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
It is Spring already – I am not sure where winter went, and the update with it! Although, when I think about it, we lost some of the winter by going to the Mediterranean to participate in the 23rd European Seminar on Extension and Education (ESEE) at Chania in Crete. We combined this with a visit to Croatia – and loved the crystal clear water and sense of history that permeates cross the Mediterranean.

The ESEE brought together people involved across Europe and beyond (even from Australia) to explore the changing face of extension, education and rural development and what we are learning about the best approaches. My contribution was a paper (with Neels Botha from NZ) looking at how to build evaluation into multi-stakeholder/collaborative program delivery. It was interesting to hear how ‘co-innovation’ and ‘innovation systems’ thinking was impacting on rural development policies across Europe.

The other conference was the International Australasian Pacific Extension Network (APEN) conference in Townsville. I was convener of an international extension conference in about 1992 at the Gold Coast which also triggered the establishment of APEN. Now seeing the interest, professionalism and commitment of those at the conference reflects the value and success of this network. I was part a workshop that explored the need for a special ‘Reef Extension Network’ for those working in regions impacting on the Great Barrier Reef. This is complex situation that calls for strong technical and extension skills and support from peers. There was a lot of interest and now steps are in place to put something in place.

Other initiatives have also been triggered from the review. This includes appointing a cross-reef region coordinator to maximise collaborative strategic effort, training in extension and increased interest in facilitating ‘peer-peer’ learning. We have long known in extension the value of providing structured opportunities for producers to come together, plan and learn from each other – rather than being seen as recipients of expert ‘teaching’. Now is an opportunity to build this more strongly in the mix.

I also had the opportunity to participate in two national forums in Wellington, New Zealand. These were the final national workshop of the NZ Primary Innovation program (Co-Innovation) where the results of the 5 year project were presented and discussed with a national audience and also a national forum on ‘adaptive governance’ as part of the Scion ‘Weaving the Korawai’ project in which we are involved. Both co-innovation and adaptive governance have a lot in common.

Next on the agenda is a visit back to Chile to test my Spanish in the delivery of another set of workshops around extension delivery. And of course to take the opportunity for fly-fishing in one of those perfect rivers that flow from the Andes to the coast!

Read more blog posts

News Updates

24th European Seminar on Extension (and) Education 2019
The next ESEE conference will be held in Sicily in 2019. Watch this space for more details as they are available. This really is an excellent forum to learn about – and contribute to – world trends.

13th European International Farming Systems Association (IFSA) Symposium 2018
The next European IFSA conference has the theme: Farming systems: facing uncertainties and enhancing opportunities. It will be held from 01 – 05 July, 2018 | Chania, Crete, Greece | Mediterranean Agronomic Institute Of Chania (Ciheam – Maich). For more information, go to http://www.ifsa2018.gr/

Sample Project

Looking at the specific niche which the program was filling in relation to other initiatives and programs – funded by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Qld.

The RWUEI is a major government funded program across all irrigated industries within Queensland – sugar, cotton, irrigated grains, dairy, lucerne, fruit and vegetables. The project had a strong on-farm component where irrigators were assisted in benchmarking their current water efficiency and to make changes to improve it. A Research and Development program and a Financial Incentive Scheme was also part of the program.

The Synergy Analysis sought to tease out the way in which the program added value or complemented other support, legislation or incentives to improve water use efficiency on-farm.

The Synergy Analysis was completed in 2002. A report is available from the RWUEI office.

View more projects