farmer organisations – to be actively involved in influencing agricultural research for development (ARD) in Africa. It tried to design a mechanism that allows CSOs to participate effectively in regional and international discussions on ARD, linking European and African CSOs that are trying to influence ARD policy and practice, and working with African and European research organisations to strengthen demand-driven ARD. INSARD collaborated with Prolinnova in these policy-dialogue activities.

JOLISAA ( Joint Learning in Innovation Systems in African Agriculture was a project (2010–13) of the European Commission approved under the FP7 KBBE Call “Agricultural innovation systems and traditional knowledge”. It aimed to increase understanding of agricultural innovation systems focusing on smallholders’ livelihoods and the articulation of local and global knowledge. It assessed how smallholders’ innovativeness, knowledge, capacities and other resources can be tapped into, strengthened and linked effectively to those of other stakeholders – public or private, local or global – to contribute to reducing rural poverty and improving food security in Africa. Lessons learnt about past and ongoing experiences with agricultural innovation involving multiple stakeholders in Eastern, Southern and West Africa were synthesised by combining joint case-study assessment with capacity-strengthening and networking at various scales.

Learning for Sustainability ( provides a guide to resources useful for those working to support social learning and constructive action in multistakeholder settings. It brings together links to a wide range of online resources, mainly from the sustainable development, natural resource management, urban development, public health, conservation and agricultural sectors. The resources are in six key areas: Social learning; Planning, monitoring and evaluation; Social research; Stakeholder engagement; Tools to support change; and Sustainable development.

PELUM ( The Participatory Ecological Land-Use Management Association is a network of civil society organisations working with local communities in sustainable agriculture and NRM in ten countries in Eastern and Southern Africa: Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Partners came together to forge a strategic alliance and to combine efforts, approaches and experiences so as to build the partners’ capacities in training and advocacy and in order to become more effective in influencing how development takes place.

Practical Action (, which started as the Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG), aims to demonstrate and advocate the sustainable use of technology to reduce poverty in developing countries. It is a charity, founded in 1966 and registered in the UK, which works in Latin America, Eastern & Southern Africa, and South Asia, with particular concentration on Peru, Kenya, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. It is committed to poverty reduction, environmental conservation and technology choice. Many of Practical Action’s projects take a PID approach integrated within community-led development. The experiences of these projects, written in a simple and appealing way, can be read on the website.

SeedChange ( is a non-profit organisation that works with farmers worldwide to strengthen their ability to grow food sustainably with locally adapted seeds. It was founded in 1945 as the Unitarian Service Committee of Canada (USC Canada) and changed its name in 2019. Its mission is to build food sovereignty by working with partners to enhance biodiversity, promote ecological agriculture and counter inequity. It partners with other NGOs in Africa, Asia and Latin America in programmes designed to help farmers strengthen biodiversity and food sovereignty and to realise their rights. It also seeks to influence global food production policies that protect farmers’ rights and nurture fertile landscapes, regenerating the water, soils and vegetation on which humans, plants and animals depend.

St Ulrich Group (also known as PTD forum) is an informal Community of Practice that started in 1993 and met annually in different sites in Europe to exchange experiences in participatory research and development worldwide. The members – including practitioners from around the world – now communicate with each other primarily via the PTD-Forum electronic listserver. They occasionally organised Dare-to-Share Fairs and other events for sharing and learning about Participatory Technology Development (PTD). The St Ulrich Group initiated the PTD Circular, which later became the PID (Participatory Innovation Development) Circular under the Prolinnova umbrella.

The Field Alliance ( After more than 20 years of training farmers in Asia, the FAO Programme for Integrated Pest Management in Rice (later known as the Community IPM Programme) ended in 2002. Support continued for farmer empowerment, sustainable rural livelihoods and ecological agriculture through a new regional organisation called The Field Alliance. What began as a pest-control project became an umbrella for farmer-led experimentation, training, organising and advocacy in a range of production issues (pests, soils, seeds, water) and community health, rural education and farmers’ rights. The vision, methods and expertise that drove the Community IPM Programme formed the basis for an independent foundation dedicated to the empowerment of Asian farmers.

WIPO ( The World Intellectual Property Organisation’s page on Traditional Knowledge provides a forum for international policy debate concerning the interplay between intellectual property (IP) and traditional knowledge, genetic resources and folklore. It is developing draft legal mechanisms and a range of practical tools aimed at enhancing the IP interests of the holders of such knowledge, resources and expressions. The website provides access to publications, case studies and other documents related to the topic.

World Neighbors ( is an international development organisation that works with marginalised communities in ecologically fragile areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America. It supports the transformation of communities by helping people address hunger, poverty, disease and other challenges that undermine their livelihoods, and by inspiring lasting leadership and collective action for change. Most programmes begin using locally available resources and simple, low-cost technologies. As people gain skills and confidence, local leaders and organisations emerge to carry on the work, multiply results and participate in coalitions advocating for wider change. WN programmes integrate food security, farming, literacy, community and reproductive health, water and sanitation, environmental conservation, savings and credit, non-formal education and income-generation activities. Information on WN methodologies, experiences and publications is available on the website.

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