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Stories on the Ground: Identifying New Sustainable Extension Partners through M&E

Title: Stories on the Ground: Identifying New Sustainable Extension Partners through M&E

Presenter: Irene R. Tanzo (Senior Research Specialist)

Function of lead author: Monitoring and Evaluation of Rice Extension Intermediaries of Project Improving Technology Promotion and Delivery (IPaD)  

Institution of lead author: Philippine Rice Research Institute

Relevance of the paper for the conference theme ‘Partnering for Success: how M&E Can Strengthen Partnerships for Sustainable Development’

This research is part of the Project Improving Technology Promotion and Delivery through Capacity Enhancement of the Next Generation of Rice Extension Professionals and Other Intermediaries (IPaD). The project aims to attain and sustain rice self-sufficiency and food security in the Philippines. To be able to achieve such goal, the project partners three agencies to work together— Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (the lead agency on rice research and development), DA-Agricultural Training Institute (the lead agency on extension) and International Rice Research Institute (the world’s leading international rice research and training center). Such collaboration aims to utilize each agencies' strengths to open other options for extension services provided by the government.

Abstract

Progress requires partnering with different institutions. However, partnerships should not only focus on big institutions up above but also should complement with individuals and organizations on the ground. To be able to attain and sustain rice self-sufficiency and food security in the Philippines, the project partners three agencies to work together— Department of Agriculture-Philippine Rice Research Institute (the lead agency on rice research and development), DA-Agricultural Training Institute (the lead agency on extension) and International Rice Research Institute (the world’s leading international rice research and training center).

M&E is essential to measure the effectiveness of the partnership through measuring the impact of one of the project’s component—Knowledge Sharing and Learning. KSL enables Rice Extension Intermediaries (REI) to upgrade their existing strengths to help farmers. This research described the commitment of REI to help farmers and how they were able to execute their words into actions. REI are information conduits, learning facilitators and link to extension services. This research employed two methodologies—baseline and impact survey. The baseline survey measured the probability of the latest ICT-tools in agriculture to be shared. The impact survey measured the number of farmers reached by REI and described the techniques how REI are helping the farmers in their own way. The impact survey was conducted six months after the baseline survey. More than 5,000 farmers were reached by REI. The latest ICT-tools in technologies were shared during farmers’ meetings and other instances where REI were able to interact with farmers. Moreover, eight REI crafted new policies promising to improve farmers’ welfare for tomorrow. 

The following generalizations were derived from this study: (1) through monitoring and evaluation, the institutions were able to measure their accomplished goals and (2) using the results of M&E, it is plausible to recommend the institutionalization of REI as extension partners to reach wider number of farmers. For further discussion, the following strengths deduced by the authors could be adopted by other project using the multi-institution partnership: (1) one agency should be the knowledge source for the project, (2) another should shoulder the resources costs, and (3) an agency should lobby for policy creation for sustainability.