National Extension/Education Review

  • Published: by Jeff Coutts | Permalink

A two year review of “what works and why” in rural education and extension projects – funded by the Joint Venture in Human Capacity Building in Rural Industries – and partnering Roberts Evaluation.

This project looked at a range of extension and education projects across the rural and regional sectors – across rural industries and states. It used a common evaluation framework to be able to compare and contrast projects and to draw conclusions about what elements and processes work best in different situations for different outcomes.

Each project was allocated to a “model” which described its mode of operation and type of outcome it is after. The models were:

1. The group facilitation/empowerment model: This model focuses on increasing the capacity of participants in planning and decision-making and in seeking their own education/training needs based on their situation.

2. The programmed learning model: This model delivers specified training (in terms of content) based in an industry needs analysis or demand. It can be delivered in an adult learning approach.

3. The technological development model: This model is about working with individuals and groups to develop specific technologies, management practices or decision support systems which will then be available to the rest of the industry.

4. The personalised consultant model: This model is based on extension people working one-on-one on farm. It covers both general and specialists consultants and advisors as well as extension programs where individual farm visits are central components.

5. The information access model: This model focuses on the growing role of the internet, information CDs and distance learning. It covers approaches to establish data bases, web sites and call centres to deal with individual information seeking needs from a distance.

A database was constructed to allow interested persons to explore the different projects and models and learn from the collective experience.

The project ended in January 2004.