GFRAS Directory of Extension Providers
Extension is a critical player in rural development, yet there are limited data available on the providers of extension and rural advisory services. This directory contains an list (under development) of organisations and institutions active in RAS for each country with only the basic contact details. For some organisations, a more detailed dataset can be found in the World Wide Extension Study.
The Global Directory of Extension Providers comes out of information collected through the "Worldwide Extension Study" (find more information here) as well as that collected by the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services and their partners.
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Extension is a critical player in rural development, yet there are limited data available on who is who in the sector.. The last time these data were collected was in 1988. At that time an International Directory of Agricultural Extension Organizations was published (Swanson, B.E., B.J. Farner and R. Bahal (Ed.). 1990. International Directory of Agricultural Extension Organizations. Rome: FAO, 496 pp The GFRAS Directory of Extension Providers is the first attempt since 1988 to put the information together in one global source. Because of the changing and pluralistic nature of extension and advisory services, we provide this data only online and not in hard copy, and in a less detailed form. The directory of extension is a searchable database that provides names of organisations providing extension service providers, type of organisation, sub-region, country, contact person, phone number, and web site.
The Global Directory of Extension Providers comes out of information collected through the "Worldwide Extension Study" (see information below) as well as that collected by the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services and their partners. USAID provided funding for the Worldwide Extension Study, and it was carried out in partnership with IFPRI, FAO, IICA, DAAS, GFRAS, and CIRAD.
The worldwide extension study had two main objectives. First, the study collected data (through structured survey) on the primary goals, structure, and resources of all major agricultural extension and advisory service organizations in as many countries as possible worldwide, focusing on developing countries. The study collected information on each extension organization's primary agricultural development objectives, such as improving national food security, increasing farm household incomes, and improving natural resource management (NRM). In addition, survey data was collected from each institution on other key factors, such as their current human and financial resources, information and communications technology (ICT) and in-service training capacity, as well as the level of operational funds being allocated to finance program, transportation and other costs needed by field extension workers.
A second objective was to carry out more in-depth assessments of the pluralistic agricultural extension systems in several selected countries (Malawi, India, Rwanda) that have serious food security problems and where there is immediate potential for donors to strengthen these extension systems. The study is working closely with the Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS project), which is conducting similar in-depth studies in Tajikistan and Bangladesh.
Due to the highly pluralistic and decentralized nature of extension today, it was very difficult to collect extensive data from countries and programmes. However, the available information is being made available online at www.worldwide-extension.org. Secondary sources of information and links to relevant web sites are being added to the web site.