Coutts J&R undertook a mid-term review of the Apple and Pears Communication Program to look at effectiveness and changes that may make the program (even) more effective. Amy Samson took a lead role in this based on her extensive background in communication programs and their evaluations.
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
Program and Project Evaluations (42 projects)
Coutts J&R undertook the qualitative component of the mid-term evaluation for the More Profit from Nitrogen (MPfN) program – a four-year partnership between Australia’s four major intensive users of nitrogenous fertilisers: cotton, dairy, sugar and horticulture. The mid-term evaluation focused on how well it was meeting the program objectives and for efficiency and effectiveness of activity implementation. This included interviewing key stakeholders with good awareness of the relevant projects and its activities who provided broader insights into their relevance and effectiveness.
Wine Australia’s website notes that it invests in research to support both the industry’s priorities of increasing demand and the premium paid for all Australian wine, as well as increasing competitiveness. Coutts J&R undertook a phone survey to measure and report on the adoption of selected winemaking and viticultural practices and look at future RD&E needs.
The NCCARF Phase 2 buillt on the research undertaken in Phase 1 to provide tools, information products and capacity building to assist local coastal councils in planning and decision-making to manage climate change influences. The principle purpose of the consultancy was given as developing a monitoring and evaluation reporting framework for the term of the Phase 2 Funding Agreement, monitoring progress against the key performance indicators specified in the monitoring and evaluation program plan and reporting on those results through quarterly reports using the [provided] traffic light report template and annual reports. It also included a mid-term and final evaluation of the program.
The Sheep’s Back is an AWI Network Project managed by Icon Agriculture. It is nearing to the end of its current phase – and, following the mid-term review that we undertook, Coutts J&R is undertaking an impact survey for the project.
A survey was undertaken of 130 sheep producers across Queensland to gain feedback and impact data on the value of the network to them. Leading Sheep is an important partnership between the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and Australian Wool Innovation and is supported by AgForce. The program is described on the website as being designed to help Queensland’s sheep and wool producers increase their long-term productivity and profitability by maintaining a high level of engagement with producers in three regions across the state. The survey resulted in very positive feedback and examples of impact and provided the quantitative data needed for reporting back to the funders.
Horticulture Innovation Australia (formerly Horticulture Australia Limited) receives levies from pineapple growers and then invests it in development projects. This project is based around an Industry Development Officer who is essentially and Information broker and event facilitator for the 80 growers in the industry. The review explored the value and impact of this approach to facilitating industry development.
The Sheep’s Back is an AWI Network Project managed by Icon Agriculture. This review focuses on the processes of the Evaluation Plan, progress to date and gaps identified of The Sheep’s Back (TSB) on the current third phase which began July 2014. It also looks at the data collected to date to see the progress and indicative impact of The Sheep’s Back Network’s activities on participants.
The Merredin Managed Environmental Facility (MEF) is part of a number of MEFs funded by GRDC in partnership with other organisations. The Merredin Facility is located on a research station owned and operated by the Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia. The facility seeks to explore genetic traits that can assist in breeding more drought resistant grain varieties. This evaluation comes at the end of the first establishment phase of the facility and focuses on the operational side of the facility to learn from the experience and prepare for the next phase.
The purpose of this desktop review was to evaluate the processes and impacts of SheepConnect Tasmania (SCT) over 2013 and as a result review its current evaluation plan, discuss any gaps and suggest improvements where needed. A joint venture between Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, (TIA) SheepConnect Tasmania is a communication and extension program aimed at increasing productivity confidence and resilience of Tasmanian wool-growing businesses, and enhancing the industry’s reputation of being profitable and sustainable. The program is part of a seven state based producer extension network supported by AWI. It is AWI’s key investment in extension for the Tasmanian sheep and wool industries.