Is demand the answer? An exploration of pro-poor, demand-led research

Claire Heffernan*, Federica Misturelli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


To be funded, livestock research must reflect current trends impacting the sector. Demand-led research is one such trend. However, the ability of stakeholders to accommodate new research paradigms is often overlooked. Therefore, the authors explored notions of demand among 190 animal health researchers representing both northern and southern institutions. A discourse analysis was undertaken in order to unravel layers of meaning within responses and to highlight areas of convergence or disagreement. The results of the analysis revealed that most researchers expressed uncertainty over the concept. Only 30% of researchers offered demand-led research as driven by end-users. Not surprisingly, few dissemination pathways of research outputs were targeted at the farmer-level. However, while researchers generally did not account for farmer demands, neither did they themselves appear to be driving research agendas. Thus, on a wider paradigmatic level, the rhetoric of demand-led research far outweighed the practical reality for both researchers and the poor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
JournalLivestock Science
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • Animal health policy
  • Demand-led research
  • Discourse analysis
  • Livestock sector

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