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Ethnomedicine, Capacity Development And Innovation System: An Indian Case Study

Torri, MC

January 2008

Until recently, local innovation capacity and management practices and institutions developed by local communities through their traditonal knowledge have received little attention.
This paper reports not on the results of scientific research into innovation systems but rather on how local communities, in a network of supportive partnerships, can draw knowledge for others and combine this with their own and generate innovations in their local practices.

In this paper we refer to the concept of 'capacity' as capacity to use the traditional ethnomedicine knowledge in a way that it enhances socio-economic development of local communities. We define this new concept of capacity with the term 'ethnomedicine capacity'. The innovation that we shall describe in this paper consists in the capacity of local stakeholders to use the traditional knowledge, and in particular ethnomedicine, in a way to boost income generation, local health practices and environmental conservation. We shall define the innovative processes through which this capacity is created and reiforced as a 'capacity development' process.

This is illustrated through an Indian case study of the partnerships between the local communities, FRLHT and CCD, two Indian NGOs whose aim is to revitalize Indian local health traditions through a range of field activities and research and extension programs.

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