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P2 Diffusion

Forwarded on behalf of Tim Lindsey.  Please respond directly to Mr. Lindsey or p2tech@great-lakes.net
>Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2002 10:53:45 -0600
>>To: P2tech@great-lakes.net
>>From: Tim Lindsey <tlindsey@wmrc.uiuc.edu>
>>Subject: P2 Diffusion Papers
>>>     Mr. Hamner,
>>     I applaud you in you efforts to "throw a hornets nest into the
>> hogshed" regarding the effectiveness of P2 technical assistance
>> programs.    I have a few comments with respect to assumptions and
>> conclusions you have apparently made in your research.  First, you have
>> apparently assumed that all P2 assistance programs use the same
>> "standard model".  This could not be further from the truth.  The range
>> of services offered by P2 programs range from simply distributing
>> literature and holding workshops to on-site pilot testing of innovative
>> P2 technologies and everything in-between.
>>     In Illinois (the Illinois Waste Management and Research Center), we
>> use what we call the ADOP2T (Accelerated Diffusion of P2 Technologies)
>> model which involves working with the opinion leaders of a particular
>> sector to focus on 1) creating awareness regarding innovative P2
>> practices, 2) researching P2 problems that do not currently have
>> solutions, and 3) assisting with the implementation of recommended P2
>> practices - usually through on-site pilot testing.  This model is based
>> on the science of Innovation Diffusion (see Everett Rogers, 1995.
>> Diffusion of Innovations).  We have found that we can achieve a 70
>> percent implementation rate for companies that use the complete process.
>>     Promoting a market-oriented strategy as you suggested sounds great
>> in theory.  However, you need to keep in mind that the primary reason
>> that TA programs exist in the first place is because of market
>> failure.  Evaluating and testing alternative processes usually requires
>> considerable implementation assistance.  The vendors won't pay much for
>> the assistance because they can't be sure that the customer will
>> implement even if the test is successful.  The customers won't pay much
>> for assistance because they can't be sure  that  the alternatives will
>> work the way the vendor says it will.  Most consultants do not
>> specialize in P2 and rely on reactive but time tested waste
>> treatment/pollution control methods. Targeting intermediaries such as
>> business advisors, consultants, accountants, insurance providers, etc.
>> also sounds great in theory.  However, our experience (and it is
>> considerable) has been that P2 is too far from their core business and
>> expertise for them to become actively involved in it.  Once again, the
>> market fails.
>>     You also stated that the ILO is "the world's most experienced
>> organization providing help to small firms" and has a 40 year
>> history.  This statement is not correct.  The Cooperative Extension
>> Service is the World's most effective TA organization and has been in
>> place for over 90 years.  They utilize methods similar to those I have
>> described above.
>>     Below are links to some technical papers that explain this topic in
>> more detail for your review.
 Additionally, you may want to look at
>> NPPR's "White Paper on P2 Technology Diffusion" that is attached to the
>> NPPR website.