Research Projects

Learning from local innovators


Learning from local innovators, Tanzania.

How does innovation happen at the grassroots level, particularly in informal and understudied contexts? What can we learn from those most directly involved in local innovation processes?  Through interviews, profiles, and case studies with local innovators and their collaborators, we are gaining insights into how local solutions are developed and adopted from the perspectives of those most closely involved in these processes.

Mapping innovation ecosystems



This project is developing methods of identifying and representing the key features of local innovation ecosystems in under-developed and emerging economy contexts. Through case studies of specific local innovation ecosystems and analysis of existing models and mapping efforts, we are developing empirically-grounded models of what these ecosystems contain and how they function.


Recent publications

Enabling Innovation Ecosystems in Emerging Markets: Key Challenges and Five Recommendations
Elizabeth Hoffecker / April 2016 / Blog Post

Strengthening innovation capacity in agricultural systems


Strengthening Innovation Capacity in Agriculture Systems image

What capacities are needed to produce and sustain innovation processes in smallholder-oriented agricultural systems? What are effective approaches for strengthening these capacities, and how can capacity changes, and their outcomes, be detected? This project is developing methodologies for measuring changes in innovation capacity at the local level and assessing results of capacity-building interventions in agricultural innovation systems.

Recent publications


Towards a complexity-aware theory of change for participatory research programs working within agricultural innovation systems
Boru Douthwaite and Elizabeth Hoffecker / July 2017 / Journal of Agricultural Systems


What is capacity to innovate and how can it be assessed? A review of the literature
Sophie Allebone-Webb, Boru Douthwaite, Elizabeth Hoffecker, Syndhia Mathé, and Bernard Triomphe / July 2016 / Conference Proceedings 


Elizabeth Hoffecker, Research Scientist