Jeff Coutts chaired a review panel comprised of John Greer (Dairy NZ), Jane Weatherly (MLA) and assisted by Neil Webster (DA) to review this large program which sought to develop the capacity of dairy farmers and their consultants to find, develop and manage staff within their industry. This involved web and phone surveys, a literature review (undertaken by Roberts Evaluation), interviews and workshops. The report findings will hopefully further assist this important program into the future.
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
This project brought together the key principles and processes of evaluation to inform AgResearch’s approach to strengthen and make explicit its role in the whole Research, Development and Adoption process. This includes how it works with other organisations to bring about the desired industry and national impacts.
A very interesting project has been to review project reports and evaluations undertaken on five producer network projects funded by Australian Wool Innovation over a 10 year period. The objective was to see whether change was building on past activities and how producer networks were adding value to other programs being undertaken – and how to add to their effectiveness and evaluation. This was a very useful and valuable exercise.
This review sought feedback from staff and stakeholders on the further regionalisation of activities and management within a training organisation for Registrars working towards their GP registration. It used workshop feedback, web and telephone interviews.
Coutts J&R recently completed a comprehensive survey of a major extension program (http://www.evergraze.com.au/) EverGraze aimed at encouraging cattle and sheep producers in southern Australia to increase their resilience and profits by growing more perennial pastures (amongst other innovations). The survey involved surveying over 600 producers and consultants from across different regions and with different levels of exposure to the program to look at the impact of the program and factors that affected it.
Following an earlier foray to Port Lincoln to develop evaluation plans for a regional Climate Change Program, Jeff Coutts is worked with other program leaders to develop Log Frames, Operational Plans and evaluation for a number of other of the NRM programs.
Coutts J&R completed its second round of evaluating the Stakeholder Engagement activities of the MDBA. This was, of course, and interesting phase of consultation – after the controversial guidelines were released! Stakeholders were happy to provide their feedback and we – and MDBA benefited from their insights and experiences!
This project evaluated the impact of providing incentives on attitudes and practice changes on farms. The aim was to see how incentives facilitated changes that would result in improved water quality in the waterways and how it triggered broader changes in farm management. The study highlighted the role of incentives in bringing forward changes and/or stimulating actions that may not have occurred otherwise. The need for education/extension programs to build understanding and capacity along with funds to implement some specific on-ground work emerged from the work.
Coutts J&R completed evaluations of Sheep Connect in NSW and Tasmania. Sheep Connect Tasmania has been based on running workshops and activities across the state on topics of interest supported by newsletters and a website. Sheep Connect NSW has dealt with the distance and resource issues by moving more into a knowledge brokering role where they connect producers with information and activities from a range of providers – and doing some training themselves. A key element was the need in both cases for the program to work closely with the private sector to maximise use of resources and benefits for producers and the industry.
Coutts J&R with colleague John McKenzie recently completed an evaluation of the Drought Support Worker program within Industry & Investment in NSW.
The program involved having staff help coordinate support and provide specific assistance to those rural families affected by drought. The evaluation highlighted at the positions provided a broader role than just dealing with drought – also coming to the fore at times of fires, floods and other disasters. Their role were seen as very valuable and providing a critical niche not filled by others. It was pleasing to see the that program has been continued for at least another 12 months.