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KM4Dev Journal Special Issue: The unusual suspect? The private sector in knowledge partnerships for agricultural and rural development

The December 2020 Special Issue (Vol. 15, issue 2) of the open access Knowledge Management for Development Journal – allied to the KM4Dev community – has been published and is now available on the journal website. It has the title ‘The unusual suspect? The private sector in knowledge partnerships for agricultural and rural development’ and comprises 8 papers, one case study, one reflection, and one community note, as well as the editorial.

The Special Issue focuses on how the private sector, through the design and organization of partnerships that strive to move beyond ‘business as usual’, contributes – or fails or struggles to contribute – to transform agricultural and rural development towards the achievement of the SDGs. The contributions to this Special Issue are diverse in terms of geographical location (South East Asia, Europe and Africa, Benin, Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda) but also in terms of themes: value chains, knowledge management strategies, research processes, knowledge brokering, institutional spaces, knowledge networks and governance.

The contributions do not lead to the immediate conclusion that the private sector is a ‘magic bullet’ in global development but rather that the private sector does have a role to play but that this role requires facilitation and brokerage to be effective.

Contents of the Special Issue


The unusual suspect? The private sector in knowledge partnerships for agricultural and rural development (Jorge Chavez-Tafur, Sarah Cummings, Domenico Dentoni, Suzanne Kiwanuka, Jana Körner, Anastasia-Alithia Seferiadis, Simone Staiger) pages 1-10


Can the private sector help deliver improved technology to cassava smallholders in South East Asia? (Jonathan Newby, Dominic Smith, Rob Cramb, Cu Thi Le Thuy, Laothao Youabee, Chea Sareth, Sophearith Sok, Chanphasouk Tanthaphone, Wani Hadiutomo, Lê Việt Dũng, Nguyễn Văn Nam) pages 11-30

Knowledge management unlocks market systems and empowers women farmers in Bangladesh (Albaab Ur-Rahman, Emily Janoch, Prabodh Devkota) pages 31-50

The private sector in knowledge processes and partnerships for food and nutrition security in the Global South: a case study from the Dutch Food and Business Applied Research Fund programme (Frejus Thoto, Mawuna D. Houessou, Corinne Lamain, Rodrigue C. Gbedomon) pages 51-69

The private sector as the ‘unusual suspect’ in knowledge brokering for international sustainable development: a critical review (Suzanne Kiwanuka, Sarah Cummings, Barbara Regeer) pages 70-97

Multi-stakeholder dialogue space on farmer-led irrigation development in Ghana: an instrument driving systemic change with private sector initiatives (Thai Minh, Olufunke Cofie, Nicole Lefore, Petra Schmitter) pages 98-118

L’implication du secteur privé international dans la gouvernance de la sécurité alimentaire en Afrique: diffusion d’un nouveau paradigme de développement Agricole: diffusion d’un nouveau paradigme de développement Agricole (Marie Hur, Liora Stührenberg) pages 119-135

Does participation of agricultural entrepreneurs in knowledge networks improve firm performance in Benin? (Fréjus Thoto, Rodrigue Gbedomon, Donald Houessou, Augustin Aoudji , Barthelemy Honfoga) pages 136-154

Case studies

Knowledge as catalyst: using knowledge exchange and learning to commercialize a public agricultural research idea for Kenyan and Rwandan smallholder farmers (Laura Harwig, Laura Ostenso) pages 155-167


Disentangling challenges in mainstreaming smallholder farmers perspectives into knowledge co-creation processes: evidence from Benin (Mawuna Donald Houessou, Frejus Thoto) pages 168-172

Community notes

Knowledge management and the coronavirus pandemic: an online discussion (Chris Zielinski) pages 173-183

Kind regards also from the members of the Guest Editor team: Jorge Chavez-Tafur, Domenico Dentoni, Suzanne Kiwanuka, Jana Körner, Anastasia-Alithia Seferiadis and Simone Staiger.

5/5 - (1 vote)

Dr Sarah Cummings

Sarah Cummings is a researcher at the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation (KTI) chair group, Wageningen University & Research, focusing on public-private partnerships and the CGIAR. As part of her commitment to knowledge as a global public good, Sarah founded the open access, peer reviewed Knowledge Management for Development Journal in 2005 and is Editor-in-Chief. Her work is closely linked to the Knowledge Management for Development (KM4Dev) community of 5000+ members world-wide.

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