Frugal Innovation and Development Research

This article sets the scene for a special issue of The European Journal of Development Research on why frugal innovations are increasingly important for development research. While the top-down business and management literature on frugal innovation has claimed developmental relevance, the editors, André Leliveld and Peter Knorringa, give at least equal importance to much longer-standing bottom-up development studies discourses on grass-root innovation, bricolage, and livelihood strategies. They argue that we need both literatures for a better understanding of how frugal innovations relate to development. Accordingly, they position the articles in this special issue in the frugal innovation and development debate. Finally, they discuss the relevance of a frugal innovation lens in how two major global trends are impacting upon global development opportunities: the global diffusion of 3rd and 4th Industrial Revolution digital technologies and global population dynamics. The editors consider these two trends to be major entries for future research on frugal innovation and development.

Read the article.

The European Journal of Development Research, volume 30, issue 1, January 2018, Frugal Innovation. ISSN: 0957-8811 (Print) 1743-9728 (Online).
Guest editors: André Leliveld and Peter Knorringa.


Author(s) / editor(s)

André Leliveld and Peter Knorringa

About the author(s) / editor(s)

André Leliveld

André Leliveld is a senior researcher at the African Studies Centre Leiden and co-director of the Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa.


Peter Knorringa is director of the Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa and Professor of Private Sector & Development at the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University.


Full text, catalogue, and publisher website