Full citation 543

Heffernan, C. and F. Misturelli (2011). "Is demand the answer? An exploration of pro-poor, demand-led research." Livestock Science 138(1-3): 109-117.

Format: Peer-reviewed article

Type: Research - Survey

Experience level of reader: Fundamental

Annotation: Demand led research is not living up to its full potential. There is a prevalent misconception about what demand-led research is. True demand-led R&D is a response to user-articulated needs and demands, not a process that simply includes feedback later in the process. This study on producing technological products for poor British farmers shows how most researchers view demand based research as a theoretical concept and fail to define problems using unbiased input from users.

Setting(s) to which the reported activities/findings are relevant: Government, Community, University.

Knowledge user(s) to whom the piece of literature may be relevant: Researchers, Users.

Knowledge user level addressed by the literature: Organization

This article uses the Commercial Devices and Services version of the NtK Model

Primary findings


  • In this survey, almost one third of respondents incorrectly defined demand led research as researchers consulting beneficiaries or other stakeholders on researcher-defined problems. The other third of participants generally described demand-led research as a problem-based process without acknowledging the group in need.
    Discourse analysis findings
    Occurrences: Occurrences: NTK Step 1.2, Step 2.2, Step 4.13
  • Different groups express different priorities and language used by researchers tells much about their perspective on problems. Researchers who make generalizations about groups and make infinitive suggestions about who should do what have indicated failure to involve the noun groups in question.
    Discourse analysis findings
    Occurrences: NTK Step 1.2, Step 2.2, Step 4.13


Categorizing responses by factualness and attitude towards groups reveals problems, confidence level, hopes, preconceptions, surrounding conditions, etc . Use this insight to identify and resolve any oversights.
Discourse analysis findings
Occurrences: NTK Step 1.2, Step 2.2, Step 4.13