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Learning Our Way Ahead: Navigating institutional change and agricultural decentralisation

The current move towards decentralisation and privatisation of agricultural services in many East African countries is requiring many organisations and individuals to 're-invent' their roles and responsibilities. Government staff at many levels, private input suppliers, farmer organisations and researchers all face the challenge of reduced government budgets whilst needing to become more responsive to the agricultural community. There are no blueprints for the new organisational and administrative arrangements. A new approach is needed which can bring together a broad range of stakeholders unaccustomed to working with each other and help them decide on the types of initiatives needed. This paper describes several experiences from East Africa and elsewhere where coalitions of different agriculture-related organisations at different levels have been using a learning process for collective planning and innovation.

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