The Australian Soil Network (ASN) is responsible for implementing the National Soil Research, Development and Extension Strategy – which includes developing and implementing a process for national coordination and prioritisation of investment in soil RD&E. Coutts J&R undertook a review that provided an assessment of the success of the implementation of The Strategy and made recommendations for its future. Evaluation activities for the report included interviews with Members of the ASN, interviews with nominated Stakeholders, and reviewing provided documents.
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
Displaying All 106 Projects
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.
Coutts J&R assisted 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 was based around catchment management in New Zealand.
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.
This project was one of the Rural Research and Development for Profit funded by the Federal Government. It sought 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 planned 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. A number of case studies in different industries were used to explore how best to strengthen this sector. Coutts J&R developed the M&E Plan and are provided M&E support for the project.
Horticulture Innovation Australia has funded these regional capacity building projects to facilitate innovation and adoption in the vegetable industry across Australia. Coutts J&R supported the development of M&E plans and their implementation as well as undertaking a mid-term evaluation of the projects.
This project was about developing a tool useable by herd testing organisations, dairy farmers who herd test their cattle and their advisors. The project aimed to improve decision making for breeding and culling and so improve herd performance traits, productivity and profitability. It was critical that herd testing organisations who engaged with the program 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 were directly involved in consultation, engagement and piloting gained awareness 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 developed an M&E Plan and used its online YourDATA management system to capture M&E data during the life of the project to aid evaluation and reporting.
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.
This project looked at the current stakeholder engagement activities within the Avocado Industry and proposed an aspirational industry stakeholder engagement planning framework based on feedback from different target groups. The framework was developed around the five extension models and outlined methods of engagement for different target groups and proposed details as to how they could work at an industry level. It also provided an indication of topics and themes stakeholder are interested in
The Carbon Farming in the Australian Cotton Industry project was primarily focused on integrating the latest information on carbon, climate change and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions management into the cotton industry’s extension efforts. It approached this primarily through a collaborative strategy of up-skilling project staff who in-turn engaged in developing the capacity of industry advisers. Coutts J&R undertook a review of the project to report on the its achievements and impacts. The review process included a desktop analysis of secondary data, a telephone survey of growers and advisers, and informed person interviews. The review found that the project had been effective in achieving its primary objectives and demonstrated the value of an integrated and collaborative approach and the importance of upskilling professionals servicing the industry.