Reviews and Assessments (32)

Global Review of Good Agricultural Extension and Advisory Service Practices

Burton E. Swanson , 2008

The perceived lack of success of public agricultural extension systems in many countries has resulted in new approaches being tried in reorganizing extension services. In some countries, such as India and China, public extension systems have been decentralized to the district/county level and these public extension systems are now pursuing a more market-driven approach. In other countries, different models have been tried, involving both private-sector firms and civil society organizations (CSOs), in an attempt to find more effective approaches of providing basic extension services. Also, in some countries, there have been attempts to shift more of the cost of extension services to the farmers themselves, with limited success. This paper provides a framework for analyzing the success or failure of different approaches within the agricultural development process in providing particular extension services to different categories of farmers.

Whose Job Is It? Integrating Agriculture and Nutrition in Public Sector Agricultural Extension Services

Vickie A. Sigman , 2015

Nutrition-sensitive agriculture (Box 1) has the attention and is increasingly promoted by national governments and the global development community. This is exemplified in Feed the Future (FTF), the U.S. Government’s initiative to sustainably reduce global hunger and poverty. It is embodied in FTF’s twin objectives: inclusive agricultural sector growth and improved nutritional status especially of women and children. Nutrition-sensitive agriculture is a means towards achieving these objectives (Ruel, Alderman, & the Maternal Child and Nutrition Study Group, 2013).

Improving the Nutritional Impact of Extension Services in Rural Africa

Gustaaf P. Sevenhuysen , 1985

Experience in nutrition interventions points to several design characteristics of field programmes which could improve their effectiveness. Regular government extension services have the potential to reach large numbers of people, yet staff will require additional training to respond to the changing demands of field work. A new approach to training such staff has been developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization. The approach provides staff with information and managerial skills that are common to all extension work. The practical examples used to introduce these techniques illustrate nutritional problems that fieldworkers face and give a measure of confidence in finding solutions. Training materials based on this approach are presently used by several governments.

Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture What Have We Learned and Where Do We Go from Here?

Marie T. Ruel, Agnes R. Quisumbing, Mysbah Balagamwala , 2017

Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture What Have We Learned and Where Do We Go from Here?, Marie T. Ruel, Agnes R. Quisumbing, Mysbah Balagamwala, 2017

A growing number of governments, donor agencies, and development organizations are committed to supporting nutrition-sensitive agriculture (NSA) to achieve their development goals. Although consensus exists on pathways through which agriculture may influence nutrition-related outcomes, empirical evidence on agriculture’s contribution to nutrition and how it can be enhanced is still weak. This paper reviews recent empirical evidence (since 2014), including findings from impact evaluations of a variety of NSA programs using experimental designs as well as observational studies that document linkages between agriculture, women’s empowerment, and nutrition. It summarizes existing knowledge regarding not only impacts but also pathways, mechanisms, and contextual factors that affect where and how agriculture may improve nutrition outcomes. The paper concludes with reflections on implications for agricultural programs, policies, and investments, and highlights future research priorities.

Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services: Frontline Contributors to the Nutrition Decade

Edye Kuyper, Laina Schneider , 2016

There is growing interest in better leveraging agricultural extension and advisory services (AEAS) for nutrition-sensitive agriculture (Fanzo et al. 2015; GFRAS 2016a). Pluralistic AEAS (defined in Box 1) includes public, non-governmental organization (NGO), and private sector entities that regularly interact with millions of farmers. For readers who are more familiar with health programming, AEAS play a role similar to community health workers (CHWs). It should be noted, however, that AEAS typically engage farming households with the potential to produce a marketable surplus (USAID 2016), whereas CHWs focus on populations most vulnerable to poor health. Enlisting AEAS as vital partners in the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition is essential to realizing the Sustainable Development Goals and 2025 World Health Assembly targets. They are the foot soldiers positioned to play a key role in realizing healthier food systems. Their specific contributions, however, must build on their core competencies and will only be realized when there is alignment between programmatic, market and policy incentives.

Conceptualizing the Contribution of Agricultural Extension Services to Nutrition

Edye Kuyper, Laina Schneider , 2016

There is growing global interest in better leveraging Agricultural Extension Services (AES) as a foundation for food and nutrition security. Pluralistic AES (defined in Box 1) consist of rural, agriculturally focused extension and advisory services implemented by public, NGO, and private-sector entities. They reach millions of farmers and represent largely untapped potential for influencing production and consumption decisions which could, in turn, affect the health and nutrition status of populations, particularly in rural areas. Their specific contributions, however, are only beginning to be articulated and evaluated.

This discussion paper addresses the specific contribution that AES can make to food and nutrition security in a way that is consistent with AES’s primary functions. It is particularly focused on the scope of the INGENAES project and the context of the Feed the Future countries within which the project operates.

Sierra Leone: Landscape Analysis

Festus O. Amadu, Colby Silvert, Cortney Eisenmann, Katy Mosiman, and Ruiting Liang , 2017

Sierra Leone: Landscape Analysis, Festus O. Amadu, Colby Silvert, Cortney Eisenmann, Katy Mosiman, and Ruiting Liang, 2017

This analysis was prepared under the framework of the Integrating Gender and Nutrition within Agricultural Extension Services (INGENAES) project is funded through the Bureau for Food Security (BFS) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support the United States Government Global Feed the Future (FTF) Initiative1. FTF strives to increase agricultural productivity and the incomes of both men and women in rural areas who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods.

Uganda: Landscape Analysis

Michael Wallace , 2016

Uganda: Landscape Analysis, Michael Wallace, 2016

This landscape study provides an overview of Uganda’s agriculture, a review of the country’s extension system, and information on the prevalence of poverty, nutrition, and gender-related issues in Uganda with a special focus on rural areas. In addition, it summarizes the country’s current agricultural and nutrition policy and reviews several on-going projects related to agricultural extension, gender and nutrition by USAID and other technical and financial partners in the country.

Tanzania: Landscape Analysis

Lacey Harris-Coble , 2016

Tanzania: Landscape Analysis, Lacey Harris-Coble, 2016

This landscape study provides an overview of Tanzania’s agriculture and the status of country’s extension system. It also provides information on the prevalence of poverty, nutrition and gender related issues in the country with special focus on rural areas. It summarizes Tanzania’s current agricultural and nutrition policy, and provides a summary of several on-going projects by the United States Government (USG) and other donors in the country related to agriculture extension, and gender and nutrition impacts.

Senegal: Landscape Analysis

Elizabeth Poulsen , 2015

Senegal: Landscape Analysis, Elizabeth Poulsen, 2015

This landscape study provides an overview of agriculture in Senegal as well as the country’s extension system. It also provides information on the prevalence of poverty, nutrition, and gender-related issues in the country with special focus on rural areas. In addition, it summarizes Senegal’s current agriculture and nutrition policy, and it reviews several on-going projects by the U.S. government and other donors in the country related to agriculture extension, gender, and nutrition.

Rwanda: Landscape Analysis

Kristen J. Augustine , 2016

Rwanda: Landscape Analysis, Kristen J. Augustine, 2016

This landscape study provides an overview of issues that may influence how INGENAES’ project objectives are implemented in Rwanda. All of rural Rwanda and 27 out of 30 districts in the country, are included in Feed the Future’s Zone of Influence, excluding only three districts in Kigali City (Feed the Future, 2011). This report starts by providing general information on the historical and development contexts, geography, and demographics of the country. It next delves into the gender dynamics impacting Rwandans and the current health and nutrition status for the nation. A summary of issues that are currently impacting Rwandan’s land rights, including recent laws that impact greatly on agricultural capacity, leads into an overview of the agricultural sector and how women in particular are faring. This is followed by information pertaining to recent reforms to how extension information and services are delivered as well as a number of gaps that still remain. The narrative concludes with a description of Feed the Future’s Multi-Year Strategy and a summary of USAID’s Country Development Cooperation Strategy.

Mozambique: Landscape Analysis

Hans Goertz , 2016

This report is designed as a reference document to assist the kick-off teams in launching exploratory activities in the target country in response to the USAID Feed the Future mission’s invitation. This report provides an overview of the current status of Mozambique’s agriculture as well as the country’s status in relation to the prevalence of poverty, nutrition and gender related issues. The report examines and summarizes Mozambique’s agricultural and nutrition policy, and USAID’s strategic goals and objectives for the country. Since democratic elections in 1992, Mozambique has been a focal point for governance and development initiatives. This report provides a summary of on-going agricultural projects by the U.S. Government and other donors in the country.

Mali: Landscape Analysis

Sarah Anne Ward , 2016

Mali: Landscape Analysis, Sarah Anne Ward, 2016

This landscape study provides an overview of Mali’s agriculture and the status of the country’s extension system. It also provides information on the prevalence of poverty, nutrition, and gender-related issues in the country with special focus on rural areas. The report summarizes Mali’s current agricultural and nutrition policy and details the strategic goals and objectives of USAID and other donors in the country. The report provides a summary of the on-going projects by the USG and other donors in the country related to agriculture extension, and gender and nutrition impacts.

Malawi: Landscape Analysis

Elizabeth Poulsen , 2016

Malawi: Landscape Analysis, Elizabeth Poulsen, 2016

This landscape analysis is an overview of key gender, nutrition and agricultural extension issues in Malawi. It contributes to the knowledge base of Feed the Future countries for both the INGENAES team and country extension and development practitioners. It begins with an overview of Malawian geography, culture, and poverty status. It then provides a description of the Malawian agricultural sector, the national agriculture strategy, and women’s involvement in agriculture; food security and nutrition issues in the country; and the national nutrition strategy. In addition, the analysis provides details on the Feed the Future approach in Malawi and how USAID’s country strategy supports Feed the Future activities. The final section of the report includes descriptions of various projects that are relevant to the INGENAES program.

Liberia: Landscape Analysis

Austin Alcorn Peterson , 2016

Liberia: Landscape Analysis, Austin Alcorn Peterson, 2016

This landscape study provides an overview of Liberia’s agriculture and the status of the country’s extension system. It also provides information on the prevalence of poverty, nutrition and gender related issues in the country with special focus on rural areas. It summarizes Liberia’s current agricultural and nutrition policy. This report provides a summary of several on-going projects by the USG and other donors in the country related to agriculture extension, and gender and nutrition impacts.

Kenya: Landscape Analysis

Elizabeth PoulsenVersion , 2016

Kenya: Landscape Analysis, Elizabeth Poulsen, 2016

This analysis begins with an overview of Kenyan geography, culture, and poverty status. It then provides a description of the Kenyan agricultural sector, the national agriculture strategy, and women’s involvement in agriculture; food security and nutrition issues in the country; and the national nutrition strategy. In addition, the landscape analysis provides details on the Feed the Future approach in Kenya and how USAID’s country strategy supports Feed the Future and potentially INGENAES. The final section of the report includes descriptions of various projects that are relevant to INGENAES.

Honduras: Landscape Analysis

Rebecca J. Williams , 2016

Honduras: Landscape Analysis, Rebecca J. Williams, 2016

This landscape study provides an overview of Honduras’s agriculture and the status of the country’s extension system. It also contains information on the prevalence of poverty, nutrition, and gender-related issues in the country with special focus on rural areas. The report summarizes Honduras’s current agricultural and nutrition policy and details the strategic goals and objectives of USAID and other donors in the country. The report provides a summary of the on-going projects by the United States Government (USG) and other donors in the country related to agriculture extension, and gender and nutrition impacts.

Haiti: Landscape Analysis

Hans Goertz , 2016

Haiti: Landscape Analysis, Hans Goertz, 2016

This landscape analysis provides an overview of the current status of Haiti’s agriculture as well as the country’s status in relation to the prevalence of poverty, nutrition and gender related issues. It contributes to the knowledge base of Feed the Future countries for both the INGENAES team and country extension and development practitioners. The report examines and summarizes Haiti’s agricultural and nutrition policy, and USAID’s strategic goals and objectives for the country. Since the 2010 earthquake, Haiti has been a focal point for development and reconstruction initiatives. This report provides a summary of on-going agricultural projects by the U.S. Government and other donors in the country.

Guatemala: Landscape Analysis

Kristen J. AugustineVersion: , 2016

Guatemala: Landscape Analysis, Kristen J. Augustine, 2016

This landscape study provides an overview of issues related to INGENAES’ project objectives in Guatemala. The report gives a summary of country-wide issues but focuses particular attention on the Western Highlands where indigenous populations are the majority, and where Feed the Future is concentrating efforts under the umbrella of the USAID-led Western Highlands Integrated Program (WHIP). This report pays specific attention to the indigenous population of the Western Highlands and to the women of those communities. A 2013 baseline survey was conducted in the WHIP Zone of Influence (ZOI) to help determine the impact of WHIP projects. The data collected is particularly relevant to those intending to work in the Western Highlands and, as such, is frequently referenced in this report.

Ghana: Landscape Analysis

Antionette McFarlane , 2016

Ghana: Landscape Analysis, Antionette McFarlane, 2016

This landscape study provides an overview of Ghana’s agriculture and the status of country’s extension system. It also provides information on the prevalence of poverty, nutrition and gender related issues in the country with special focus on rural areas. It summarizes Ghana’s current agricultural and nutrition policy. This report provides a summary of several on-going projects by the USG and other donors in the country related to agriculture extension, and gender and nutrition impacts.

Ethiopia: Landscape Analysis

Elizabeth Poulsen, July Dayane Nelson , 2016

Ethiopia: Landscape Analysis, Elizabeth Poulsen, July Dayane Nelson, 2016

The Integrating Gender and Nutrition within Agricultural Extension Services (INGENAES) project is funded through the Bureau for Food Security of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support the Presidential Feed the Future Initiative, which strives to increase agricultural productivity and the incomes of both men and women in rural areas who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. This report is a reference document that aims to provide an overview of the current status of Ethiopia’s agriculture as well as the country’s status in relation to the prevalence of poverty, nutrition and gender related issues. The report summarizes Ethiopia’s agricultural, gender, and nutrition policy, and USAID’s strategic goals and objectives for the country in these areas.

Burundi: Landscape Analysis

Nargiza S. Ludgate, Joyous S. Tata , 2015

Burundi: Landscape Analysis, Nargiza S. Ludgate, Joyous S. Tata, 2015

This landscape study provides an overview of Burundi’s agriculture and the status of the country’s extension system. It also provides information on the prevalence of poverty, nutrition and gender related issues in the country with special focus on rural areas. The report summarizes Burundi’s current agricultural and nutrition policy and details the strategic goals and objectives of USAID and other donors in the country. Finally, since the end of the 1993-2005 war, Burundi hosted a number of United States Government (USG) funded projects aimed at rebuilding the war-devastated nation and economy. The report provides a summary of the on-going projects by the USG and other donors in the country related to agriculture extension, and gender and nutrition impacts.

Nepal: Landscape Analysis

Bhawna Thapa , 2015

Nepal: Landscape Analysis, Bhawna Thapa, 2015

This landscape study provides an overview of Nepal’s agriculture and the status of the country’s extension system. It also provides information on the prevalence of poverty, nutrition and gender related issues in the country with special focus on rural areas. It summarizes Nepal’s current agricultural and nutrition policy and details the strategic goals and objectives of USAID and other donors in the country. This report provides a summary of on-going projects by the USG and other donors in the country related to agriculture extension, and gender and nutrition impacts.

Cambodia: Landscape Analysis

Katie McNamara , 2016

Cambodia: Landscape Analysis, Katie McNamara, 2016

This landscape study provides an overview of agriculture in Cambodia as well as the country’s extension system. It also provides information on the prevalence of poverty, nutrition, and gender-related issues in the country with special focus on rural areas. In addition, it summarizes Cambodia’s current agriculture and nutrition policy, and it also reviews several on-going projects by the U.S. government and other donors in the country related to agriculture extension, gender, and nutrition.

Using Agriculture Extension Agents to Promote Nutrition: A Process Review of Three Feed the Future Activities in Ethiopia

Aakesson, A., V. Pinga, S. Titus , 2014

In March and April 2014 , the Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) project conducted a rapid, participatory process review to document experience and learning from activities that are utilizing a common strategy to promote nutrition through Feed the Future agriculture investments in Ethiopia. This strategy involves training agriculture development agents (DAs) to deliver nutrition social and behavior change (SBC) messages and interventions to support the integration of nutrition and agriculture. This review examined the experience of three Feed the Future activities: Empowering New Generations to Improve Nutrition and Economic Opportunities (ENGINE), Agricultural Growth Program – Agribusiness and Market Development Project (AGP-AMDe), and Pastoralist Resiliency Improvement and Market Expansion (PRIME). Capturing the process in Ethiopia contributes to the Feed the Future learning agenda and may also help refine agriculture-nutrition approaches in current and future activities around the world.

Integration of Nutrition Into Extension and Advisory Services: A Synthesis of Experiences, Lessons, and Recommendations

FAO , 2017

The need for nutrition-sensitive agriculture is well recognized and of growing interest to global development players. Extension and advisory services (EAS), with their established infrastructure, provide a unique opportunity for nutrition interventions to be implemented at scale with significant reach.  To assess current integration of nutrition in EAS, document training provided to EAS agents, and identify challenges and opportunities for the integration of nutrition.  Methods: A mixed methodology was used, which included a systematic literature review covering the following databases: PubMed, ISI Web of Science, Agris, Google Scholar, Econlit, and IBSS. In addition, online surveys and semistructured key informant interviews with stakeholders were performed. Data were collected between December 2012 and June 2013.

Integration of Nutrition in Agriculture Extension Services in Africa

Jessica Fanzo et al , 2015

Linking agricultural extension and advisory service (EAS) with participatory learning and action on nutrition and health has the potential to improve the sustainability and impact of food and agricultural programmes on nutrition and household food security. Due to their established structure/network and their greater reach to the community of whom they often already have the trust, agricultural extension and advisory workers (EAW) are probably the best resource to help achieve nutrition security through nutrition education to farmers. In  order to do so, the extension workers must receive nutrition and nutrition education training. This desk review aims at mapping how nutrition is currently being mainstreamed into agricultural EAS preOservice and inOservice training and to give recommendation on the way forward.

Extension Options for Better Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction: A Selected Review 2012–2015

Kristin Davis, Steven Franzel, David J. Spielman , 2016

The context in which extension operates has changed dramatically in recent decades. As a result, there is a renewed interest in extension and an interest in changing traditional approaches to extension. With that renewed interest comes demand for information and analysis. 

The overall goal of this report is to provide up-to-date information on key topics related to extension knowledge and perspectives and to enable decision makers to identify areas where (1) further evidence on extension through commissioned research is needed, and (2) extension investment practices should be reconsidered. 

Assessment of Agricultural Extension, Nutrition Education, and Integrated Agriculture-nutrition Extension Services in the Feed the Future Districts in Malawi 

Vickie Sigman, Valerie Rhoe, John Peters, Theresa Banda, Grace Malindi , 2014

In April 2014, at the invitation of USAID/Malawi, a MEAS team conducted an assessment of agricultural extension, nutrition education, and integrated agriculture-nutrition programs and systems in Malawi. An overarching purpose of the assessment is to investigate these programs and systems across public, private, and civil society sector providers with the aim of informing the design of an activity that will strengthen delivery of extension and nutrition outreach services in the seven Feed the Future focus districts in a coordinated and integrated manner. 

The assessment methodology includes literature review, interviews and field visits, and an assessment review workshop. The team reviewed agriculture extension, nutrition, and integrated programming literature; carried-out over 55 individual and group interviews; and made field trips to three districts. The review workshop, in which over 25 stakeholders from across sectors participated, was held to present preliminary findings of the assessment and obtain further input from stakeholders. 

Agricultural Extension Approaches Being Implemented in Ghana

Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services of Ghana , -

Agricultural Extension Approaches Being Implemented in Ghana, Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services of Ghana, -

In Ghana, majority (60%) of the population lives in rural areas and depends either directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihood and survival. Agriculture plays an important role in economic growth, food security, poverty reduction, livelihoods, rural development and the environment (Green et al., 2005). Growth in the agricultural sector stimulates higher rates of growth in the economy through forward linkage activities such as processing and transportation, and backward linkages like the provision of services to the sector, with further growth spurred as a result of spending incomes earned from all these productive activities (MoFA, 2003; UN, 2008; Winter-Nelson and Aggrey-Fynn, 2008).

A Review of the Effectiveness of Agriculture Interventions in Improving Nutrition Outcomes

Peter R Berti, Julia Krasevec, Sian FitzGerald , 2008

Objectives: To review the impact of agriculture interventions on nutritional status in participating households, and to analyse the characteristics of interventions that improved nutrition outcomes. Design: We identified and reviewed reports describing 30 agriculture interventions that measured impact on nutritional status. The interventions reviewed included home gardening, livestock, mixed garden and livestock, cash cropping, and irrigation. We examined the reports for the scientific quality of the research design and treatment of the data.We also assessed whether the projects invested in five types of ‘capital’ (physical, natural, financial, human and social) as defined in the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework, a conceptual map of major factors that affect people’s livelihoods.

A Global Survey and Review of Farmer Field School Experiences

Arnoud Braun, Janice Jiggins, Niels Röling, Henk van den Berg, Paul Snijders , 2006

A Global Survey and Review of Farmer Field School Experiences, Arnoud Braun, Janice Jiggins, Niels Röling, Henk van den Berg, Paul Snijders, 2006

Farmer Field Schools evolved initially to address the challenge of ecological heterogeneity and local specificity in pest management, by supporting ecologically-informed decision-making by farmers that would allow them to reduce pesticide use, improve crop management and secure better profit margins. 

Classic FFSs rely for their effects on the development of learner-centred curricula for experiential learning that takes place in the field, allowing producers to observe, measure, analyse, assess and interpret key agro-ecosystem relationships as the basis for making informed management decisions. The adult education concepts and principles that underlie the design of curricula and of the learning cycle process have proven robust in all areas where FFSs have been developed.