Mission and strategy CDI

Our mission is to create capacities for change and so promote the quality of food, the living environment and living conditions within a globalising (and rapidly urbanising) society.

We share this mission with the Social Sciences Department of Wageningen University and the LEI research institute together with which we form the Social Sciences Group.

Our core expertise is innovation processes and capacity development for change. This we combine with expertise from across Wageningen UR’s five Sciences Groups to offer knowledge services that link technical content with processes of innovation, learning and change

The Centre for Development Innovation facilitates innovation, brokers knowledge and develops capacities with a focus on food systems, rural development, agri-business, conflict, disasters and reconstruction, and the management of natural resources. Our work links Wageningen UR’s knowledge and expertise with processes of society-wide learning and innovation.

In the search for solutions to poverty, hunger, malnutrition, climate change, conflict, and environmental degradation, ‘business as usual’ is no longer an option. A sustainable and equitable future demands markets with a triple bottom line that balance the needs of People, Planet and Profit. Connecting technological and institutional advances becomes critical. Such innovation calls for citizens, governments, businesses, NGOs and the scientific community to work together in new forms of governance.

In an increasingly complex and unpredictable world, ‘development innovation’ means being strategic and creative in tackling established and emerging global challenges. Building on Wageningen UR’s long history of international work, we engage actively in global networks of organisations and professionals working on sustainable development.

Our strategy: creating capacities for change

Capacity development is the process by which individuals, organisations and institutions enhance and organise their systems, resources and knowledge. The degree of capacity development is reflected in their abilities, individually and collectively, to perform functions, solve problems and achieve objectives. CDI assists stakeholders to develop and implement effective learning and innovation processes.

Capacity development is crucial to bringing about sustainable change and development. The pace of change and complexity of issues that individuals and organisations face is such that they need to be constantly and rapidly updating and improving their capacities. To complement traditional forms of academic education, there is growing demand for need-driven and interdisciplinary capacity development. This kind of capacity development goes beyond ‘training’. It involves longer-term processes of engagement and on-the-job facilitated learning.

CDI realises this kind of capacity development in a variety of ways: through projects, consultancy work and training. We provide a range of services, which we combine with specialist knowledge, organised around our six programmes.