ADOPT: a tool for predicting adoption of agricultural innovations

ADOPT: a tool for predicting adoption of agricultural innovations

How to estimate the timeframes for project impacts in innovation and agriculture

There is an increasing demand from research, development and extension agencies for estimates of likely extent of adoption and the likely timeframes for project impacts. This paper reports on the reasoning underpinning the development of ADOPT (Adoption and Diffusion Outcome Prediction Tool).

The paper clarifies that the tool has been designed to predict an innovation‘s likely peak extent of adoption and likely time for reaching that peak. The tool is structured around four aspects of adoption: 1) characteristics of the innovation, 2) characteristics of the population, 3) actual advantage of using the innovation, and 4) learning of the actual advantage of the innovation.

Some notable findings in the paper are:

  • without considering the influences on adoption and diffusion R, D & E (research, development and extension) investment can result in poor investment returns and unsatisfactory on-ground benefits
  • there is demand from R, D & E funding agencies for ex-ante assessments of adoptability and proposed practice change resulting from potential R, D & E investments
  • the use of a tool based on established adoption and diffusion principles offers a level of consistency when comparing forecasts of impacts across projects 
  • in addition, understanding the attributes of innovations allows the extension strategy to be modified so that levels of adoption and diffusion can be improved

The document highlights that the outputs of the tool are values in years for the time to peak adoption and a percentage value for the peak adoption level. The expected characteristics of the innovation‘s diffusion are also displayed graphically.

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