Innovation. The word certainly seems to have taken a place of prominence in the research-for-development community. But what does innovation really look like in practice? A new paper by social anthropologist Karen Greenough sets out to answer that question through the lens of the Challenge Program on Water and Food’s work in the Volta River basin.
The answer to the question is complex, and is dependent on the context and point of view of the evaluator. The paper uses a number of Volta project case studies to demonstrate the intricacies of conducting research that aims to affect change and innovation. It also includes a number of considerations and recommendations for future research-for-development programs.