Coutts J&R

Good decision-making is not possible without effective evaluation

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.

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Coutts J&R's Blog

There are a few questions running around my head about social media and the rural space – particularly in relation to on-farm practice change.

What is its level of influence?

As a part of this I need to better understand how social media is being used by farmers, agencies, organisations, communities and government and for what purpose. And how is it being evaluated?

A recent ABC story on farmers using social media for their advantage talked about it being digital ‘word of mouth (WOM)’. As a communication channel, WOM has always been one of the most important and most trusted.

So is this trust translated online?

Social media is also being effectively used to build online communities. Take for example AgChatOZ which aims to raise the profile of Australian agriculture by shining a light on the leading issues that affect the industry and the wider community. If you’ve been on twitter at all and followed agricultural discussions, you will have come across its hashtag (#AgChatOZ) at one time or another. Again as an evaluator I would be really interested to see how its conversation has grown over time and what its impact has been.

I’ve also seen words such as empowering and engaging used in relation to social media and rural and remote Australia.

Its ability to connect the isolated and allow their voices to be heard is a big drawcard.

There’s a lot to talk about and I can see many blog topics ahead of me to address the questions that keep popping up and making thought bubbles over my head!

I’m really interested to know what is out there already so please do point me in the direction of any stories, studies, papers etc covering this or related topics. My email is: or find me on twitter: @amyrsamson

News Updates

The Australasian Evaluation Society has alerted its members to the Australian Government through its Department of Finance developing a Commonwealth Performance Framework, which, they point out, has implications for the future commissioning and conduct of evaluation at the Commonwealth level. There are a number of relevant documents that can be found at for public comment – due by 30 January 2015.

There are a number of great conferences coming up in 2015:

The Australasian Evaluation Society (AES) reports that the UN has designated 2015 as the International Year of Evaluation – advocating and promoting evaluation and evidence-based policy making at international, regional, national and local levels. Their 2015 conference will be held in Melbourne on the 5-9th September with the theme of “Reaching across the boundaries”.

The 22nd European Seminar on Extension and Education will be held in Wageningen in The Netherlands from April 28th to May 1st2015 . There was an overwhelming response to invitations for papers and these are being sorted at the moment.

The Australasian Pacific Extension Network (APEN) will be holding their national conference in Adelaide, South Australia on the 9-12 November 2015. The title of the conference is “Managing Change, Innovation and Action in an Ever Shrinking World”.