Innovation for Vulnerable Farmers

Innovation for Vulnerable Farmers: Drought and Water Scarcity Adaptation Technologies

Innovation for Vulnerable Farmers: Drought and Water Scarcity Adaptation Technologies

Organizers and Sponsors

September 10-12, 2014
Harvard University

The workshop will bring together 25 selected experts from the academic, government, business, and civil society communities for a discussion of key questions confronting innovation and access to drought and water scarcity adaption technologies for vulnerable farmers. The focus on vulnerable farmers is a conscious attempt to provide an opportunity to move the dialogue around water and agriculture away from questions of yield or water use efficiency and towards the challenge of serving the needs of themost vulnerable members of our global agricultural system. Our definition of technology is broad, encompassing biotic, manufactured and practice-based technologies as well as larger institutional innovations. The workshop will be conducted as a series of panel discussions between participants and be organized around a conceptual framework of innovation with access developed by the Initiative on Innovation and Access to Technologies for Sustainable Development at the Sustainability Science Program at Harvard University. This framework emphasizes the importance of adoption, adaptation and sustained use in order to realize benefits—improved human wellbeing—for the most vulnerable farmers and provides a tool for identifying the major barriers in the innovation system to achieving these goals.

Key Goals for the workshop:

  1. Provide a space for interdisciplinary discussion between different communities, including both scholars and practitioners across a wide variety of disciplines relevant to agricultural innovation and adaptation to drought and water scarcity.
  2. Create a holistic understanding of the current innovation system for drought adaptation technologies for vulnerable farmers by synthesizing knowledge across a wide variety of technology categories and stages in the innovation system.
  3. Diagnose weaknesses in the innovation system for drought resistant technologies for vulnerable farmers.
  4. Identify strategies for addressing key barriers in the innovation system with respect to the needs of the most vulnerable farmers.

Workshop Report

Agenda and Panels


Participant Bios

Background Readings

Workshop Logistics