Innovation and possible policies for stakeholders involvement in decision-making in Africa

Science & Society Group, Energy and Sustainability Research Institute Groningebn, University of Groningen,

Supervisor(s): Prof. M.P. Gerkema, dr. J.A.A. Swart and Fr. H.J. van der Windt


The PhD candidate got his Master of Science title at the Athena institute (VU, Amsterdam). There he developed an analytical framework for learning and innovation processes in health systems, based on Constructive Technology Assessment and Actor Network Theory. The project focused on learning and innovation processes for the optimization of theroutine immunization schedule for developing countries.



This PhD project is part of the international consortium SOCBIOAfri and was funded by NWO-WOTRO as part of the ERAfrica program. The project focuses on the interrelated challenges arising from the policy, economic and sociocultural aspects of biotechnology innovation in farming. The project is highly interdisciplinary in design, with strong roots in relevant African academic and policy institutions. This PhD project will pay special attention to questions of regulation biotechnology regulation and to the possibilities of facilitating innovations that benefit small-hold farmers.

The general object of the PhD project is:

  • Assessing innovation politics on biotechnology in African countries in relation to biotechnology.
  • Describing and assessing existing regulatory biosafety frameworks in Africa in relation to regulatory frameworks in Western countries.
  • Analysing co-evolution dynamics and relevant networks concerning biotechnology innovation in Africa, compared to Europa.
  • Suggesting governance and frameworks for local stakeholder participation in biotechnology innovation policies in African countries


  • Desktop studies of policy documents.
  • Interviews with stakeholders during the project workshops and European stays.\
  • Interviews with SocBioAfri partner team members and with representatives of ABNE and Michigan State University, which collaborate already with the Dutch team.
  • If possibly, focus group sessions during workshop meetings SocBioAfri project