Horticulture Innovation Australia has funded these regional capacity building projects to facilitate innovation and adoption in the vegetable industry across Australia. Coutts J&R have the role of supporting the development of M&E plans and their implementation as well as undertaking a mid-term evaluation of the projects.
Jeff and his team at Coutts J&R has provided leadership in the development of intervention and evaluation approaches across Australia and beyond in rural and regional development, Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) and education. The projects listed in this section are examples of those undertaken in recent years – ranging from individual project evaluations to working with national funding bodies to developing monitoring and evaluation frameworks to guide investments and reporting.Read More
Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Support (18 projects)
This project is about developing a tool developed and tested which (subject to validation of algorithms) will be ready and useable by herd testing organisations, dairy farmers who herd test their cattle and their advisors. This will improve decision making for breeding and culling and so improve herd performance traits, productivity and profitability. It is seen as critical that herd testing organisations who have engaged with the program will have understood the benefits, tested the tool and commenced integrating the information and tool into their herd testing and reporting process. Dairy farmer leaders and advisors who have been directly involved in consultation, engagement and piloting will be aware of the purpose and benefits of the information and tool. As it is made available most will be committed to incorporating the tool into their business/decision making to inform breeding and culling decisions.
Coutts J&R has developed an M&E Plan and using its online YourData management system to capture M&E data during the life of the project to aid evaluation and reporting.
Reefocus is an extension and education program run by DAFF Queensland under ReefPlan in the reef catchments of Queensland. Extension approaches are being used across agricultural industries to facilitate changes in land management to improve water quality. The aim is to improve the great Barrier Reef water environment. In this project a Monitoring and evaluation plan was developed and data collection methods designed to maximise capturing of impact as it happens. A centralised web-based data collection system is helping a diverse project to keep M&E data consistent and in one place.
This project uses the Coutts J&R YourData M&E platform to capture higher level project reporting across projects falling within the Queensland Government’s DAF Beef & Sheep program. It allows for consistent metrics and reporting to monitor and report on projects against Strategic Objectives.
Coutts J&R provides the M& Support – including the use of its YourData M&E platform – for the DCAP program. The Drought and Climate Adaptation Program (DCAP) is an initiative to improve drought preparedness and resilience for Queensland producers. The program aims to do this by delivering a range of research, development and extension projects, improve seasonal forecasting and provide tools and systems that will support producers in their decision-making. DCAP consists of a number of projects that are managed and funded through a series of partnerships with government and industry partners. The largest partnership is the establishment of the Queensland Drought Mitigation Centre (QDMC) with the University of Southern Queensland and the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation.
Coutts J&R assisted DAFF Queensland in developing an evaluation framework and provides an on-going M&E platform (YourDATA) and M&E support to capture quarterly reporting across the 40 plus projects under this program area. Future Beef covers Queensland, the Northern Territory and the Kimberley/Pilbara regions of Western Australia and is described as bringing together the efforts of state government agriculture agencies and Meat & Livestock Australia to provide a coordinated approach to extension and information delivery. It is noted on the website that while partnerships with industry, natural resource management organisations and other stakeholders have been critical to providing relevant and targeted services to the beef industry, this program will see new strategically aligned and co-invested extension projects delivered by each program partner under the FutureBeef brand. Projects will reflect the National Beef Production RD&E Strategy and key priorities to achieve profitable and sustainable beef production. This type of program offers many benefits but adds a significant layer of complexity in accurately and comprehensively capturing the activities, engagement, outputs and outcomes of the different projects in a consistent way to enable effective collation and reporting against requirements at different levels and for the different investors/stakeholders. The wide geographical spread, different project objectives and the number of staff adds to the complexity.
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.
Our role is assisting in the Monitoring and Evaluation of this research programme designed to demonstrate how decision making around complex environmental problems may only be enhanced and accelerated through a transformational approach to inter-agency partnership, a systemic understanding of roles and functions and an innovative approach to the co-development of solutions with end-users. It is based around catchment management in New Zealand.
This project is one of the Rural Research and Development for Profit funded by the Federal Government. This project seeks to increase profitability and productivity in the agricultural sector through faster adoption of new technology, developments and good practices, and greater on farm innovation. It plans to achieve this through having enhanced private extension services available to different industries and regions and alternative business models for a viable and profitable private advisory sector. It will use a number of case studies in different industries to explore how best to strengthen this sector. Coutts J&R developed the M&E Plan and are providing M&E support for the project.
Coutts J&R were commissioned by AgResearch in New Zealand to assist with the monitoring and evaluation of the process and impact of applying a “co-innovation” approach in the New Zealand Agricultural Innovation System. This is a participative and interactive approach to fostering effective innovation across sectors and stakeholders. The project involved four projects each providing an “innovation network” in different industry sectors which interact with a targeted national “Community of Practice” operating across organisations from industry, research and government in three primary sectors. This required evaluation instruments capturing data at both process and impact levels and feeding emerging findings to project participants to guide on-going action.