Building Regional Capacity for Assessment and Evaluation of Extension Programmes 23-24 April 2015, CTA Wageningen, The Netherlands
GFRAS recently organised a meeting on the development of learning materials
to build capacity for extension evaluation at the regional and national levels.
Rasheed Sulaiman V who participated in this meeting shares his experiences here. Read more
Comments Shown Below
Interesting notes on extension evaluation. This is a topic that resonates beyond extension. Evaluating stuff that enables innovation and trying to attribute social and economic value to it seems to be some thing that is vexing us all. Or are we just asking the wrong question? Should we just concentrate on facilitating learning........hard enough in its self as Rasheed points. But what are we doing this learning for? Creating social and economic value? Strengthening innovation capacity? But how do we tell if we are achieving that? More questions than answers! Its a topic that deserves more fire power and efforts.
1. Building Regional Capacity for assessment and evaluation of extension programmes has already been flagged adequately in our XIIth Plan Working Group report. The EEIs would need to be equipped for this purpose with MANAGE mentoring them. Some of the SAMETIs who have enough maturity could be brought in for the purpose. 2. Another regional link that we are not exploiting enough is the strength of Zonal Project Directors of ICAR. I have been stressing on developing some organic linkages of ZPDs with SAMETIs in the respective region. If that happens then Front- Field linkage strategies could be addressed at a bit higher level. I am sure then the ATMAs and KVK would be greatly benefited. Of course the selected Directorates of Extension of the SAUs would need to be taken on the board as deemed appropriate in a particular region. 3.I am endorsing this email to Sh.Suresh Kumar ji , Dr.Chandrasekhara and Dr.AKSingh of ICAR for their considered views and interventions on the subject.
Thanks to Dr. Rasheed Sulaiman for circulating Meeting Notes and I find the points mentioned very interesting and I am in agreement with most of these - particularly the need to develop learning culture. It is stated in the notes that Donors and State Govts. are rightly interested to assess Value for Money for their investments. I am interested to learn whether there was some discussion on Components or Aspects involved/considered in deciding Value. I ask since experience of last few decades shows that the Values are decided from the perspectives of the Donor and concerned Govt. officials and Farmers perspective of benefit is not given due cognizance - although extension service is for their benefit. And talking about benefits to the farmer I wonder whether there was discussion in the meeting about Going beyond improvement in production for Assessing Benefit. Prof. van den Ban in his book, in some articles and during our discussions had emphasized that Agri. Extension should aim at building capacity of farmers in decision making and that appealed to me most. I wonder whether this is considered while deciding Value For Money??" I would look forward for response from Dr. Sulaimanaters.
Thanks for sharing your experiences of the meeting, which is both informative and inspiring. I fully appreciate and agree with your views. In this context, I have a few concerns which I share with you. 1. Your view that evaluation is still in an infant stage is right and building capacity of extension personnel for assessment and evaluation is warranted. What about planning and implementation? Do you feel that our extension personnel are strong in these areas? 2. You have indicated that 70 % of the time was effectively spent for group work, discussion and shared learning, which means that only 30 % of time was spent for presentations. Can you imagine that such a meeting can be organised in India, especially by our ICAR/SAU and Departments of Agriculture? 3.I also share the concern of Prof. van den ban on the absence of a publication on skills for extension personnel for advising farmers, which is very much needed. Hope you will seriously consider this. I may suggest that you may closely work with the PG students of Department of Agricultural Extension/ EEI, Hyderabad and mentor them to devlop cases on facilitation, decision making, evaluation, counselling, etc. Hope you will think of forming an effective forum of extension students in Hyderabad which will be really useful, not only for the students but also for the extension profession.
Thanks for sharing your experiences! Your learning experience is really inspiring. The five key areas you have learnt about evaluating extension is thought provoking to the think tanks which includes academicians/extension researchers. Cordial efforts and initiatives taken by GFRAS, FAO, IFPRI in strengthening evaluation in extension is commendable. Your meeting with the legendary extentionist Dr.Van den Ban reflects your passion and irresistible urge in exploring the new vistas in extension around the world. I do remember meeting him during his last visit to kerala. His relentless work and exposure, I am sure, continues to influence young and old together around the world. Thanks Dr. Rasheed for sharing such a wonderful and rich experience!!
This note is interesting in terms of sharing experiences in attending a meeting and meeting a doyen in agricultural extension. Well organized meetings will do a great job in providing opportunities for fast and focused learning.