The main purpose of this review was to guide future investment in education and extension for practice change in reef catchments. While reviewing existing education and extension systems this project will develop recommendations on how best to provide access to services for farmers to enable accelerated practice change and strengthen long-term capacity. This may result in a change in the way that information is provided to farmers, or it may strengthen current approaches that are working well. Furthermore, the project will respond to the diverse agricultural industries, local communities and geography present within the Great Barrier Reef catchments. The industries considered will include cattle grazing (including beef and dairy production), cropping (including cane and grain farming), and horticulture (including banana growing).
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
Coutts J&R providied an independent review of programs funded by the Queensland Government (QNRM) as part of adaptive management improvement in project planning, delivery and evaluation” QNRM funding goes across 3 programs: Sustainable Agriculture; Pest & Weeds; and Water Quality (specific Area).
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.
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.
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 PEC team focuses on information, development and capacity building support for the sugar industry. It is spread over the sugar regions of Queensland and NSW and working with industry organisations to facilitate on-going improvement in sugar production, harvesting and milling. Coutts J&R is providing M&E support in terms of tools and approaches as well as the YourData platform to manage M&E information from across the regions and different activities and impacts.
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.
Dairy Australia provides support for a number of dairy discussion groups across the dairy regions of Australia. These groups seek to provide opportunities for dairy farmers to explore opportunities and address common problems. Being spread over all regions and assisted by a number of regional staff, having a centralised web platform to capture monitoring and evaluation data assist in supporting these groups and capturing their impacts and needs.
This project being undertaken by Dairy Australia is called “Profitable dairying in a carbon constrained future”. The project is based around focus farms, Innovation hubs and other activities to work closely with the industry to maximise NRM outcomes. Our centralised M&E internet platform helped assist project staff to capture enter activities for national collation and reporting.
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.