Network analysis of international aquaculture research and development efforts in Rwanda : tracing the flows of knowledge and technology in a USAID-funded collaborative research support program Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/8s45qc92k

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  • A new era for partnerships between the US land grant university community and the US Agency for International Development began when Title XII legislation was enacted by the US Congress in 1975. Collaborative Research Support Programs emerged as an institutional innovation for the Agency and participating universities. This study uses historical and network analyses to document institutional changes occurring within the Pond Dynamics/Aquaculture CRSP from 1982 to 1996. CRSPs were designed to conduct agricultural research through international collaboration, but collaboration has been elusive. Breakdowns in the collaborative process of technology development and transfer arose from faulty assumptions about target populations; an elitist organizational culture; methodological inadequacies for "transferring technologies"; a flaw in the original CRSP framework; and institutional systems not designed to recognize social impacts. Through experience, the PD/A CRSP has learned that human resources provide the primary base upon which development occurs. Two case studies in Rwanda illustrate how policy and practice were linked in international research. A complex picture emerged of resource allocation issues within the Rwandan household and the need to integrate aquaculture projects into the fabric of society. Data show that dietary preferences were not static. Thus, technologies offered through donordriven international aquaculture projects had the possibility of acting as powerful agents of change in Rwanda. The responsibility that accompanies this type of change, however, was not fully considered by the CRSP. Even with these problems, CRSP efforts in Rwanda produced some indications of institutional sustainability -- not from careful planning, but through informal activities of actors in Rwanda and the US. A change in organizational culture eventually resulted, with the reluctant acceptance of social sciences into the traditional biotechnological agenda and the participation of women in the research program. The CRSP has outlasted most USAID projects - testimony to its responsiveness to beneficiaries and constituencies. Nevertheless, the horrific 1994 war in Rwanda reduced the CRSP-Rwanda project to insignificance. What remains are the informal networks, as hopeful, bittersweet reminders.
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