Coutts J&R

Evaluation is the foundation of strong decision making

Welcome to Coutts J&R — one of Australia’s leading evaluation companies. We have the experience and networks to meet your monitoring, evaluation and reporting needs.

Coutts J&R provides you with industry leading expertise and tools to collect, interpret and effectively use information to make the best decisions for your project and program. Our expertise is in establishing evaluation frameworks, planning and undertaking monitoring and evaluation (or mentoring your staff as they undertake the process) and measuring and reporting on impact. Our challenge is to make sure that you have the information you need to make the most informed decisions and meet your reporting requirements.

Contact Details

Phone:
+61 (0)7 4630 1297
Mobile:
0438 361 153
Email:
jeff@couttsjr.com.au
Post:
PO Box 2681, Toowoomba Queensland 4350

Coutts J&R's Blog

Posted by Jeff Coutts
Australian Gum Trees English Daffodils
This blog is coming from London.  I left Autumn in Toowoomba for Spring over here!  I’ve always enjoyed coming over this way – the history in the buildings and cobblestones, green meadows and stone walls.  Its not that I don’t also enjoy gum trees, kookaburras and windmills – its just different.  I wonder how many generations it takes before one fully identifies with the country in which you were born, and not, in part, the country of your ancestors?

It has been a terrific smorgasbord of projects as we have gone into 2016.  The Research and Development for Profit projects have commenced and, as well as evaluating the ‘Stimulating the Private Sector’ project being lead by Dairy Australia, I also have the opportunity for input via the Expert Panel on the ‘Extension and Adoption for Australian Farmers and Fishers’ project lead by RIRDC. So good to see the effort and resources being put into understanding and supporting contemporary extension! What stood out with these federally funded projects was the requirement for a monitoring and evaluation plan as the first milestone!  And this practice is becoming more common place for projects funded by some of the Rural Development Corporations!  Extra funds are being allocated specifically for evaluation – so it becomes an integral part of project management and not an ‘add on’.

Speaking of R&D 4 Profit projects, I have been fortunate to be involved in early discussions and a workshop lead by MLA looking at the potential to use a co-innovation approach to look at the long term management of recurring drought.  There was a high level of interest of progressing this approach to this issue and developing a proposal for the next round of funding.

In New Zealand, I participated in a ‘writeshop’, where all of the researchers involved in the Primary Innovation (Co-innovation) Project were facilitated to develop joint papers – aimed at conferences and/or journals.  It was an excellent collaborative experience with some great outcomes. I was part of a team writing a paper for the upcoming IFSA conference on the “Nine principles of co-innovation” based on a survey undertaken of the experience of innovation project teams.  While in NZ, I was also a part of the initial team meeting for a project led by Scion, called “Weaving the Korowai of Papatuanuku – Adaptive governance and supported environmental decision making” – a holistic project looking at catchment rehabilitation and community capacity building.  There is a very strong focus on relationships and this was the focus of our first meeting.

So 2016 has started with a good deal of interest and energy and, for a while, greener pastures over here in the UK.

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News Updates

2016 Australasian Evaluation Society Conference
The 2016 international conference will be held in Perth on the 19th-21st September.  Its theme is “Landscapes”.  More information can be found on http://www.aes.asn.au/international-conference.html.

2017 ESEE Conference
Take note of the next planned European Seminar for Extension and Education (ESEE) which will be held in July in 2017 at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, Crete, Greece.  The last seminar in Wageningen, The Netherlands in 2015 was very well attended and a great forum to discuss and share current experiences and address common issues.  The exact dates and program are currently being finalised – watch this space!

2017 APEN International Conference – 12-15 September 2017
And closer to home is the planned 2017 International Conference of the Australasia-Pacific Extension Network, to be held from the 12th to the 15th of September 2017 at the ‘The Ville’ Hotel in Townsville.  It will also be hosting a range of international delegates from the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS), who will be participating in a 3 day pre-conference meeting at Ingham, in the Hinchinbrook region. The theme of the conference is ‘Facilitating balanced change for rural and urban communities’ and will showcase the local and international extension theory and practice around production agriculture, natural resource management, community development and the health sector.

European International Farming Systems (IFSA) Conference 2016
The 12th European IFSA Symposium will take place at Harper Adams University, UK from Tuesday 12 – Friday 15 July 2016. The theme of the Symposium will be:  Social and technological transformation of farming systems: Diverging and converging pathways.These Symposiums provide a good mix of social and technical and quantitative and qualitative approaches and are great forums for networking. One of the workshops will be run from the New Zealand team running the Primary Innovation program/Co-Innovation project: 1.3 Using a co-innovation approach to improve innovation and learning in the Theme: Innovation, Knowledge and Learning processes. There is also a workshop (1.2) on Monitoring and Evaluation for Learning and Innovation.

Sample Project

The Cotton Info Team provides development, technical, extension and Best Management Practice support to the cotton Industry. They are employed through different institutions and work across different regions with different focus areas.  The YourDATA M&E platform is being developed to assist in supporting the capture, analysis and reporting information needs for the team and assist in continuous improvement to their work in supporting the needs of the cotton industry.

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