Monday, August 8, 2016

The Innovation-Decision Process in Action

Whether it’s facilitating capacity building workshops on agricultural production, processing, marketing, or another theme, a large part of the F2F program, in a sense, is about the diffusion of innovations. For this discussion, innovation is defined as an idea, practice, or object that is perceived as new by an individual or other entity. Often times when a F2F volunteer gives a recommendation to a F2F host, the volunteer is encouraging the adoption of a particular innovation. While the process may seem fairly straight forward – volunteer gives a recommendation and the host implements it – the actual adoption of that recommendation is a multistage progression often referred to as the Innovation-Decision Process (a model developed by rural sociology professor Dr. Everertt Rogers). 
Rogers' Innovation-Decision Process Model
So how does this process look applied? Let’s take a look at how the Innovation-Decision Process progressed as a result of Bill Knox’s F2F assignment with the Center for Goat Production in the Altiplano of Guatemala (CEPROCAL).

Stage 1: KnowledgeWhen the individual is made aware of the innovation and has a basic understanding of how it works. 

Improved goats bred at CEPROCAL
Leaders and extension agents at CEPROCAL heard about the potential benefits of improving goat breeds in Guatemala using artificial insemination. F2F Guatemala field officers worked with CEPROCAL to develop a scope of work to bring down a goat artificial insemination expert and learn more about the process and benefits.

 Stage 2: PersuasionWhen the individual forms a favorable (or unfavorable) attitude toward the innovation.

In July 2014, Bill Knox traveled with Partners’ F2F Guatemala program to conduct hands-on artificial insemination – he used the goat semen of improved breeds that was shipped down from the United States – workshops with technicians at CEPROCAL. CEPROCAL staff was delighted with Bill’s work over the two weeks and excited about the potential benefits of artificial insemination and improved goat breeds.

Bill Knox examines samples in October 2015
 Stage 3: Decision – When the individual decides to adopt or reject the innovation.

Five months later the improved breeds were born. Upon maturity, those goats began producing 3 liters of milk/day compared to the 0.5 liters of milk/day of traditional goats. Seeing the actual benefits of artificial insemination and the use of improved goat breeds, CEPROCAL staff decided to adopt the innovation. F2F Guatemala field officers worked with CEPROCAL to develop a scope of work to bring Bill back to Guatemala in October 2015 to reinforce the artificial insemination practices that he taught and teach them how to collect and store goat semen for future breeding programs.

Stage 4: Implementation – When the individual actually puts the innovation into practice

CEPROCAL field agents continue to use artificial insemination to develop Guatemalan goats with superior genetics. As the original semen samples are used up, CEPROCAL field agents are collecting and storing semen from the improved breeds for future artificial insemination.

Stage 5: Confirmation – When the individual seeks reaffirmation about the decision that has been made and either continues with or reverses the decision.

As new improved goats are born and begin producing milk, confirmation of the decision will occur. CEPROCAL will either continue or halt the breeding program.

Stay tuned to hear about CEPROCAL's innovation-decision and the impact it has on their center and rural families throughout the region!

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