Call for Papers: Special Issue on The unusual suspect? The private sector in knowledge partnerships for agricultural and rural development


Given the huge diversity of private sector actors, this Special Issue is looking, in particular, for contributions which make it possible to learn about how the private sector contributes to agricultural and rural development, including analytical frameworks, typologies of partnerships, benchmarking practices and mapping of the intellectual assets of the private sector. This Special Issue focuses on the for-profit private sector, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs), multinational companies, financial institutions, foundations and others.

The Special Issue is looking for different types of contribution: ranging from academic articles to less formal types of submissions (case studies, thought pieces, reviews etc). We are also calling for these less formal types of contributions because we would like to tap into on-going experiences of working with the private sector. The academic articles will be subject to double-blind peer review while the other types of contributions will be reviewed by the editorial team. If necessary, accepted papers will be clustered into two issues of the journal with a maximum of 10 papers each.

The Guest Editors welcome submissions on the following topics although this list is not exhaustive and we also welcome cross-fertilization between topics, as well as novel perspectives: diversity of private sector actors and partnerships; operational challenges in generating and co-constructing knowledge; perspectives from the private sector; social inclusion; critical perspectives; policies; knowledge integration and brokering; benchmarking and measurement exercises; inclusive modalities and business models; and scaling and the private sector. We particularly encourage submissions from researchers, practitioners, policymakers and activists from the Global South as well as from agricultural innovation networks, such as the CGIAR and its partners. We also encourage submissions from all disciplines, as long as they focus on knowledge or knowledge processes. Submissions are welcome in English, French and Spanish. We can offer ‘peer support’ to authors who are inexperienced writers.

Submission guidelines
If you would like to submit a paper or another type of contribution, please send a short proposal, including the title of your proposed contribution, the type of contribution (paper, case study etc.) and an abstract (minimum one paragraph – maximum one page) by email to:

Submission deadline for title and abstract: 31 December 2019
Acceptance/rejection of abstract 15 January 2019
Submission of full paper 2 April 2020
Completion of peer-review 1 May 2020
Submission of final version of paper 15 July 2020
Publication date 1 September 2020

For further information about the journal, kindly consult the journal website at: