Pathways to Inclusive Development through Innovation, Technology and Structural Change

Technology and innovation can drive economic growth, help solve social and environmental problems, and reduce poverty. All countries need to develop the capacity to produce and use science and technology themselves and adapt knowledge to their needs and contexts. While industrial upgrading through technology transfer has favoured structural change, it has often resulted in insufficient development of local innovation capacity and it can increase marginalization. Alternatively, technology transfer projects that emphasize more inclusive innovation can also fail to achieve large-scale change. What is needed is a better understanding of the pathways that lead to technological innovation and build appropriate capacities within developing countries to create inclusive growth and poverty reduction at scale. This research project will develop a framework to understand how countries can exploit innovation that leads to both structural change and economic inclusion. It will map alternative pathways that link different forms of technological innovation, structural change, and inclusion in low-income countries. A second phase (following this project) may involve further data collection and field research on innovation pathways in practice and the conditions under which they can lead to inclusive innovation. The project involves the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), both at the University of Sussex in the UK, working in collaboration with researchers in Africa and Asia.

Project ID


Project status


End Date

Thursday, June 15, 2017


12 months

IDRC Officer

David O'Brien

Total funding

CA$ 175,000


North of Sahara, South of Sahara, Central Asia, South Asia, Far East Asia


Foundations for Innovation

Project Leader

Jodie Thorpe


Institute of Development Studies GB

Institution Country

United Kingdom

Institution Website