Partnerships as strategic action for inclusive development

How can strategic actors be mobilized to increase inclusive development in Sub-Saharan Africa’s agricultural sector? Under what conditions will strategic actors initiate or become involved in partnerships? What new institutions and forms of governance need to be developed and how can this be done? How do partnership members and actors build on existing arrangements (institutional bricolage)? And what will the impact be on smallholders and other actors in the agricultural value chains?

Drawing on institutional economics, this project is analysing and comparing the functioning and outcomes of partnerships in three different value chain contexts:

  • a mature export value chain with well-established institutions (cocoa)
  • an emerging value chain (palm oil)
  • a domestic food chain

The project is using a multi-method approach including value chain analysis, innovation system analysis and process ethnography while tapping knowledge from various practitioners through in-depth discussions and action research.

Stakeholder workshops will be organized after each exploratory study of the three value chain contexts. At the end of the project, a broad final stakeholder meeting will be arranged to share insights into institutional entrepreneurship and to identify the practical implications for the different actors in the different partnerships. The research results will also be shared with Dutch development organizations and through contributions to dedicated websites and blogs.

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