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Manuals | June 1, 2012

Promoting Innovation

A SMART Skills Manual

Small-scale farmers in developing countries are constantly making observations, developing ideas and trying out new things. They need to do so to improve their production, adjust to a changing environment and strengthen their livelihoods.

This manual shows how field agents, extension workers and program managers can help farmers do this systematically. It explains how to organize an innovation group and how to help farmers set up experiments, make observations, decide on what works and adopt the new ideas.

The eight lessons, available in English, French and Spanish, cover the following topics:

  • Introduction to innovations
  • Identifying and understanding problems
  • Finding more information
  • Exploring possible solutions
  • Designing research
  • Collecting and recording observations
  • Analyzing and evaluating the results
  • Applying findings and sharing knowledge

Each lesson includes guidelines, exercises to do with a group of farmers or with development agents, and quizzes to test your understanding.

This is one manual in a series on SMART Skills—the skills that field agents need to help farmers in developing countries improve their livelihoods.