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’s well into Autumn and here in Toowoomba we were heartened by some Autumn rain.  I am not sure how effective this has been for producers on the Downs, but it has greened up our lawns – certainly good for the psyche.We had the opportunity to visit Spain, Morocco and Portugal over the last month. It’s always good to experience other places and be challenged to reflect on our own circumstances. We have our ancient culture in Australia although we lack the older architecture and modern history evident in many other countries.

As someone who likes to sketch, I found something new around every corner – and each house and street is shrouded in history.  I was also privileged to observe 35,000 year old rock drawings/carvings in Portugal which was profound and reflected the feelings we have when seeing similar ancient rock art in Australia from our oldest inhabitants.

The Great Barrier Reef is one of our very ancient natural gems and continues to be in the spotlight. Our company was fortunate in having the opportunity to recently complete a review of the Reef Alliance program. This was a remarkable coming together of NRM Bodies and rural industry to work collaboratively and assist producers in reef regions to continue to reduce any negative impacts on water quality.

Meanwhile new graduates are being placed in the regions across a range of organisations to increase extension and education capacity in these regions – and a coordinated training effort is gathering momentum.  There is also an upcoming Extension ‘Think Tank’ in Townsville to explore what we have learned and to spark new ideas in our extension approaches. This is a long term effort and we need to maintain the strategic support to ensure that agriculture and grazing continue to move towards a fully reef-friendly future.

The APEN Extension Conference is coming up in Darwin in September!  This is always a highlight in my calendar.  It’s where those who are passionate about making a difference through extension gather to share and learn from each other.  It’s also a great networking and social bonding opportunity. Extension has developed a lot over the decades and has certainly gone beyond the notion of ‘experts telling farmers how to farm’.  There is a recognition that we are all part of a learning and innovation system each with different skills and experiences to add to improve the whole system.

Easter is now behind us and the year is racing towards Christmas – but there is a lot to address in the meantime.  We will need to assess the landscape after the elections and policy implications and continue efforts towards dealing with economic, social and environmental challenges. One of the reasons we are passionate about evaluation is because we can learn from what has been done before and continue to improve.

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Current Projects

Qld Farmers’ Federation (QFF) contracted Coutts J&R to undertake an independent evaluation of the Reef Alliance Project (RAP). The project is an initiative of the Reef Alliance to advance farming beyond industry best management practice (BMP) and fast-track the implementation of innovative practices – primarily through an extension-based approach, combined with access to specialised technical training, and in some cases, financial support for infrastructure, farm improvements or machinery where this is indispensable.

DAF has successfully secured external funding from Australian Wool Innovation Limited (AWI) to conduct follow-on extension activities under phase 4 of the Leading Sheep program – project ‘Leading Sheep 2018-21’. Coutts J&R have been contracted to: review and update evaluation templates with input from Leading Sheep team; develop the Leading Sheep evaluation plan 2018-2021 with input from Leading Sheep team; and provide advice on how to best meet contracted project targets.

View more projects

News Updates

New website to support improved Reef water quality
Check out the new Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan website (www.reefplan.qld.gov.au) featuring videos, podcasts and content to explain the science and encourage land management changes that will improve the quality of water flowing to the Great Barrier Reef.

Agricultural Innovation—A national approach to grow Australia’s future
Following a collaborative stakeholder engagement process, Ernst and Young have developed the shared vision for agricultural innovation.
The vision report is titled Agricultural Innovation—a national approach to grow Australia’s future and was launched 5 March 2019. You can View the report here.

Upcoming Conferences/Seminars

  • 24th European Seminar on Extension (and) Education 2019Agricultural Education and Extension tuned on innovation for sustainability” (http://esee2017.maich.gr/), to be held in Acireale, Sicily, from Tuesday 18 till Friday 21 June 2019. This really is an excellent forum to learn about – and contribute to – world trends. Flyer ESEE2019
  • 2019 APEN Conference ‘Extending Horizons: Extension’s role in climate, rural industry, and community challenges.’ – September 12-13 2019 Darwin, NT. Conference Flyer
  • aes19 International Evaluation Conference ‘Evaluation un-boxed’ – September 16-18 2019, Sydney. Visit the conference website

New paper published in The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension
A paper title Evaluation of rural advisory and extension services has been co-authored by Dr Jeff Coutts. You can view the paper on the journal’s website.