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Rethinking technological change in smallholder agriculture

Author: Glover, D.
Author: Sumberg, J.
Author: Ton, G.
Author: Andersson, J.A.
Author: Badstue, L.B.
Year: 2019
ISSN: 0030-7270
ISSN: 2043-6866 (Online)
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10883/20520
Abstract: The concept of technology adoption (along with its companions, diffusion and scaling) is commonly used to design development interventions, to frame impact evaluations and to inform decision-making about new investments in development-oriented agricultural research. However, adoption simplifies and mischaracterises what happens during processes of technological change. In all but the very simplest cases, it is likely to be inadequate to capture the complex reconfiguration of social and technical components of a technological practice or system. We review the insights of a large and expanding literature, from various disciplines, which has deepened understanding of technological change as an intricate and complex sociotechnical reconfiguration, situated in time and space. We explain the problems arising from the inappropriate use of adoption as a framing concept and propose an alternative conceptual framework for understanding and evaluating technological change. The new approach breaks down technology change programmes into four aspects: propositions, encounters, dispositions and responses. We begin to sketch out how this new framework could be operationalised.
Format: PDF
Language: English
Publisher: SAGE Publishing
Copyright: CIMMYT manages Intellectual Assets as International Public Goods. The user is free to download, print, store and share this work. In case you want to translate or create any other derivative work and share or distribute such translation/derivative work, please contact CIMMYT-Knowledge-Center@cgiar.org indicating the work you want to use and the kind of use you intend; CIMMYT will contact you with the suitable license for that purpose.
Type: Article
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
Pages: 169-180
Issue: 3
Volume: 48
DOI: 10.1177/0030727019864978
Agrovoc: INNOVATION ADOPTION
Agrovoc: AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH
Agrovoc: AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION
Agrovoc: EVALUATION
Journal: Outlook on Agriculture


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  • Socioeconomics
    Including topics such as farming systems, markets, impact & targeting, innovations, and GIS
  • Sustainable Intensification
    Sustainable intensification agriculture including topics on cropping systems, agronomy, soil, mechanization, precision agriculture, etc.

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