Review of evaluation in agricultural extension

This report from the Australian Government's Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation outlines program evaluation by highlighting case studies of five different methods that can be used to evaluate rural extension programmes.


"The aim of this publication is to review the current forms of evaluation used in agricultural extension in Australia. The Review entailed collecting information on over 100 evaluations from the field of agricultural extension and categorising these according to the ‘purpose’ of evaluation and other criteria. The main body of the Review comprises descriptions of various forms of evaluation found in agricultural extension today. The forms are described with regard to the purpose of the evaluation, and are supported by case studies taken from agricultural extension to illustrate each form. In addition to reviewing evaluation by purpose, case studies that describe frameworks for developing built-in evaluation strategies for projects (or programs) are also presented.

The Review is also intended to introduce the reader to the broader concept of ‘program evaluation’, its origins and its potential applications for agricultural extension. Therefore, the study has made use of literature from disciplines outside agricultural extension: on program evaluation per se, on health and education programs, and on monitoring and evaluation of agricultural development projects overseas. One intention of the Review is to provide a source of materials that can be used for training agricultural extension agents and other rural professionals in the field of program evaluation."


  • Aim, Emphasis and Review   1-3
  • Evaluation in Agricultural Extension   6-11
  • Program Evaluation  13-18
  • Forms of Program Evaluation 18-21 
  • Characteristics of Evaluation in Agricultural Extension 22-24
  • Case Studies of Different Forms of Evaluation in Agricultural Extension
  • Form 1: Evaluation for Impact Assessment 30-39
  • Form 2: Monitoring and Evaluation for Program Management 43-56
  • Form 3: Process Evaluation 59-68
  • Form 4: Evaluation for Design Clarification 68-69
  • Form 5: Evaluation for Program Development 70
  • Frameworks for Planning Program Evaluation 74-85
  • Summary Guide to Approaches and Methods in Evaluation 88
  • Appendices
  • Program Participation Index 103
  • Evaluation Participation Index 103
  • List of Case Studies and Their Contributors 104
  • List of Contributors 104


Dart, J., Petheram, R. J., & Straw, W. (1998). Review of Evaluation in Agricultural Extension. Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. Retrieved from:

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