Extension Practice

Extension as Communications

Improving food production and fostering economic development is not just a matter of individuals receiving messages and adopting the ‘right’ technologies, but more to do with altering interdependencies and coordinating the different actor roles. Societal issues arise from multiple localities and at various points in time and bring about a […]

Group Facilitation / Empowerment Model

This is about approaching extension as a bottom-up process to achieve change – as an exercise in human development for outcomes that have an impact at the farm, community and industry scale (Coutts et al., 2005).  It uses a facilitation process to help groups of motivated participants to identify and understand […]

Diffusion of Innovations Theory – Adoption and Diffusion

The Diffusion of Innovations theory was the leading theory in agricultural extension post World War II until the 1970s.  It is still used today in agricultural extension, particularly when extension is concerned with an adoption of a particular technology (i.e. technology transfer approach to extension). 
Everett M. Rogers is considered a […]

Extension is Capacity Building

Capacity Building and Community Engagement is seen as a key development in the contemporary extension space and so is described in more detail as an approach.  This is in the context of recognising the constantly changing conditions in which extension takes place (i.e. changing mix of institutional, cultural, political, technological, […]

Communities of Practice and Social Learning Systems

Communities of Practice (CoPs) is a multi-purpose concept.  As a social learning theory, CoP considers learning in a social context requiring both participation and reification (making something concrete) in order to make learning meaningful. The interplay of participation and reification creates a social history of learning and it is this […]

Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS)

The Agriculture Innovation System (AIS) is “a network of organisations, enterprises, and individuals focused on bringing new products, new processes, and new forms of organisation into economic use, together with the institutions and policies that affect their behaviour and performance,” (World Bank, 2006:16) that is, the way different agents interact, share, […]

Agricultural Extension and Rural Development: Breaking out of Knowledge Transfer Traditions

Ison and Russell state that traditional first-order R&D (Research to knowledge to transfer to adoption to diffusion) has failed to take the social, political and environmental context (this includes the RD&E practitioner with their thinking and actions) into account when developing solutions.  In other words, the RD&E system is a […]

Stakeholder Analysis Tool

Stakeholder analysis is an important initial step in project work as it is a process that can provide insights into and an understanding of the interactions between a project and its stakeholders.  This tool can identify and prioritise which stakeholders can have impact on the project’s success and is often […]