This training manual was prepared under the EU-funded project Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems (CDAIS), a global partnership (Agrinatura, FAO and 8 pilot countries) that aims to strengthen the capacity of countries and key stakeholders to innovate in complex agricultural systems, thereby achieving improved rural livelihoods. CDAIS uses a continuous learning cycle to support national agricultural innovation systems in eight countries in Africa (Angola, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Rwanda), in Asia (Bangladesh and Laos), and Central America (Guatemala and Honduras). CDAIS brings together key partners and actors to address commonly identified challenges and opportunities in specific regions or within particular value chains. Together they develop and implement national capacity development plans to strengthen agricultural innovation. This manual is a resource for the training of National Innovation Facilitators (NIFs) across all 8 countries. The objective of the training is to strengthen the NIFs’ facilitation skills and their ability to carry out Capacity Needs Assessments (CNAs) in agricultural innovation niche partnerships. The training is intended to be delivered by the Agrinatura Focal Persons (AFPs) and the Country Project Managers (CPMs) in each country, with the help of various other support personnel from Agrinatura and FAO. These trainers have themselves gone through a Training of Trainers process to familiarise them with the training manual, the interactive and participatory approach required and the use of the various facilitation tools that are contained within it.
This document presents the final report concerning the research “Evaluation of Extension Reforms in Brazil”, which objective was to evaluate Brazilian federal government’s actions related to Technical Assistance and Rural Extension (ATER by its acronym in Portuguese). In order to do so, we have analyzed the implementation and execution of the National Policy of Technical Assistance and Rural Extension (PNATER by its acronym in Portuguese) from 2004 to 2015.
This report has been divided into five chapters. The first chapter presents a history of governmental actions related to ATER in Brazilian history. The objective of this chapter was to recover the main issues related to ATER 's Public Policies in Brazil based on documentary research and extensive literature review. It represents an attempt to understand the institutional arrangements and the behavior of different agents in the execution of rural development policies. The first chapter also presents a detailed explanation of the principles and guidelines in which the PNATER is based. In addition, it highlights its main innovations in comparison to previous ATER policies.
The document provides an overview and understanding of the GFRAS Capacity Assessment process. The Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are meant to be a practical set of tools and templates available to support national and regional networks conducting capacity assessments.
This document has been developed for both practitioners and non-practitioners. Specifically, for practitioners the document can be used as a high level reference and guide including detailed supporting documents. For non-practitioners the document is intended to serve as a process overview, with an operational level of detail.
One of the major priorities identified during the first meeting of the AESA (Agricultural Extension in South Asia) network was capacity development of EAS providers. The first step in this direction was to assess the capacity gaps among the EAS through undertaking a capacity needs assessment at the national level in select countries in the region.
A synthesis report
About 80% of South Asia’s poor live in rural areas. Most depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Agricultural and rural development is the key to eradicating poverty and creating conditions for sustainable and equitable growth in the region. South Asian agriculture faces several new challenges ranging from eteriorating natural resources base, climate change and increasing de-regulation of trade. Moreover, the sector is dominated by small farmers often with weak bargaining powers and limited political voice.
One of the major priorities identified during the first meeting of the AESA (Agricultural Extension in South Asia) network was capacity development of EAS providers. The participants agreed that much more needs to be done to strengthen the capacities and deal with the rapidly evolving challenges in agriculture (AESA, 2014). The first step in this direction was to assess the capacity gaps among the EAS through undertaking a capacity needs assessment at the national level in select countries in the region.
A Guide for Facilitators
About 80% of South Asia’s poor live in rural areas. Most depend on agriculture for their livelihood. A pluralistic and demand driven extension provision, that offers a much broader support to rural producers, is critical for agricultural development and poverty reduction in South Asia. One of the major priorities identified during the first meeting of the AESA (Agricultural Extension in South Asia) network was capacity development of EAS providers. The first step in this direction was to assess the capacity gaps among the EAS through undertaking a capacity needs assessment at the national level in select countries in the region.
This guide can be used as a standalone document /procedure for assessing the capacity needs of the extension and advisory service providers. However, using this guide for CNA has greater value if the outputs of this exercise are linked to a capacity development process. Moreover, this process also needs to be organised from time to time to identify new capacity gaps.
The 41 partners of the Tropical Agricultural Platform agreed to develop a Common Framework on Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems (CD for AIS). The objective of the TAP Common Framework is to harmonize and coordinate the different approaches to CD in support of agricultural innovation. Such harmonization would promote optimal use of the resources of different donors and technical cooperation agencies. The development and thus the validation of the Common Framework is supported by the Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems (CDAIS) project, funded by the European Commission (EC) and jointly implemented by the European agricultural research alliance AGRINATURA and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The present volume “Guidance Note on Operationalization” complements the volume “Conceptual Background”. The “Synthesis Document”, separately published for ease of consultation, summarizes the content of both volumes.
One of the key problems of public extension services in developing countries is the well-known incentive failure by extension services to respond to clients’ needs and be accountable to them (World Bank and IFPRI, 2010). This is largely caused by the bureaucratic structure of extension administration, offering only few rewards, poor facilities, meagre prospects of promotion based on performance, and low recognition for extension agents (EAs), leading to a general lack of motivation and morale.
Against this backdrop, governments and donor agencies have in the past decades attempted to advance structural, financial, institutional, and managerial improvements to agricultural extension services. Since the 1980s, increasing emphasis has been placed on introducing changes that follow so-called ‘New Public Management’ approaches, which promote different aspects of private sector involvement in extension services, outsourcing and cost-sharing or cost-recovery approaches, a shift from input to outcome performance, and resulted-oriented management (e.g. Anderson and Feder, 2004).
Even though the importance of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) has long been recognised by scholars, donors and practitioners worldwide, there have been some signi cant shifts in the understanding of its function and signi cance in the past few decades. The context of globalisation, changing policy objectives and international aid modalities has geared M&E towards higher complexity levels. It has to play its traditional role of generating information on the implementation and results of a program or project, but in addition has to assess policy impacts and provide the basis for improved management and decision-making as well as for accountability to farmers, donors, governments and tax payers (Pound et al., 2011).
Agricultural extension services can perform better if they are well-managed and accountable to farmers, and if they meet the needs of diverse farmers who engage in varied and com- plex farming systems. The goal of service delivery is to enable smallholder farmers to make better informed decisions re- lated to improving their agricultural practices and livelihoods. As a part of this challenge, there is a pressing need to identify, sort and match expectations, needs and existing technical knowledge and skills of farmers, extension workers, agri- cultural researchers and other actors (Birner and Anderson, 2007; Del Castello and Braun, 2006). But how to formulate such an ‘offering’ to farmers that matches their demand and need for ‘quality content’ of extension services?
Governance in extension refers to the administrative, insti- tutional and organisational structures and processes within which agricultural extension services are embedded. At the heart of governance lie complex questions of how extension services are steered, at what level decisions for budget, de- sign and implementation of extension services are made, and how authority is exercised. On the one hand, this refers to the institutional design of extension services, such as the level of decentralisation, privatisation and pluralism of extension ser- vices, as well as monitoring and accountability mechanisms. On the other hand, governance focuses on the roles and responsibilities of the public, private and civil society sector in providing and nancing extension services as well as the link- ages and coordination across these different actors.
Participation of farmers in all steps of SRI trials and demonstrations help to re-shape the technology. Extension workers working together with farmers in diversified farming and agro-ecological conditions enhanced some of the SRI recommendations/practices according to soil type and other conditions, in particular varieties and farmers' socio-economic situation. These modifications proved to have good results and SRI has been disseminated to several districts of the country. These results emphasized that such partnership and modification can be helpful to increase technology acceptance, especially for those farmers who have poor resource and living far from modern agriculture development.
It was an afternoon of 2002 when I first read about SRI. As an extension officer in the District Agriculture Development Office (DADO), I started promoting SRI in the following years in the district of Morang, Nepal. Over this time I observed hundreds of attractive SRI fields and spent some years as a SRI activist. Looking at the results, I’ve learnt that different farmers face different problems, and that they adapt all techniques to suit their diverse circumstances and needs.
The U.S. Land-Grant Model and Other Examples
Summary of an International Seminar/Webinar
November 7, 2014
This year’s Centennial Anniversary Celebration of the U.S. Cooperative Extension System (CES) highlights the important outreach and service function that the CES continues to provide through the auspices of U.S. Land Grant Universities. With the growing interest in extension around the world – and in keeping with the Centennial Celebration - USDA/NIFA and GFRAS held a webinar to explore the future and potential role of a country’s higher education institution(s) in providing extension/advisory services. Presenters and participants in the webinar were asked to consider:
- What is the unique and critical role that your country’s universities can play in providing extension advisory services?
- How can your universities contribute to the sustainability of extension advisory services?
- What are the key challenges may face university-linked extension services in your country? How can they be overcome? What are the opportunities?
Graduate programs in agriculture in developing countries such as in Ethiopia are often designed in cognizance of the need for skilled manpower for gricultural development. In Ethiopia, the contribution of graduates of agricultural graduate programs to the ttempt to transform smallholder agriculture has become a matter of urgency in the face of the increasing challenge of food insecurity. However, the performance of graduates of those programs in making oncrete contributions to the urgent needs of agricultural development has been patchy at best. There ight be no single best solution as to how to make agricultural graduate programs and/or their raduates responsive to the needs of agricultural development. In particular, hopes that effective teaching nd learning in agricultural graduate programs would lead their students to attain the relevant knowledge and skills to make concrete contributions to agricultural development are frequently not realized. ...
Since the late 1980s, support to agriculture has moved from top-down agricultural extension towards more participatory approaches which better suit smallholders. One such approach is the farmer field school (FFS), an adult education intervention which uses intensive discovery-based learning to promote skills. Although an estimated 12 million farmers have been trained by FFS in over 90 countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America, the effectiveness of this approach has long been a subject of debate. Drawing on a systematic review of over 500 documents, this study finds that, although FFSs have changed practices and raised yields in pilot projects, they have not been effective when taken to scale.
The FFS approach requires a degree of facilitation and skilled facilitators, which are difficult to sustain beyond the life of the pilot programmes. FFS typically promotes better use of pesticides, which requires hands-on experience to encourage adoption. As a result, diffusion is unlikely and has rarely occurred in practice.