Rural innovation systems and networks: Findings from a study of Ethiopian smallholders
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Ethiopia is currently undergoing many policy and infrastructural changes that will influence information accessibility and application by smallholder farmers. The authors maintain that little empirical evidence concerning the effects of these changes exists. In this study, the authors seek to determine the role social networks play in the ability of farmers to access and use new information by examining community case studies in ten locations in Ethiopia. Dynamics between policy, extension, civil society, and the market are taken into account. Results indicate that extension and administration is capable of hindering the progress of civil society and market-based factors when policies do not leave room for their participation. Additionally, the findings of this study support further integration of innovation systems theory and analyses of social networks.