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.

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

Majorca Holiday

 

I was recently on holidays in Majorca (easy to do when living in London – not so easy from Australia!) where we stayed overlooking a lovely Mediterranean beach called Cala Esmerelda.

Now this is where I say something along the lines of while I was on holiday I was thinking about evaluation and had a ‘light bulb moment’ – except that didn’t happen at all! I was thinking about when I was going to have my next icecream, when the next swim was and did I want red or white wine with dinner.

That being said, the day we were leaving, a survey was left on the table for us to fill out about our experience at the resort. Being a sympathetic evaluator, I was compelled to fill it out, although I can imagine that many people intent on squeezing the last bit out of their holiday wouldn’t take the time. I wondered how many forms were filled out and whether the resort took action on the feedback they received? Was it worth their while?

Now I don’t know what other type of evaluation this resort does, but if this is it, at least they are doing something to find out what the end-user (us) thinks and hopefully acting on it. To me it demonstrates a frame of mind and it means that the organisation (hopefully) is thinking about improving.

In my opinion having some sort of evaluation is better than having none. Of course nothing beats a well-designed evaluation program feeding directly into organisational goals (and this may well be the case at the resort we visited), but being in the right headspace and seeking some sort of feedback is where it all starts.

Jeff has also updated his blog!

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News Updates

International Evaluation Conference
The Australasian Evaluation Society’s international conference will be held this year in Melbourne on the 7th – 9th September this year. The theme is around ‘advocating and promoting evaluation and evidence-based policy making’. They note that this year is the UN International Year of Evaluation. More information can be found at: http://conference2015.aes.asn.au/.

Agriculture White Paper
There has already been a lot of discussion around the new Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper. The paper seeks to develop policy around five key priority areas: A fairer go for farm businesses; Building the infrastructure of the 21st century; Strengthening our approach to drought and risk management; Farming smarter; Accessing premium markets. As this is rolled out – it would seem as there will be an even stronger demand on extension and evaluation input. Read the paper or the short version here.

Rural Research and Development for Profit Program
Barnaby Joyce’s initiative to fast track development programs in agriculture has commenced with 12 projects being approved for a total of $26.7 million for round one. These projects are funded through R&D Corporations and involve extensive collaboration. Examples include: Stimulating private sector extension in Australian agriculture to increase returns from R&D (Dairy Australia); Consolidating targeted and practical extension services for Australian Farmers and Fishers (RIRDC); and Market and Consumer Insights to Drive Food Value Chain Innovation and Growth (Meat and Livestock Australia). Again this all bodes well for agriculture and the extension and evaluation sectors. More on the program can be found here.

APEN National Conference
The 2015 APEN national conference will be held this year in Adelaide from November 10-12. The conference with the theme of Managing change innovation and action in an ever shrinking world will focus on the knowledge and skills needed to embrace the challenges of the changing world before us. Jeff Coutts is one of the presenters with a paper entitled “The Growing Extension Patchwork – not dying but morphing.”

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