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Management

 

Introduction

There comes a time when an extensionist's work becomes sufficiently complex and influential to warrant a formal management approach. Complexities arise when the extensionist begins working on more than one project. Work then occurs on several levels at once, and disorder can set in. It is then time to consider with more formal care and consideration what is being done and how it is being done.

Throughout service, an extensionist must maintain a clear sense of direction and purpose. Working on the village level and concentrating on details, this is not always easy to do. Management skills can help with this. Management is the art of "putting it all together".

There are three disciplines to master in management:

• planning

• carrying out plans

• evaluating results

Evaluation always leads back into planning because management is cyclical and its disciplines are regularly repeated in sequence. There are four general levels of management:

• oneself

• one's own work

• counterparts and coworkers

• projects

For each level the three basic disciplines of management pertain.

When a management approach is employed in agricultural extension, the overall extension process looks like this:


The overall extension process

 

The drawbacks of undertaking a management approach to extension work need to be taken into account. The role of the manager can easily become self-serving, the extensionist can become a despot. There is also the danger of inappropriate formality, resulting in "mini-bureaucracy". By being ever-mindful of the goal of capacitating farmers and promoting their autonomy, by managing WITH and not FOR farmers, these tendencies can be curtailed.

Another common pitfall of energetic extensionists is to take on too much work. By trying to do too many diverse tasks, the extensionist can promote chaos instead of wholeness and shallowness instead of thoroughness. Management planning includes the skill of defining priorities and assessing limitations.

Many of the tools provided in earlier chapters are management tools with which to plan, carry out or evaluate village extension activities. The management point of view, (the three disciplines), can become second nature after a while. Through diligent practice, (even when events seem very uncomplicated on the surface), an extensionist can cultivate a coherent work style.

A simple way to practice management is to think in clear categories that form a whole picture. The following is a picture of thinking in categories and seeing how thoughts fit together. The grid is then filled in to provide an example or illustration.


Table

 

Planning

OVERVIEW

Good planning proceeds from careful, continuing research and systematic record-keeping. As is stated in Chapter Two, planning must be done with farmers, village leaders, counterparts and government officials. The extension worker researches carefully and involves local people in planning to maximize local input into the decisions and plans which affect local life. (Consult the I.C.E. manual M-3, Resources for Development, for an in-depth explanation of project planning and resource management in extension work.)

How can local people be included in the planning process realistically? First, the extension worker must become fluent in the local language and comfortable working with interpreters. Language differences can provide a rich diversity of meanings rather than barriers to communication. Secondly, the extensionist should proceed slowly and plan to some degree informally in order to be accessible. It is important to maintain records in such a way that they can be easily shared. Extension workers should be sure to focus all plans on local people's goals, not on their own ideas. This will help local planners maintain interest. Concepts and ideas developed must be cross-culturally appropriate and understandable to local people. Lastly, the extension worker can develop a disciplined habit of always asking others to be a part of the planning process. This may help cultivate a new expectation among village farmers that they should be involved in planning.

Planning involves assessment of community needs and identification of the resources to meet those needs. This can be done using a list of questions the answers to which provide a community with the information it needs to design a project. The extension worker can play a part in articulating these questions. The list of questions is provided as a TOOL in this subchapter.

Planning also involves a selection process. Given the limited resources available to any community, priorities must be set as part of any plan for development. Priorities must be aligned with the interests of participants in a planned project and consistent with the goals and values of the local community. Prioritizing begins with a clarification of goals, values and participant interests. Then it involves brainstorming (listing without argument) alternatives. When goals are clearly understood, a list of best alternatives can be selected to act upon. Those of lesser importance are discarded, included in more important ideas, or held over for future consideration. These prioritized alternatives are often called objectives.

Once priorities are established they are broken down into steps or tasks. As described in Chapter Five, a practical task is immediate, specific and realizable. If it is a group task it also is unifying. By using the CO-WORKERS TOOL which follows, tasks can be assigned to specific people, times and places so a detailed plan of an activity can be kept. The specific responsibilities of each person are charted in this way, making evaluation easy. Just by going back over a task list of this kind a planner can see who did what, when and where and can assess progress toward a goal.


Good planning follows these steps

 

ILLUSTRATION

For a small village livestock project just getting started:

A GOAL might be:

"To provide storage space for livestock feed."

A related OBJECTIVE would be:

"To clear out the old storehouse."

TASKS would then be:

WHAT

WHO

WHEN

1. Get storehouse key.

Juan

Tuesday

2. Get brooms, white wash, plaster, etc.

Anna

Tuesday

3. Clear out old stuff.

Farmers

Wednesday

4. Clean up.

Farmers

Wednesday

5. Plaster walls.

Mason

Thursday

6. Whitewash walls.

Farmers

Friday

7. Check storehouse with extension worker.

Master farmer

Saturday

Planning To Meet Personal Needs

Below is a partial list of personal needs and resources identified to meet them. This kind of list is the tool, the information listed is an illustration.

NEED

RESOURCE

WHEN

1. Mail

Post office, regional capital, by motorcycle

weekly

2. Gasoline

Pa Conteh's lorry service(need to provide container)

when available

3. Palm wine

Limba village 4 miles away, Pa lbrahim ($0.20/pint)

as needed(early a.m.)

4. Rice

Farmers' Association

as needed

5. Tailor

Foday Kabbah, marketplace

as needed

6. Motorcycle parts

Romeo Motors, capital

when possible

7. Medical service

Dispenser/nurse: locally

as needed

 

Small hospital: regional capital

as needed

 

Sophisticated help: capital or Peace Corps office ETC

when necessary

 


Task assignment list


Weekly planning calendar

 

Planning Work With Co-Workers

In order to keep track of work commitments and progress on tasks & objectives, this tool may be used:

(Filled out to illustrate its use).

TASK AND COMMITMENTS CHART

WHAT

WHO

WHEN

For Field Day at Kamala Village:

   

1. Pick up tables at Ministry office

Joe and lorry

Thursday

2. Set up meeting hall for ceremony

Alayisius & Tom

Thursday

3. Cook meal for visitors

Families of farmers

Friday a.m.

4. Greet offical visitors

Chief, aster farmer

Friday noon

5. Set up demonstrations

Participating farmers

Friday a.m.

6. Coordinate stations

Jo & Tom

throughout

7. Translate for officials

Aloysius

throughout

8. Speak at ceremony

Chief, master farmer

Friday 3 p.m.

9. Follow-up letters to officials

Jo & Steve (PCV)

Monday

10. Clean up site

Farmers

Friday & Sat.

11. Party for participants

All

Sat. evening

Project Planning (3)

1. A list of questions an extensionist can help a community answer in order to design a good project (from Resources for Development, I.C.E. manual M-3A, 1981):

• What problem is the project being designed to address?

• What is the primary objective of the project?

• How will this objective be reached?

• What resources will be needed to achieve this objective?

• How will these resources be used?

• How long will it take to complete the project?

• What are the main obstacles to the project's success?

Project Planning (3)

2. A list of the guidelines for choosing appropriate resources (from Resources for Development, manual M-3A, 1981):

Resources should:

• Bring about greater community involvement in the project.

• Be available locally.

• Use appropriate technology.

• Be culturally acceptable.

• Be ecologically sound.

 

EXTENSION PROGRAM PLANNING

(From USAID/Kenya Ag Extension Manual)

Analyzing the facts

Let us analyze some of the facts.

If the farmers were asked about the situation they would probably say for example, that coffee growing is becoming less profitable, and in part this may be a fact. A closer look at the situation will reveal other pertinent facts, possibly hidden to them. It is for this reason that the extension worker is needed. You can see things farmers are unaware of. They may not be in touch with world production figures. They may not realize that by increasing the amount of top grade coffee their profits on an equal yield can increase. They may not know how to increase top grades through cultural practices. Extension workers have the know-how. Farmers are not likely to be conscious of the effect of lower grades on the country's foreign exchange situation. These facts are known to the extension workers. For every situation there are basic facts which come to light when the situation is analyzed by the extension worker in cooperation with the farmer.

Identifying the problem

From the situation, the problems can be identified if the facts are properly analyzed. In the analysis above, it is clearly stated that top grade coffee production is declining. From the standpoint of the country, the problem seems to be a decline in foreign exchange due to decreased sale of premium priced coffee.

As an extension worker you realize that a decreased premium grade can be caused by poor cultural practices and processing. If the farmer has not been trained to use improved practices he fails to understand why his profits are declining. The role of the extension workers becomes quite clear.

When all of the problems have been identified the next step must be undertaken.

Establishing the objectives

We know where we are by studying the situation. The objectives tell us where we want to go. If grade one coffee is found to be 40% of the total production and we want it to be 100% that would be our objective - to increase grade 1 coffee from 40% to 100%. Although admittedly such a goal would be extremely desirable, it may not be realistic. There are several requirements for setting up good, realistic objectives. They must be attainable. We might be able to increase Grade 1 coffee from 40% to 60 or 70%, that would seem realistic, and consequently more attainable. Having set figures, it gives us something to measure. Just to say: ''Increase Grade 1 coffee", is not measureable. We can determine from production figures an amount such as 10 or 20%; that is something measureable. The objective here is to increase grade 1 coffee production. The goal is to increase it some definite amount, 10 or 20%. If the farmers can be made to understand what we are aiming at and what is required to achieve it.

What is Agricultural Extension Program Planning?

It is an outline of activities to be followed by extension workers and farmers toward solving a problem the farmers want to have solved.

NOTE: It has been stated that the problems are those that the farmers want to have solved. Before problems can be solved it is necessary to have a mutual understand of what the problems are. We are walking on dangerous ground when we assume we know what are the farmers' problems. At one program planning session, a group of agriculture officers decided that the cotton farmers' biggest problem was in harvesting the crop. An interview with several of the typical, local cotton farmers revealed that they were more concerned about getting insecticides at the right time and of being able to pay for them. Had the officer group proceeded to plan to solve the harvesting problem, the farmer would probably have lost interest in the final program because it would not have met their most important felt need. We must not presume to know what the problems are until we have the facts to support our appraisal. The use of a systematic approach will strengthen a program with facts.

The Scope of a Program

Before proceeding, there are some important questions to be answered. Who develops this program? It is a task of the extension worker to write down the program, but it must be developed with the farmers, to help them solve their own problems, using your assistance. Not only must it meed their needs, but it must met those of the local area, district and the nation. Should these basic requirements not be met it will be your program and you alone will not be able to carry it through. Thus a well planned program is broad-based and meets the needs of a large number of people. By proceeding one step at a time we can achieve that objective.

A System for Planning Programs

A large number of facts are needed before we can draw conclusions as to what are the problems. We need to know the situation before we can make an appraisal.

The situation

We collect and analyze facts to understand the situation. A study of the situation for one crop will serve as an example for a typical approach.

(Extract from the Kenya Development Plan, 1966-70, pp 53-55)

"Coffee has been one of Kenya's principal export crops for many years. It has enjoyed a considerable share of the world market. This share has been as much as 36% of the total market and not less than 17% since coffee was established in Kenya. The world supply is in surplus, thus competition for the market is increasing. New plantings have been stopped in view of the situation, consequently any increased production must come from the acreage already planted.

"The high quality of Kenya coffee gives it an advantage in competition for the world demand. Unless this quality is maintained it may lose this advantage. Over half of the 250,000 small growers in this country have had little the objective and goal are understandable. Every objective must be written so it can be understood by those who are to achieve it.

Before an objective will be achieved, it must be desirable. The fact that coffee is paid for on a grade basis and because Grade 1 coffee commands a higher price, you have good reason to assume that it will be desirable.

We can only be sure an objective is desirable when are certain that the returns are in balance with the effort required to achieve that objective. Further, the increased returns must be wanted enough to cause the farmer to expend the necessary effort. It may require a great deal more effort and expense on some farmer's part to much mulching material for his plantation, if mulching is a requirement for producing an increased amoung of high grade coffee.

Objectives which meet all goals are better founded than those which only partially meet a few. If increased top grade coffee production benefits the nation, the province, district, division and the farmer as well, there is more reason to believe it is to be achieveable than if it only benefits the country at large

When setting up objectives it must be kept in mind that their function is to change the situation from what it is to what is desired. There are three means of moving in the direction of achievement. We, as extension workers can change knowledge, attitudes and skills. Some times all three factors must be changed to achieve an objective.

Determining the solution

Solutions must relate to objectives and the objectives must relate to the problems. We are likely to find some problems which have no immediate solutions. If world markets are flooded with commodity we may not be able to solve their problems. The only possible alternative might be to increase quality and efficiency, thereby becoming more able to compete with declining prices. We may be able to eliminate East Coast Fever in cattle, but we do have a relatively effective control. Even then the alternative solutions must be economically practical. Furthermore, the solutions must be throughly understood before the desired results may be realized. This often requires educating the farmers in the use of the new methods. Our job as extension workers is to teach new and improved methods.

Selecting the methods

When known and practical solutions exist the methods of getting farmers to adopt the practices must be chosen. The more times people are exposed to a new idea through a variety of channels, the more likely they are to adopt the idea. This can be taken to mean that if you use radio, newspapers, meetings, and demonstration, the farmers are more likely to adopt the idea than they are if you reach them with a single method.

Farmers must pass through five stages of adoption before-the idea is accepted. If they are not aware of the idea, they will never become interested. If they are not interested, they can't evaluate its usefulness. If they don't evaluate it, they will never try it. If they never try it, they certainly won't adopt it.

These five stages of adoption are as inseparable as the links of a chain. Adoption takes place only after people have successfully passed through the five stages.

The written plan

The written plan for extension program planning can be referred to as the Plan of Work or the Calendar. Which every you prefer to call it, one important feature is that it must be written. It must also include the thinking of the farmers. Involve people in the planning, the operations, and the final evaluation, otherwise, it will be your plan and only yours. Design it so you can say; This is our plan, not mine. A good plan designates responsibilities. It tells who will be responsible for what, how, when and where. Consequently, we plan with people, not for them. A good program

A good program can be measured by its characteristics. It develops leadership if you plan with people. The leaders come to the top when given the opportunity to participate. Their usefulness to you and the program is almost unlimited. A part of your job is to recognize leaders and to make use of their qualities. It has long been known to extension workers that the local leader has more influence in getting farmers to accept new ideas than has the worker himself.

A requirement of a good program is that it is family directed. In countries where women commonly cultivate the crops it would be a mistake not to include them in the program plans. Demonstrations in the field or courses at farmer training centers may be designed to include them. The importance of youth's influence must be considered when it is known that they are less resistant to change than their parents. Many new ideas are accepted by the parents after seeing their children successfully adopt practices. A program is destined to fail if the women and children who grow and harvest crops reject the idea of planting them.

Who participates?

Certainly the farmers must participate because it is their program. Among the farmers are the local farm leaders. They will be your must useful participants. You, as an extension worker will take a leading role in the plan of action. You give it direction. The district and provincial staff provide coordination by assisting you in making it possible to get seed, insecticide, fertilizer and other materials and assistance beyond your reach. They also coordinate activities from your level up to the national goals. Specialists are needed to help solve problems for which they are more capable and better trained. Others who may be needed are supply house representatives, chiefs, sub-chiefs and occasionally officers of the administrative branches of government. The more people you involve the greater are the chances for a successful program.

Evaluation

Evaluation, the observed measurement of the planned program, must be continuous at every stage of operation. As each planned action is completed, the results must be examined against the objectives of that action. If the activity was successful we should be able to describe why. Equally, if the action was not successful we should also be able to note the reasons Only then can an extension service be truly effective.

Evaluation at any stage may affect the future planned program actions. More activity in the form of demonstrations may be needed; more information media may need to become involved to reinforce the presentations, or it may indeed be that the rate of programmed improvement is faster than anticipated. Source of the features of the plan can be modified as evaluation suggests.

Progress reports at all levels are based on these evaluations; in fact the evaluations are the progress reports.

The Action

The best written program plan is only a piece of paper until it is carried out by action. Hanging it on the wall for all to see creates an interesting room decoration, but it remains only that unless the actions planned are carried into the field. The program plan is your working plan and it must be worked to be valuable.

PLAN YOUR WORK - WORK YOUR PLAN.

 

Carrying out plans

OVERVIEW

Extension work involves carrying out plans. Each small step begins with a well-thought-out plan. Carrying out plans is the art of doing well-defined and specific tasks while remaining clear about an overall purpose. Paradoxically, one needs to keep little details and larger goals clear at the same time. Good extension work both accomplishes concrete tasks (details) on the farm and enables farmers to accomplish more themselves (larger goal). This is a management approach to work.

By carefully researching plans and defining tasks and commitments, extensionists and co-workers can orchestrate a high level of motivation for a particular project. When the personal interests of the farmers are in line with work plans, the farmers are motivated to work. When that link is not established, motivation for that particular work is lacking. Extensionists must learn to formulate work plans with the motivation of participants in mind.

A management-approach to work does not have to be formal and inflexible. In most village settings, this is neither possible nor appropriate. Work can be thorough and well-organized while being informal and flexible. There is a great deal of difference between informally-planned and unplanned work. Unplanned work does not serve farmers well.

ILLUSTRATION

The illustrations for each subchapter of this manual describe how to carry out extension plans. For example, to see how to work well with co-workers, see Chapter Three, SERVICES, subchapter "Working with Countertparts". In order to capture a whole picture of the management of a two year tour of duty, read the Case Studies in Appendix A.

 

TOOLS

Resources for carrying out extension work are included at the end of each subchapter of this manual. They are the most specific tools for carrying out plans. This chapter provides more detailed tools for planning and evaluating work, the two skills most commonly associated with management.

Supplement

A partial list of common interests which animate the work of extensionists' counterparts and co-workers:

INTERESTS

• Financial security

• Financial access to goods normally unavailable in villages

• Pride in work, an outlet for skills

• Community recognition as a technician or leader

• Advancement in ministry hierarchy

• Friendship and access to American culture

• Opportunities for further formal or informal training

 

Evaluating work

OVERVIEW

Evaluation measures the effects of work planned and carried out during the extension process. Evaluation helps extensionists and farmers answer questions like:

Which planned activities did we do? Not do?

How much did this cost?

What is the result of this work?

What are the benefits/ill-effects of this work?

What did we learn?

Are we closer to our goal?

Evaluation, like planning and work, must be done with community counterparts. In fact, evaluation is the most neglected part of the extension process. Two-way communication can only occur between scientists and farm families when field and community-level evaluations of extension work occur.


Research

 

Evaluation is the closing link in effective two-way communication. Honest and open evaluation of community work gives small-scale farm families a real voice in the process of change and growth.

By using the planning tools illustrated earlier in this chapter as checklists, the detailed quantitative results of extension work can be measured. Progress toward material goals can thereby be assessed. There are "higher" goals than the material ones, however, which are harder to describe and harder to measure progress toward. These other goals include:

• increased two-way communication

• working onself out of a job, or increased competent independence of farmers

• ecological soundness of work

• cultural appropriateness of work

• moral or spiritual goals

• personal satisfaction or fun

• relationships with co-workers, farm families, host community

 

All of these goals have some relation to the overall goal of agricultural extension as described in this manual: helping small-scale farm families participate creatively in growth and change.

Expert advice may be needed to evaluate progress toward some of these "higher" goals, ecological soundness, for example. Very few village-level extensionists have the rural sociology or cultural anthropology resources to formally evaluate the cultural effects of work, but it is important to care. Philosophical, spiritual and relational issues often arise when extensionists and farm families are engaged in a process of change. Indeed, development is fraught with them. These issues cannot be evaluated in a normal sense, but they must animate the extensionist to stop and consider, to pause and reflect, and to open herself to change as it occurs. The most thrilling and challenging aspect of extension work consists in being at the center of change. Being at the center brings an enormous responsibility to others into focus. Evaluation on all levels, careful consideration in all that is done, is responsibility and care in action.

There are several types of evaluation which can be done:

Everyday observation which yields a subjective impression that can helpfully guide work. Such information is collected from casual conversation farm and home visits, meetings and individual discussions.

Informal studies which involve review and analysis of information obtained from records, reports, checklists, questionnaires, census data, etc. Done periodically, these studies should form a fairly objective basis for judging extension work. These may also include periodic reflection on the "higer" goals mentioned above.

Formal studies are more structured. They are often planned and carried out according to scientific rules to provide more objective information on the achievement of objectives or the effectiveness of methods used. These studies may include formal interviews, questionnaires, data collection and analysis, etc. Cost-benefit analysis is a good example of this (see Appendix), as are aspects of "Agricultural Survey" (see Chapter Two).

Certain basic principles underlie effective evaluation:

• Evaluation of extension work should be well planned and clearly defined as to what is to be evaluated in a program.

• Extension personnel and community people should take part in evaluation. Self-appraisal helps those who carry out a program and can be usefully combined with appraisal by an outside person.

• Everyday evlauation should be continuous and integrated with the program development process from its planning stage to the end.

• Reliable and effective devices should be used, and a representative sample chosen according to means available.

• Evaluation should be more concerned with the achievement of behavioral changed than with the number of participants, meetings, hours, items prepared, etc.

• Careful analysis and interpretation of findings should be considered when an evaluation study is being planned.

Since there are so many aspects to every extension activity, one must decide which are important to evaluate. Some aspects of extension activity are:

situation before/after

program planning

program action

methods

results

higher goals

By deciding which to evaluate, it may be easier to determine which evaluation method to use.

It is very important in evaluation to make conservative judgments and conclusions. No matter how scientific the device used or how objective the criteria for measuring, each evaluation made by an extensionist is only one person's (or several persons') point of view. There are no absolutes in the process of change, only probabilities. Critical awareness and openness to various points of view is essential to the proper interpretation of evaluation results.

Most important of all is the awareness that community members and farmers are not to be victimized by evaluation results. It is often the case that extension project failure is attributed to farmer ignorance or non-cooperation, but it is rarely true. As it is an observed tendency in evaluation of extension work, extensionists are cautioned to be wary of such conclusions. In actual fact, assigning the cause of any result to one specific factor is often misleading or short-sighted.

By spending time and energy measuring the effect of extension work at various levels, extensionsists close the final link in the chain of two way communication. They bring farm families into direct contact with scientists and other agents of change. As the catalysts at the center of the process of agricultural change, extensionists are charged with an immense responsibility to others which they can translate into action by means of sensitive evaluation.

ILLUSTRATION

Mike had helped a group of farmers develop an inland valley swamp for rice production in the dry season. They had cleared the land, constructed the dikes, bunds and paddies, planted the rice, and performed all the production tasks. Now it was time to evaluate the results of all this work.

Mike was filled with uncertainty as he rode into the village near the rice farm. He had been away for several months working elsewhere. He was very eager to see what had happened since his last visit. As he entered the village, he saw a familiar face. It was Mami, the master farmer's wife. She saw him, but ducked inside quickly. What did that mean? Mike stopped his motorcycle and parked it. All of a sudden people came from each house smiling and running. Most of the farmers and their families surrounded him and welcomed him joyously. Mike was overwhelmed and confused. One of the farmers said, "You've given us so much! We are so grateful!" They all walked together down to the village farm.

Mike wondered if he would be able to do the careful yield sample analysis on each farmer's acreage that he had hoped to do before harvest. He wondered if this was the time to do any of the specific evaluations he had listed and planned before he came... Everyone stopped at the edge of the farm with Mike and gazed out. There was a sea of ripening rice blowing in the wind, surrounded by fruiting vegetable gardens along the edge. Mike was very happy.

After a while, the crowd dispersed. Families went home to cook, farmers tended their plots, and Mike was able to inspect details with the master farmer. Mike began to ask a specific set of questions about the growing season. He wrote down the answers. Mike then explained what a yield sample was, why it was important to do, and how to do it. He and the master farmer tried one and agreed to do it for each farmer during the next visit. Then Mike looked at the dam, dikes, irrigation channels and gateways. He troubleshot sample plots for diseases, insects, iron toxicity, drainage or irrigation problems, uneven growth, etc. He recorded each of these things in his notebook.

He asked all the farmers to gather briefly under the mango tree where they had rested so often during land preparation and production work together. Mike asked the farmers a series of prepared questions which were designed to help the farmers review what they had done. He especially focused his questions on the concrete results of their own hard work, on how each land preparation or production task resulted in something specific that helped the rice and gardens grow. They engaged in a review of the season's events in this way, where Mike learned of specific problems encountered during the season and the farmers could see cause and effect at work.

By the time evening fell and the rice meal was ready to eat, Mike and the farmers had talked for a long time about what had occurred. Mike left with a very good feeling as to the production and other physical results of the community's project. He helped them see their ability to solve ag problems more clearly.

He felt the very warm relationship they shared. He was disturbed however, by the farmers' attribution of success to him personally. He also wondered about the ecological effects of their irrigation system and double-cropping methods. He saw that the farmers had ambitiously cleared the footpath to the farm so trucks could take out the rice. Unfortunately, this also made it too dangerous for the old woman and blind man who lived near the farm to work as they had before. They had to move. The road also brought the chiefdom tax collector, and the health inspector to the village for their respective duties. The tiny village of Bambaia was transformed now. Mike felt very small going home.

1. Use the planning tools in each subchapter of the manual as checklists with which to evaluate work progress and the accomplishment of specific work tasks.

2. Factors to consider in extension evaluation:

a. People involved:

-project or community leaders

-evaluators

- outsider resources

- community people

Does everyone know their role, the purpose of evaluation, etc. Can everyone do what is required?

b. Time:

-Is it too early to tell if a project or activity works?

-Is this the best time to evaluate?

c. Evaluating tools and methods:

-Are they appropriate and applicable?

d. Finances and other costs:

-Is this the least costly way to evaluate effectively?

3. Questions related to each aspect of work to be evaluated:

Aspect of extension activity

Questions

situation analysis

What is the situation before and after the activity?

Program planning

How was this activity planned?

Program action

Who did what, when?

Methods

How was this work done?

Results

What are the concrete quantitative results of this work?

 

What process did everyone engage in?

 

What might be the long-term effects?

 

Did the work meet stated goals or objectives?

 

Was the specific problem solved?

 

What new problems arose?

 

4. Planning and Conducting an Evaluation Study

These steps are essential in planning an evaluation study: (1) select a problem demanding investigation; (2) clearly formulate what is to be measured; (3) determine the kind of information needed; (4) decide how to collect the information; and (5) plan how the information is to be used.

The following points will serve as guidelines when planning and conducting evaluation of an extension program.

A. Determine what personnel and financial resources are available and needed for making an investigation

-what cooperation is needed from outside resources as to personnel and money?

-what time is required for carrying out a study?

B. Select and define a part of a program to study

-what objectives or content of the extension program are to be evaluated?

-which phase of this program will be evaluated, i.e. program action, teaching methods, results, etc.

-will an evaluation of a certain program or aspect of a program be useful for the future?

-will it be necessary to collect data for the evaluation or is some information already available from other sources?

C. Define and clarify the objectives of the study

-What evidence is needed to determine that the educational program is reaching its goals in terms of (a) number of accomplishments, or (b) changed behaviour of the people? Which are the most important indicators or changed behaviour?

D. Decide on now to collect information and what devices are needed

-what kinds of devices are to be used questionnaires, observation forms, etc.?

-if a questionnaire is to be used, what questions should be asked and how should they be phrased?

-set up record forms and prepare instructions for using them,

-pre-test devices and revise if necessary.

E. Plan tabulation

-Type of tabulation methods and tables needed to discover relationships

-Persons and equipment needed for the tabulation.

F. Determine samples

-Define population to be sampled.

-Determine what sample is needed and feasible.

-Prepare instructions for sampling.

G. Prepare for the collection of information.

-What persons are available to collect information?

-Select interviewers or collectors of information.

-Determine what training they need in interviewing, recording, etc.?

-Conduct training.

H. Collect information in the field

-Provide necessary supervision.

I. Edit and tabulate data collected.

J. Interpret facts and prepare a report

-What are the important findings of the study?

-Do different reports need to be written, e.g. for professional and for lay people?

K. Plan for use of the findings

-What implications might the findings have for future work?

5. Another format for the questions you may ask to evaluate a project:

(US AID Kenya Ag Ext. Manual)

Evaluating the Project

Don't stop yet-evaluate! Planning never ends, so, each time a project or step of the program is completed, the participants should look back over what has been done to be sure that things are going as they should. This is called evaluation and is an on-going, continuous process-just like planning. You must evaluate past efforts to plan for changes.

Develop a means for evaluation when defining the goal and writing up a Plan for Action. Keep in mind your community survey and any responses from questionnaires and statistics you might have collected as possible sources of information for evaluation

Following each step or activity, ask questions such as:

• How well did we do?

• Did the plans work?

• Why did we succeed? or

• Why did we fail?

• What should we be doing now?

• What do we do next?

• If we made mistakes, can we keep from making them again?

Encourage the community members to begin to evaluate the project shortly after its initiation. Are people using the latrines that have been installed? Are they keeping up their vegetable gardens and eating the harvest? Are the children really going to school? Did the group for whom you intended your activities come?

After each phase of the project is over, you must follow up to determine how successful it has been. At the end, ask yourself all of these questions again. Did you get the job done? What can be done to make your efforts more successful?

Possible kinds of measurements you might use to evaluate your project, if planned from the beginning, are:

1. Quality or amount

a. How many persons were reached?

b. How many posters, pamphlets, home visits were made?

2. Quality - What do the people think?

a. the leaders?

b. the participants, villagers?

c. other health workers?

d. the pupils?

3. Changes in knowledge shown by:

a. discussion among farmers

b. answers to questions posed by extension agent

4. Changes in attitude

a. Community support for the program.

b. Requests for further cooperation by government agencies.

c. Less opposition by groups in the village who had previously been against the project.

d. Public opinion poll

5. Changes in behavior, such as:

a. Increase in visits to the ag station or worker

b. Improved habits and conditions noted on farms

c. Increase in production

d. Increase in the sale of milk, meat, vegetables or other good foods

e. Increased need for post-harvest support

f. Increased interest in marketing

6. Changes in community life:

a. Improved nutrition

b. Food surpluses

c. Signs of economic prosperity (new houses, material goods)

d. Improvement in health as shown in individual cases

In the case of evaluating extension work, you will find it difficult to measure the results. The mere number of lessons or demonstrations and the ability of the people to repeat them are surely not the only measure. Behavior change is the goal, yet these changes are not easily evaluated immediately since they may occur slowly over a long period of time.

As always, throughout your work with a community, it will be necessary to record your observations. This is a form of written record which you've already done during your community investigation. You should discuss the importance of record keeping with counterparts.

Evaluating the progress of complex activities (such as extension) is never simple, but it can be made easier by clearly defining the project's objectives early and relating your evaluation plan directly to those objectives. With careful planning, evaluative data will help to assure that the project is better managed, and that those who support the work, and particularly members of the community, will feel confident in the progress being made.