International Development Planning Review

Policy space for informal sector grassroots innovations: towards a ‘bottom-up’ narrative

International Development Planning Review (2021), 43, (1), 115–137.

Abstract

Of late, innovation studies have taken a keen interest in exploring various components of informal sector grassroots innovations. While recognising the immense contribution of this scholarship in sensitising researchers and generating awareness, its connections to policymaking remain inadequate. In the absence of comprehensive policy discussions, the policy makers have often attempted to extrapolate the policies meant for formal sectors to suit the innovation requirements of the informal economy. The diverse, idiosyncratic nature of the informal grassroots innovation processes have not received adequate attention. Keeping in view the divergent motives, underpinnings and the nuances of informal sector grassroots innovations, this paper has undertaken a critical review of the various policy suggestions including intellectual property rights, commercialisation and standardisation on a mass scale, the role of awards and recognition for informal sector innovations, and the importance of feedback and standardisation. Based on ten years of ethnographic research in Kashmir, we identify key thematic insights into policy formulations for these innovations.

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References

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Leliveld, A. and Knorringa, P. (2017) ‘Frugal innovation and development research’, The European Journal of Development Research, 30(1), 1-16. Google Scholar

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Joshi, R. G., Chelliah, J, Sood, S. and Burdon, S. (2016) ‘Nature and spirit of exchange and interpersonal relationships fostering grassroots innovations’, The Journal of Developing Area, 50(6), 399-409. Google Scholar

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Muchie, M., Desta, A. and Mengesha, M. (2016) Science, technology and innovation: for sustainable future in the global South, Trenton, NJ, Red Sea Press. Google Scholar

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Kohn, A. (1998) ‘Why incentives plans cannot work’, Harvard Business Review, 71(5), 54-60. Google Scholar

Muchie, M., Gammeltoft, P. and Lundvall, B. (2003) Putting Africa first: the making of African innovation systems, Aalborg University Press, Denmark. Google Scholar

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Muchie, M., Desta, A. and Mengesha, M. (2016) Science, technology and innovation: for sustainable future in the global South, Trenton, NJ, Red Sea Press. Google Scholar

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Muchie, M., Gammeltoft, P. and Lundvall, B. (2003) Putting Africa first: the making of African innovation systems, Aalborg University Press, Denmark. Google Scholar

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Sheikh ⶁ, Fayaz Ahmad

Bhaduri, Saradindu