Policies and Strategies to Promote Grassroots Innovation Workbook
Grassroots innovation is a modality of inclusive innovation that enables extremely affordable, niche-adapted solutions to local problems, often unaided by public sector or outsiders.
In a context of rising income disparity among the have and have-nots, every effort should be made to convert the ideas and innovations of knowledge-rich but economically poor individuals and communities into viable means of raising income, addressing social needs, and conserving the environment. While grassroots innovation are typically bottom-up initiatives, public policies can also support the emergence, recognition and diffusion of grassroots innovations. The journey of developing a grassroots idea or invention into a viable product or service for commercial or social diffusion requires support from many actors at different stages and levels.
The Honey Bee Network has been leading the grassroots innovation movement in India. In the past three decades, it has strengthened the inclusive innovation ecosystem of the country and has become a global benchmark of frugal, friendly and flexible solutions for men and women farmers, pastoral and artisan households, mechanics, forest dwellers, fishermen etc. This workbook draws on the experience of the Honey Bee Network and discusses experiences, issues and strategies that could also be relevant for other countries.