GFRAS Publications

GFRAS s'introduit

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GFRAS PositionPaper RioThere are three dimensions to sustainable development: social, economic, and environmental. Knowledge sharing is critical to supporting these dimensions, and extension and advisory services are a vital knowledge-sharing institution. Extension is key for linking scientific research, field-level innovations and innovators, markets, education, and other service providers.

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This is a summary of the GFRAS position paper "Building Knowledge Systems in Agriculture".
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gfras brief eng web-smallGFRAS Brief #1
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gfras brief eng web-smallGFRAS Brief #1

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Extension services are essential to enable farmers to improve their practices and help them respond to emerging challenges. Knowledge, ideas, and skills gained through extension programmes can help farmers increase their productivity, reduce losses, and gain better access to markets.

The positive impact of extension services is well demonstrated globally. Whether through Farmer Field Schools, marketing training, or by using innovative technologies, knowledge sharing underpins sustainable agricultural practices.

The examples illustrate the importance of participatory processes and farmers’ proactive participation in extension programmes to ensure they meet their needs. The case studies highlight the diversity of issues that can be tackled through extension and advisory services, and the positive impacts these can have on farmers’ livelihoods. In many cases, extension services are an addition to existing structures, such as farmer co-operatives, and are offered as part of a package of services. This helps to ensure that the positive outcomes from extension, such as increased yields, can be translated into positive outcomes for farmers, for example by supporting the marketing of the improved crops.

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Extension services enable farmers to take up innovations, improve production, and protect the environment. Extension shows positive effects on knowledge, adoption, and productivity. With studies showing very high (13–500%) rates of return to extension, it is a cost-effective way to improve farmer productivity and income.

Experiences with extension programmes show the positive impact that they have on productivity and farmer incomes. For instance, a programme with cacao farmers in Peru saw productivity rise from 340 to 600 kg per ha in three years.

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gfras brief eng web-smallGFRAS Brief #1

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gfras gender equality in rasThis brief explains the concept of gender equality in advisory services and discusses the opportunities that gender equality in rural advisory services can create for global and local food production, women’s economic empowerment, household food security, and nutrition. It summarises experiences of how gender equality can be pursued in advisory services and provides some practical examples.

This publication is reviewed on Twitter. Follow #genderinras

 

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annualreport11 title

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GFRAS annual report 2012 web title

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GFRAS-Annual-Report-2014-Web

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A brochure introducing GFRAS

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Este guia foi financiado por recursos da Fundacao Bill & Melinda Gates.Os resultados e conclusões contidos neste documento são dos autores, e não necessariamente refletem posições ou politicas da Fundacao Bill & Melinda Gates. O Instituto de Recursos Naturais - Natural Resources Institute (NRI ) contribuiu com os documentos de referencia e uma versão inicial deste guia.

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evaluationguidecoverThis Guide to Evaluating Rural Extension has been developed by the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS). The purpose is to support those involved in extension evaluation to choose how to conduct more comprehensive, rigorous, credible and useful evaluations. The Guide supports readers to understand different types of evaluation, to make decisions on what is most appropriate for their circumstances, and to access further sources of theoretical and practical information. The Guide is intended to primarily be used by four sets of evaluation stakeholders:



  • Those commissioning and managing evaluations
  • Professional evaluators and staff responsible for monitoring systems
  • Professionals involved in training and educating evaluators
  • Researchers looking for ways to synergise their efforts with evaluation initiatives

The process of preparing this Guide began in 2010 with the production of a Review of Literature on Evaluation Methods Relevant to Extension and a Meta-evaluation of Extension Case Studies. These materials, combined with extensive consultation with a range of stakeholders, were then used to as background for the development of a draft version of this Guide. During 2011 the Guide was finalised based on feedback received.

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gfras-metaevaluation-smallThe Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) has commissioned the Natural Resources Institute to develop a toolkit for the evaluation of extension (projects, programmes, tools and initiatives). This commission has a number of components:

  • A meta-evaluation of 15-20 evaluation case studies(presented here)
  • A meta-review of the literature relevant to extension evaluation methods
  • A workshop with practitioners and experienced evaluators to discuss the findings of a) and b) and to identify an initial set of tools
  • A proposal for testing the proposed tools in a second phase of the project
  • A brief of the toolkit for policymakers.

The overall purpose of this project is to identify methods for better evaluation of extension through the development of a toolkit for extension evaluation. The meta-evaluation and meta-review will also provide an in-depth basis for the selection of the approaches, methods and tools in the toolkit.

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This paper presents an overview of current opportunities and challenges facing efforts to increase the impact of rural and agricultural extension. The starting point for this analysis is in recognition that the days when agricultural extension was synonymous with the work of public sector agencies are over. The ‘‘extension services’’ described here may just as likely consist of an input vendor advising a farmer about what seed to plant, a television station broadcasting a weather forecast, a supermarket advising traders about what standards are required for the vegetables they purchase or a farmer organization lobbying for research that re ects the demands of its members for new technologies. Mobilizing the potential of extension is about enhancing this broad and complex flow of information and advice in the agrifood sector.

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  • As a promoter of innovation, extension is an important tool for the resolution of problems associated with rural territories.
  • In order to be successful, rural extension must satisfy the demands and interests of those who receive innovation.
  • Extension that promotes co-design in innovation is a clear road to achieving changes.
  • Extension must conceive of innovation as a learning process.

This publication is also available in Spanish on the RELASER website.

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  • Poverty is multidimensional and requires differentiated responses.
  • Technology is not enough.
  • Access must be improved for women and young people, and an effort must be made to recognize different forms of collective action.
  • The State plays a key role.

A Spanish version of this publication is available at the RELASER Website.

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