Leadership mechanisms associated with performance of coffee innovation platforms in Uganda
The demand for diffusion of agricultural technologies led to integration of innovation systems thinking in the agriculture sector as a pathway for delivery of agricultural extension services. However, like other multi-stakeholder organizations, the coffee innovation platforms of Uganda observed persistent challenges of commitment and poor coordination between actors. The reasons why coffee innovation platforms continue to face such challenges are not clearly known; hence the need to explore their underlying leadership issues. This study therefore sought to explain how leadership mechanisms enabled the actors in coffee innovation platforms to achieve their expectations. Data was collected through key informant interviews with 26 actors of the coffee steering committees; three focus group discussions of 19 participants and document review. Analysis was done using content and thematic analysis. The study found that selection of leaders, rules of engagement, incentives, organizational structures, personal attributes and distributed roles are critical but missing leadership facets which require due attention of the innovation intermediaries to build and sustain interactions and relationships in the IPs. The absence of a clear and structured selection criteria and capacity building plan of leaders compromised the diversity of the IP leadership which ultimately affected their performance. To enhance collaborative leadership for better platform performance, this study recommends a clear and structured leadership development model to identify contextual potential leaders and their leadership needs, draw a capacity development plan and develop organizational support mechanisms within a local context.
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