RESEARCH AND EXTENSION
(Emphasizing Farming Systems
Research and Extension)
Institute of Food and
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611
Office of Agriculture and
Office of Multisectoral Development
Bureau for Science and Technology
Agency for International Development
Washington, D.C. 20523
Working Draft #3
RESEARCH AND EXTENSION
(Emphasizing Farming Systems Research and Extension)
Farming Systems Support Project
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611
Table of Contents
Research and Extension
(emphasizing farming systems)
OPERATIONAL SUMMARY OS-1
Chapter I: INTRODUCTION I-1
A. Methodology I-1
B. Audience I-1
C. Donor Processes 1-2
D. Handbook Organization and Use 1-2
E. Farming Systems Research and Extension 1-3
F. The Farming System 1-3
G. Emphasis on Models 1-4
H. Review Panel 1-4
Chapter II: OPERATIONAL. PRINCIPLES II-1
A. Farmer's Perspective 11-2
B. Farmer Participation 11-3
C. Problem-solving Approach 11-4
D. Technology Innovation Process 11-5
E. The Macro-Environment 11-6
F. Institutionalization and Management 11-7
Chapter III: PROJECT DEVELOPMENT III-1
A. R/E In Country Strategy III-1
B. Host Country Interests 111-2
C. Conceptualize and Strategize 111-3
D. Early Impact--Visibility III-5
E. Basic National Capacity III-6,
F. International Technology Transfer III-7
G. Don't Underestimate the Potential III-8
H. Linkages, R/E and ITN III-8
I. Design Considerations III-9
Chapter IV: PROJECT DESIGN IV-1
A. Introduction IV-1
B. Technical Design Considerations IV-1
Use of Models; Activity Assignments--
Subject Matter Research, Area-specific
Research, Technical Liaison and Support,
C. Management Design Considerations IV-8
Personnel Training; Host Institution
Resources, Linkages, Strategic Planning,
Personnel Management and Development
D. Organizational Design Considerations IV-12
Research, Subject Matter Research,
Relating Subject Matter and Area-specific
Research (Matrix), Technical Liaison and
E. Evaluation Considerations IV-16
Suggested Plan and System, Objectives
F. Paper Preparation IV-19.
Project Paper Outline--Abstract, Background,
Description, Analyses (Technical, Economic,
Social, Administrative), Financial Plan,
Implementation Plan, Evaluation Plan
CHAPTER V: PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION
A. Introduction V-1
B. Pre-Implementation Management V-2
C. Team Member Selection V-2
D. Team Orientation, General V-3
Family, Country, Library, Living Conditions,
.Orientation Kit, Cultural Positioning,
E. Team Orientation, Professional V-4
Project Purpose, Overseas Operations, Team.
Identity, Key Actors, Political Awareness,
Host Institution Reward Structure, Keep to
the Task, Communications, Related Projects
F. Backstop Structure and Administration V-5
Key Actors, Management System, Administrative
Procedures, Routines; Special Problems
G. Project Start-Up V-6
Calendar, Review Design, Host Institution
Relationships, Gaining Acceptance, Early
Impact, Team Deployment, Project Visibility,
H. Objectives in Team and Task Management V-8
I. Managing Evaluation V-9
Take Charge, Evaluation System, Select
Measures, Information Gathering, Image
J. Managing New Components V-12
Be Useful, Take Advantage of Momentum,
Get Close to Production
K. Going the Extra Mile V-12
L. Host Institution Management V-13
Strategic Planning, Resource Acquisition,
CHAPTER VI: PROJECT EVALUATION
A. Introduction VI-1
B. Preparation for the Task VI-2
Paper Trail, Briefing,
C. Evaluation Strategy VI-3
D. Objectives and Self-Evaluation VI-4
E. Strive for Objectivity VI-4
F. Validity VI-5
G. Extra-Evaluation Agendas VI-6
H. Evaluation Report Outline VI-7
Project Evaluation Summary (PES),
Introduction, Executive Summary, General
Comments, Evaluation, Extra-Scope of Work
Issues, People and Places, Annexes
A. Technology Innovation Process Model A-i
B. Economic Analysis B-i
C. Logical Framework C-i
D. Technical Liaison and Support D-1
E. Institutions and Institutionalization E-1
F. Pre-Departure Preparation for Team F-i
G. Activity (Flow) Chart G-1
H. International Technology Network H-i
I. Enabling linkage I-1
Team Leaders Handbook AL-1
Hayami and Ruttan (Agricultural Development) AL-1
Patton (Evaluation) AL-2
Arndt, et al (Research Productivity) AL-3
Purpose of this section is to summarize in short, direct
assertions the guidelines that have been stated and explained in
the Handbook. It follows the handbook directly, and by referring
to the table of contents you can find the more detailed
A. The handbook is a synthesis of experience.
B. It is intended for all of the personnel involved in
the life of a donor project.
C. The donor process from project development to evaluation
D. The handbook is organized around .the typical process.
E. FSR/E is considered vital to the conventional R/E
process and is defined broadly.
F. The "farming system" is also defined broadly.
G. Emphasis is placed on models to help with communication.
H. Panel which reviewed working draft #2 is listed.
Chapter II. Operational Principles
A. FSR/E deals with technology from farmer's viewpoint.
B. Farmer involvement is essential to FSR/E.
C. FSR/E is a problem-solving approach.
D. FSR/E is essential to the technology innovation process.
E. Research and extension systems make up only one
component of the institutional structure, called the
Macro-Environment, needed for agricultural development.
F. Technical assistance in FSR/E needs to be oriented to
institution building, not just the success of a project.
Chapter III. Project Development
A. Every country needs research and extension, and economic
analysis is not needed to justify an R/E project. Other
components are also needed--favorable policies, markets and
infrasture, but you do not need to wait for them to be in place
to start building R/E capacity.
Potential of an R/E project is enhanced by two extra-
project activities--including research and extension institution
building in your policy dialogue with host government and
seeking collaboration of other donors in building and protecting
basic R/E capacity.
B. Design the project to support genuine country needs and
interests. Don't undermine these interests in order to develop a
neat, easy-to-manage project.
C. Conceptualize the project carefully and completely,
using the technology innovation process model which has been
developed from experience. Make use of international sources of
technology and keep within country resources. To the extent that
is feasible, deal with both research and extension in the same
D. Expect relatively early impact from the project and
build it into project concept. Visibility gained from an early
impact can facilitate institutional development.
E. Think in terms of basic national capacity. BNC can be
defined for the country and can be on a modest enough scale that
any country can afford it.
F. The international technology network is steadily
improving. Countries need a system for working effectively with
it, and the project can be a significant help to this end.
G. Don't underestimate your own potential as a donor in
helping a country develop its R/E capability and its capability
to work with other donor agencies and international agencies.
H. Linkages are essential, especially those between
research and extension, those needed to acquire resources, and
those that tap into the international stock of technology.
I. Develop realistic expectations of the design team.
Chapter IV. Project Design
A. Orient design to the single technology innovation
process if you are working with either research or extension-or
B. The TIP model provides a firm base for FSR/E and will
help you determine how research and extension can function in
collaboration with each other.
The functions of the model must (a) be translated into
activities (b) which are assigned to an administrative entity,
(c) which must relate its own internal activities to each other
and (d) to those activities assigned to the other entity.
Four activities are identified: Subject matter research,
area specific research, technical liaison and support, and area
specific extension. The functions essential to technology
innovation are likely to fall into more than one activity
assignment and many of the functions can be performed equally
well by either research or extension. For effective linkage
between research and extension it is necessary that both deal in
many of the functions, each one serving its own interests.
This problem is treated at length.
C. The technical aspects of R/E are often the easiest to
work with. Greatest need lies in organization and management.
A project can often make an important impact in management with
relatively little monetary cost. Even the very design of a
project can facilitate the host institution manager's task.
Major management problems are inadequate logistic support
(caused by too many personnel for budget), inadequate financial
support, inadequate linkage with international sources of
technology and with extension, and lack of strategic planning.
D. There are various effective alternatives for
organization, some of which can be implemented with little
trouble. Analyze the alternatives carefully before any one is
supported by the project. Any effective organization will insure
(a) that all functions of the TIP are covered and (b) that job
descriptions are written so that the functions are actually
E. An important function of project design is to provide
for realistic and useful evaluations. Not only suggest an
evaluation plan, but also analyze it for its realism and
feasibility of execution. It has been found that both design and
implementation, as well as evaluation, can be usefully oriented
F. You can help make the design task easier and more
effective by such actions as these. Help establish the paper
trail of those who have already worked on the project or earlier
projects that are relevant; brief the team; bring team leader to
country early for some analyses and to structure his task;
facilitate donor-design team contact; work as closely as is
feasible with host country personnel; keep the team fully
informed; and start writing the paper early.
Chapter IV. Project Implementation
A. Two entities are involved intimately, the field team
and its back stop team in the home office. Rapport between them
is worth some management time and financial investment.
B. Use time between successful proposal and actual project
start up for pre-implementation management activities that will
facilitate project implementation.
C. Various criteria need to be applied in team member
selection, not simply experience and technical capability.
D. You are completely dependent on the team you put in the
field--and the families. Don't cut corners in orienting and
preparing the team for the assignment. Be lavish with the
information you supply. If you do not have it, get it.
E. The team needs a professional orientation in addition to
the general orientation it needs along with the family members.
F. Take time and invest some resources in setting up the
backstop structure and administration. It will pay off.
G. Identify closely with the host institution and seek its
help in field initiation of team and organization of your work.
Keep team visibility low. Blend in as much as you can.
H. No matter how good the analysis, the design, and the
work that preceded you and the team, the project is now your
responsibility. Have your objectives clear in terms that make
sense to you. Use these objectives to manage both individual and
team effort. And take charge.
I. Anticipate evaluations from the start. If the
evaluation plan was well done, you can use it for your own
management. Document your efforts, your results, and your
rationale. Don't hesitate to use your own criteria and explain
them to the evaluation team. Develop a positive project image.
Face problems squarely and solve them; don't dwell on them in
conversation. Finally be able to explain the project fully and
J. If your project is adding a new component to either
research or extension, seek the ways it can be helpful, identify
with other positive things going on, and make the new component
helpful, especially to those who feel threatened without any real
basis for the fears.
K. Go the extra mile. Keep host institution needs in mind
and do what is reasonable to help out even beyond the
requirements of the contract. Few projects are successful when
the implementation team worries only about its contract
L. A major need of the host institution is to improve its
management. You can't be pushy, but as you and host institution
management identify needs, you will find that with a little
imagination you can help out much more than is at first apparent.
Don't expect to achieve dramatic results and impact and do not
attempt to push host institution management farther and faster
than it is prepared to move.
A. The purpose of an evaluation is not to establish error
and to place blame--not even to discover and publish the ultimate
truth. It is to help improve the project. Empathy and a
positive attitude are helpful and need not compromise your
B. Prepare carefully for the task. Study the paper trail,
insist on adequate briefing, and know and organize your team.
C. Develop your own evaluation strategy, including
objectives and scope of work, as well as your methods and style
of operating. Resist temptation to make recommendations that
cannot be achieved or have only marginal value.
D. Make use of project objectives, translated into team
objectives to the extent feasible. The more you can seek the
genuine contribution of the implementation team, the greater the
chance that your report will be taken seriously. Give the team
adequate opportunity for input.
E. Achieving objectivity in the short time normally allowed
for an evaluation is much more difficult than it appears to be.
So-called objective measures are little help, if you haven't been
completely objective in selecting the objective measures. Your
best defense is to keep constantly in mind how difficult it is to
F. Validity, likewise, is difficult. Start writing report
early to help you identify data gaps and data inconsistencies
while you still have time to work on them. Explain data and how
you are using it as evidence. Never use a question in an
interview that can be answered with a "yes" or "no." This type
question almost always yields faulty information.
G. You may be asked for opinion or evaluation of persons
that has little to do with your project evaluation
responsibility. Think carefully before writing a second report
that includes elements not in the official report.
H. Outline your report and keep it consistent. Avoid such
wording as "G should be commended for...." Then you don't have
to say later that "H should be criticized for..." Keep report
impersonal to the the extent feasible. Deal with events, not
This handbook is a synthesis of some of the things we have
learned over more than a quarter of a century in working with
technical assistance projects in research and extension. The
syntesizing methodology is simple. A draft is prepared, reviewed
by experienced persons, revised, circulated for use (tested) and
then reviewed and revised again. Working draft #3 has resulted
from one workshop review. The plan is to conduct a workshop at
least once a year for a comprehensive review. In addition,
reactions are being sought, actively and continuously, between
the review workshops. You are invited, even urged, to let us
have your reactions and comments, if you have had any experience
in research and extension projects. Send them to the Farming
Systems Support Project, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
The handbook is intended for the several groups of
personnel who are involved in donor projects--from project
development through design, implementation, and evaluation.
These audiences include donor personnel, both those involved in
program and project review as well as those responsible for
project development and implementation. Others who will work on a
project include design, implementation, and evaluation teams, all
of which will include members with varying levels of experience
in technical assistance and work with international donors. Each
chapter is more relevant to one group than to others, but every
group will have some interest in what is being said for others,
and is encouraged to become familiar with other chapters.
The handbook is oriented to the donor project and donor
personnel and contractors, both long and short term. However, it
is held explicitly and strongly that the project, in turn, must
be oriented to and must serve the needs and interests of the Host
Institution and Host Country. It is assumed that one objective of
all projects will be to help the Host Country strengthen its
research and extension institutions. The need for institutional
development is a continuing theme throughout the handbook, which
in effect assumes a project-oriented approach to Host Institution
C. Donor Processes
Donor assistance takes many forms, one of which is the
bilateral project, to which this handbook is oriented. Some of
these projects are financed by loan, others by grant. In some
cases the donor contracts with the implementer. In others, funds
are made available to the host country, who then contracts for
technical assistance. Project processes vary also, but some
general activities are common. This handbook is directed to the
These stages are commonly found in the life of a project,
even though the form will vary.
1. The donor will have a country strategy. Some may
not be written, but others may be a comprehensive document
based on extensive analysis.
2. Project development is the stage in which the
donor decides in general terms what the project is and how
much will be invested in it.
3. Project design determines the size of the project,
the activities to be financed, the composition of the
budget, the course of action, the amount and nature of
technical assistance and other such matters, often
in considerable detail. It is common to contract a short
term team to help with this effort and to do studies that
lead to it. Donors vary in their own direct input into
project design but do assume final responsibility. The
design is the official document of the donor's formal
4. Implementation almost always involves a team to
provide technical assistance. Donors vary in how much they
participate in this phase and how much they depend on the
implementer for project management. The relative role of
technical assistance in a project also varies. Typically a
loan financed project will have less technical assistance
than a grant financed project.
5. Evaluation is not really a phase, since it often
occurs more than once in a project and is anticipated as
early as project design. Good management provides for
constant attention to evaluation. However, the specific
evaluation activities occur after the other phases.
D. Handbook Organization and Use
This handbook is organized around the general project
process. After a chapter on Principles of FSR/E, there are four
chapters, corresponding to the four phases in the life of a
project listed above--development, design, implementation, and
evaluation. Material that is common to more than one chapter is
contained in the Appendixes. A final section provides a list of
literature references. This section also is under development,
and if you have suggestions for material to be included, please
let us hear about it. There are alternatives for organization of
the book, if you have a preference, please let FSSP hear.
Each chapter is oriented to a specific situation and is
specifically relevant to a team or group. Other chapters are
relevant. The book is cumulative, in the sense that a team
working on any one phase is expected to be familiar with those
chapters dealing with earlier phases. In some cases and for some
purposes, teams will need to be familiar with the chapters on
E. Farming Systems Research and Extension (FSR/E)
FSR/E is a term used widely and with many meanings, all
legitimate. In order that all the different usages can be
accomodated, this book does not apply a strict definition of
FSR/E. There are two basic criteria for FSR/E, which can be
considered as minimum criteria. One is that the problems that
research and extension work on, and the technology they deal
with, are selected on an adequate base of knowledge and
understanding of the relevant systems of farming. The second is
that technology innovations proposed are tested (a) in the
farming systems) in which they are expected to perform and
(b) by criteria of those systems.
All countries, no matter how severe their resource
constraints, can adopt the FSR/E approach, using this simplified
concept. At the same time, countries can add such criteria as
the multi-disciplinary approach and wholistic approach to the
extent their resources allow.
A central theme of this handbook is that FSR/E is an
integral part of the general R/E process. This means that until
FSR/E is worked into the R/E process, that process is incomplete
and inadequate. It also means that FSR/E is not a substitute or
replacement for other components of the R/E process. This
explains why this handbook is really oriented to research and
extension, not simply FSR/E. Since FSR/E is integral to research
and extension, and since research and extension are incomplete
without FSR/E, there is no logical way to deal with FSR/E out of
the R/E context. There is also no logical way to deal with R/E
that does not embody the FSR/E characteristics. Some workers
in fact, hold FSR/E to mean the total R/E process conditioned by
the FSR/E approach.
F. The Farming System
The farming system also is not strictly defined. "System"
is a tricky concept. There all sorts of systems and sub-systems
surrounding a farm and the farm family. A user must define the
system for the -specific task at hand, and FSR/E workers have
defined a wide range of systems.
The "system" assumed most frequently in this book is the
agricultural production system, but the approaches assumed will
accommodate other systems as varied as the farm household and the
world market. Part of "understanding the relevant farming
system" is understanding how the other systems influence it.
Likewise, the concept of "farm" is not restrictive. It can
be a simple family owned and operated farm, a tenant farm, a farm
with several households, a farm that, depends on private plots and
communal lands, even a plantation. No matter what the "system of
farming," it is necessary that research and extension workers
G. Emphasis on Models
Great emphasis is placed on models throughout this book.
A model has two purposes. It helps to think through a problem or
process, and it greatly facilitates communication among all the
many actors from varied backgrounds who-are involved in
technology innovation and in donor projects that support it.
Technology innovation is a social process, not readily
observable, and not well understood. Organizing and managing
agencies to achieve innovation is even less so. Each of the many
actors and groups of actors involved will have her/his own
concepts based on experiences. A model helps to achieve some
commonality of concepts.
This book makes heavy use of the Technology Innovation
Process model and derivations of it. It serves to provide a
common starting place for the many actors. It has been used and
modified to fit particular needs and situations. Use of the TIP
model does not indicate any particular defense for it as much as
it does encourage the use of models. If you do modify the TIP or
develop your own model that proves useful, please share it with
H. Review Panel
Experiences that fed into this draft came from too many
sources to acknowledge. Working Draft #2 was formally reviewed
in a workshop in January 1985. No approval was requested from the
workshop participants, and there is no implication that this
draft was formally approved. Many review notes and comments have
entered this draft. However, all responsibility for synthesizing
the range of experience rests with FSSP.
Participants in the January 1985 workshop were: Jay Artis,
Michigan State University; Earl Kellogg and J. B. Claar,
University of Illinois; Robert Tripp, CIMMYT; Robert Hart,
Winrock International; Richard Harwood, IADS; Donald Voth,
University of Arkansas; Eugenio Martinez and Loy Crowder,
Rockefeller Foundation/University of Florida; Robert Waugh and
James Meiman, Colorado State University; and Dan Galt, Jim Jones,
Ken McDermott, Susan Poats, and Chris Andrew of the Farming
System Support Project.
Farming Systems Research and Extension
This handbook is founded on a set of principles that
provide a common basis for all project activities. Some of them
can be considered assumptions, others represent basic truisms,
while still others are conceptual models that help in
understanding and managing the process.
Farming Systems Research and Extension (FSR/E) can be
thought of as "applied, farmer-oriented agro-biological and
physical research supported by socio-economic sciences in a team
effort which is integrated with extension functions and
personnel, with the product being technology and the client being
the farmer, and taking into consideration the ecology and macro-
These principles can be identified. They are listed
here and will be elaborated in the following pages.
1. FSR/E must deal with technology from the farmer's
2. Farmer involvement is essential in FSR/E.
3. FSR/E is a problem-solving approach.
4. FSR/E is an essential component of the Technology
Innovative Process (TIP), and much of its value
lies in conditioning that process.
5. The Research-Extension System is but one system
in a set of systems, and the other systems
influence the impact of FSR/E interventions.
The macro-environment is made up largely of the
6. Even though the project is the means by which
access is gained to LDC technology problems, the
major goal is to help the Host Country improve its
set of national institutions working with research
A. The Farmer's Perspective
Farmers are the essential actors in agricultural
development. They are the ones who will increase production,
safeguard the nation's agricultural resources, and improve the
levels of living. The central purpose of the R/E System, as it
is of all other government programs in all countries, is to
support the farmers in their critical role.
Since farmers operate under the constraints imposed by the
ecology and the macro-environment, national goals and policy
objectives need to be translated into farmer goals. Constraints
under which they operate are so overwhelming, so powerful, that
farmers cannot react to national goals that are inconsistent with
those constraints. In most cases national goals can be
translated into farmer goals and can accommodate farmer
FSR/E provides methodologies for understanding the farmer's
constraints and how he deals with them. This understanding, in
turn, leads to improving research which provides technology more
relevant to needs. While there is variation in FSR/E
methodologies, they all involve knowing and understanding the
farmer and testing technology in the farming system by criteria
of that system. FSR/E also requires a rapport with the farmer,
based not only on empathy and appreciation of constraints, but
also on respect for farmer knowledge and ability as a manager and
on an interest in the farm family welfare. Experience to date
indicates that FSR/E is an effective instrument for building
empathy, respect, and interest--and for improving morale of R/E
The importance of the farmer perspective leads to an
explicit meaning of the term "innovation" in this handbook.
Innovation is defined as farmer utilization on a significant
scale. The simple existence of an improved technology does not
constitute innovation, and the technology innovation process is
not complete until there is significant utilization.
The farming system is a production system. It is also a
social system which exists in a larger political-geographic-
economic-cultural system. No national R/E System has the
capacity to address all system aspects of a farming system. It
is essential, however, (1) to be able to identify some few
critical interactions with which the farmer must deal and (2) to
obey certain constraints imposed by the market, infrastructure,
national policy, and culture.
R/E cannot deal with all problems of all farmers. It
will have to make a conscious choice of clientele, of commodity
or problem, and of geographic area. FSR/E can provide input for
the choice, but some choice criteria are outside FSR/E.
B. Farmer Partici.pation
Since farmers, as producers and farming systems managers,
are the key elements in national production, it is important that
they participate *in the R/E process. Farmers can be thought of
as firm managers iand the R/E system as a multi-firm R&D
department. Farmers are, of course, the major participants in
adoption, and the earlier in the innovaion process they can begin
to participate, the more effective the process will be.
There is a wide variety of channels for farmer involvement.
These include interviews and surveys; on-farm trials in which
farmers take an active role in implementation; discussion with
farmers on trials to conduct and on trial performance; researcher
observation of farming operations; participation of farmers in
interpreting results of on-farm trials; participation of farmers
in designing extension demonstrations and interpreting them, and
Farmers can be involved as members of research and
extension committees and can take part in formal research and
extension planning. and there has been successful experience with
farmer participation in formal research planning and analysis.
However, they do not have to be formally integrated into the
process in order to be "involved." They do have to have input
into these activities, and FSR/E provides for a systematic way
of getting the input. Seeking farmer input and dealing with it
helps achieve rapport with the farmer.
Farmers are experimental by nature, and in a group of
farmers there are almost always some who are searching on their
own for better technology. Farmers seldom adopt a new technology
on the word of R/E personnel. They almost.always either try it
out in their own systems or observe it's performance in a similar
system. One the strength of the extension demonstration is that
it facilitates the farmer's own experimental process. FSR/E
builds on this experimental nature of farmers to get farmer
involvement. Farmers will be involved, either on their own or in
collaboration with research and extension personnel. FSR/E
achieves the collaboration.
While farmers are involved as individuals, it is important
to think of them as representatives of key farming systems. The,
economics of R/E require a considerable degree of similarity
among key farming system characteristics so that an improved
technology can be applied to a relatively large production area.
FSR/E is based on the standard problem-solving method,
which consists of five steps.
1. Problem is identified, or an opportunity is
identified, based on a thorough knowledge of
predominant farming systems and of relevant
2. Alternative possible solutions are formulated or
developed if you are working from a problem that
has been identified.
3. These alternatives are tested. If a probable
opportunity has been identified, that technology
is also tested.
Farmer orientation and involvement plays a key
role in this step. Some screening can be done on
the experiment staton, but testing must eventually
be done in the farming system for which the
innovation is intended and by criteria of the
4. The technology is modified (adapted) to
the needs of the client farming system, based on
results of on-farm trials.
5. Acceptable solution is disseminated.
Dissemination is literally an extension of the
R and D process. As the technology becomes nearly
finished, the on-farm test becomes almost a
demonstration. Further, FSR/E requires continual
feedback from the farmer and extension on the
performance of a tested technology, such that the
extension demonstration is something of a test.
The research function of the technology innovation
process blends into the extension function to such
such an extent that they cannot be distinguished.
FSR/E is iterative. If a technology does not pass the
test, other alternatives are sought for testing. If problems show
up in dissemination, they are referred back to an earlier step in
the technology innovation process.
FSR/E requires the participation of as many disciplines as
the R/E System can afford. Where resources are limited,
personnel training can be less specialized to gain some inter-
disciplinary benefits. FSR/E experience itself can also train
personnel to handle a broader range of problems.
D. The Technology Innovation Process
FSR/E is commonly associated with field teams who
concentrate on on-farm testing, adaptive research, and
integration of technology into farming systems. The FSR/E
potential can be greatly enhanced by fitting it into the total
technology innovation process (TIP) and by relating it closely
to the other functions serving that same process. FSR/E can
literally condition the entire process.
The TIP is presented in some detail in Apendix A. The
model shows the process as a linear process, from left to right.
In practice, however, the process has feedback loops, and it can
start with a problem or an opportunity which can be identified in
any one of the functions.
Technology Innovation Process
World Tech Tech Tech Tech Tech Diffuse
Stock Science Genera Testng Adapt Ntegra Disemna &
Knoldg tion ation tion tion Adopt
FSR/E concentrates on the functions of testing,
adaptation, integration, and dissemination. Research operates on
the left end of the TIP and can easily stop, and often does,
before the technology is "finished." Extension, operating on the
right, often starts its activities too late. FSR/E fills the
gap, and both the research entity and the extension entity have a
genuine self-interest and even a responsibility to work in this
area, each serving its own purpose
FSR/E sends messages to the left for the kind of technology
farmers need generated. If the national system can not respond,
very often the international system can. At the same time FSR/E
"finishes" the technology for the right end of the continuum and
familiarizes extension with it.
FSR/E facilitates the establishment of research and
extension linkages. Some experts maintain that it is not FSR/E
if it does not. This results from the similarity between the on-
farm testing and adaptation methodology of research and the
demonstration methodology of extension; from the experimental
nature of the farmer; from linkages FSR/E helps build with the
farmer; from the farm-tested, "finished" technology that research
makes available to extension; and from the fact both are working
in the same process for the same end.
Countries can depend heavily on imported technology.
They must have a basic national capacity, however, in order to be
able to import technology effectively. The ability to test
technology and to make minor modifications is part of that basic
capacity. Another part is the ability to know what to import.
The international network cannot provide these services.
E. The Macro-Environment
The technology innovation system is but one system serving
the larger purpose of agricultural development, and performance
of the "other" systems has a great influence on the potential
impacts of Research and Extension interventions.
Three "other" systems are of particular relevance.
1. The policy structure is one. Among the relevant policy
issues are price ceilings and supports, exchange rates, import-
export policies, land tenure, and Researth and Extension
2. The commercial system is another. There must be a demand
for the farmer's product and facilities and institutions to
handle it. On the other hand certain vital inputs in which much
of technology is embodied must be available.
3. The third is the infrastructure system, internal
transportation, plus irrigation, ports, processing and storage
facilities, and others. The effectiveness of research and
extension is considerably reduced beyond the area served by a
While of extreme importance to FSR/E, the potential of
FSR/E managers in correcting defects in these systems is limited.
Donors in "extra-project" activity have some potential.
Here are some actions FSR/E management can take.
1. It must concern itself with policies regarding
investment in research and extension.
2. It can communicate with other systems regarding
farmer needs. The need for inputs involved in technology
adoption can be communicated to the market, as can needs for
3. Knowledge and understanding of the farmer can be
communicated. If national production goals are to be met, they
must be translatable, and translated, into farmer goals, and they
must accommodate farmer constraints. FSR/E can help with this
4. Knowledge of opportunities made possible by
technology innovation can be communicated and explained. New
technology often creates policy options as well as production
5. Where nothing can be done to correct defects, R/E
strategy must adapt to the macro-environment, both in the short
and long run.
F. Institutionalization and Management
Institutionalization is a long time, continuous process,
extending well beyond the duration of most donor projects. FSR/E
needs to be institutionalized as part of and along with the total
R/E institutional complex. It must be made integral to the
processes of current institutions, which themselves are often not
developed adequately to serve the needs of agricultural
development. Improving research and extension institutions is
one of the major needs of almost all countries receiving donor
assistance. Their agricultural development will be limited by
the capacity of their national institutions, of which research
and extension are critical. Thus, institutional development is a
major donor opportunity.
The concept of institution has several critical elements.
An institution must be valued by the Society. It must have an
influence on individual behavior and on a scale that is
significant to the economy. It must inspire confidence that it
will endure so that individuals can plan on it.
These elements impose some requirements of
1. The organization must have an effective program,
in order to be "valued" by the Society.
2.. The program must achieve a scope of operation that
will make a significant impact on the Economy.
3. The program must achieve a reasonable degree of
stability. Stability is not to be confused with either rigidity
or stagnation, since an institution must also be capable of
evolving to meet changing needs.
Meeting these requirements is the responsibility of the
directors of the research and extension entities. It is a
management or leadership function more than it is a function of
agricultural technology or FSR/E methodology. A donor project
can help directly in developing an effective program, the first
requirement, even though more than technology and methodology is
It is not so clear cut, but donor projects can also be
effective in helping institutional directors with the other
requirements of institutionalization. This issue is too complex
for this section and is discussed in Appendix E.
Purpose of this chapter is to present considerations for
use by donors who are developing projects in agricultural
research and extension (R/E).
A. R/E in Country Strategy
1. A publicly supported R/E program serves the specific
purpose of providing of providing technology by which more
product can be produced with the same resources or the same
product can be produced with less resource use, at the same time
protecting the nation's natural resources.
2. Economic analysis is not necessary to justify an R/E
project. Much evidence indicates the potential value of research
and extension. (See Appendix B.) Further, there is little
evidence that development occurs in any country in any economic
sector without innovation in the technology used by producers.
Finally, history indicates that technology innovation is not
likely in agriculture without a publicly supported R/Eeffort.
The economic issue, then, is to develop, design, and
implement a project that will help the Host Country realize the
economic potential of research and extension.
3. Virtually every LDC has an overwhelming need for
assistance in developing its own basic national capacity in
research and extension, a long-lasting, indigenous capacity to
deal with the technology problems of agriculture. This includes
the capacity to take charge of and manage the national R/E
program, including those components financed by donors. This
basic capacity can be modest, well within the ability of most
countries to afford it, with proper planning and implementation.
4. Other institutional capacities are needed to /deal with
policy, markets, and infrastructure. Inadequacies in/those
systems will limit what can be expected from improvements in the
R/E System. It is not necessary, however, to delay development
of the R/E system until other institutional systems are adequate.
Several institutional systems can be under development at the
5. The potential of a project can be enhanced by extra-
project activities. Two will be most helpful.
a. One is to include R/E issues in the continuing
policy dialogue with host government, particularly investment in
research and extension and institutional development. No matter
how effective are the Host Institution and the implementing team
in addressing these issues, the donor can make them more
b. The second is to seek collaboration of other
donors to help protect the basic national capacity that you are
helping to build. Many donor projects press on national capacity
and tend to dissipate it, rather than build it.
B. Identify and Defend Host Country Interests
Donors must work through projects which must obey certain
specific criteria. It is not automatic that these criteria will
be consistent with Host Country interests. A donor project can
actually work at cross-purposes to genuine, long-term country
interests. Although specifics vary, some general statements can
1. A major national interest is to have an indigenous
capacity to develop, maintain, and manage an effective technology
program. This institutional need represents a major donor
opportunity, an opportunity far greater than that offered by
projects designed for short-run specific production goals. A mix
of donor projects, each following its own criteria, is piece meal
and tends to press on fragile Host Country capacity and fragment
it, rather than to help build it. Thus, the effectiveness of
investments in research and extension are reduced', and they could
actually work against Host Country interests.
This handbook assumes that donor projects have a
specific interest in the development and strengthening of Host
2. Host Countries do need help in developing their
basic national capacity, and most projects can provide it, even
if there are short-term, direct action objectives involved.
Capacity building is essentially a function of
management. Management components can be included in projects at
relatively little cost. Capital costs, except for training or
human resource development, are minimal. Technical assistance
is most needed and can be provided by short term/personnel.
For example, one of the great needs of R/E
institutions is for strategic planning, which needs to be done by
Host Institution management and personnel and over considerable
time. This component could be designed into a project at little
cost, to take place over the life of the project, and the results
would be far more useful than plans done in a matter of weeks
with exceptionally heavy participation of an expatriate team.
C. Conceptualize and Strategize
1. Your project needs to be developed from a set of
concepts that will help you and colleagues understand it and help
explain it to others, particularly personnel that will review
the project from design through evaluation. A model of the total
technology innovation process is presented in Appendix A. You
can use it, modify it, or develop one of your own. Experience
shows, however, that if some sort of model is used both
communication and analysis are improved.
2. The technology innovation process is a single process.
Yet in most countries, two autonomous entities, research and
extension, are responsible for its functions. Linkage between
the two are and always have been inadequate. Two measures would
increase the chance of developing this linkage.
a. Farming Systems Research. deals with those
functions of the technology innovation process that commonly have
fallen between research and extension responsibilities and thus
have been neglected. Attending to those functions appears to
improve significantly the chances for effective linkage.
b. It seems probable that single donor projects that
deal with both the research and the extension entities would
further facilitate this linkage.
Figure III-1, derived from the technology innovation
process model, will give some insights into the relevant
relationships. Design considerations are discussed in the next
chapter. Original project development, however, has to
accommodate these ideas.
3. It is important to keep the project within the country's
resource potential. Most countries have severe resource
constraints. It is feasible to develop a productive R/E system
within those constraints if certain guidelines are followed.
It is necessary that all of the functions of the technology
process model are attended. This can be accomplished, even with
a modest R/E system.
One economy measure is to depend specifically on the
international technology network, which is quite good and is
steadily improving. That network can provide all of the science
and much of the technology generation needed. Importing of
technology needs to be systematic. See Chapter IV.
Another economy measure is to limit the scope of the
program, by commodity, by problem, area and by geographic area.
There are always enough resources to do something well, never
enough to do everything well.
Fig. III-la. Activity Assignments between Research and Extension,
By Functions of the Technology Innovation Process
Technology Innovation Process
Stock Science Tech Tech Tech Tech Tech Dfusn
V r an Taotrn Ada ttn n Ntaratn Dsmnatn Adootn
R \ X
\__ Area-Specific /
Subject Matter \ Research / /
Research _/ Technical/
\L / Liaison & / Field
/ Support Extension
E / / T
Units to which Assigned
Fig. III-lb. Activity Assignments between Research and Extension,
By Functions of the Technology Innovation Process.
Technology Innovation Process
Stock Science Tech Tech Tech Tech Tech Dfusn
Knoldg Research Genratn Testng Adapttn Ntgratn Dsmnatn Adoptn
U En T
Unit Receiving Assignment
Think in terms of basic national capacity, and the
need to define it or determine it for a specific country. More
on this below. Basic national capacity depends on the country.
It seems to be a common tendency to attempt to create a complete
R/E system for a country, no matter what the resource base. Such
is not possible for many countries. Nor is it-necessary.
Countries can depend on the international network for many
functions and can do so indefinitely. This dependence needs to be
accomodated in the strategy, however. If not managed, it will
not be systematic and effective.
A useful analytical device is the technology transfer
model developed by Hyami and Ruttan in Agricultural Development:
An International Perspective.
D. Early Impact--Visibility
It is conventional wisdom that developing a research
program and a research institution is a long run task. If donors
and governments are impatient, they will not sustain an effort
long enough for it to catch root and survive. Impatience, in
other words, precludes success.
No evidence challenges this proposition. However, it is
not completely accurate, at least in implication. The long run
view of institutional development does not preclude the need and
possibility of achieving an early impact. An institution is more
akin to a muscle, which is developed by practice and exercise,
than it is to a factory which is built in one time period to be
used in a subsequent period. A research institution is built by
doing what a research program is supposed to do in support of
With proper planning and management, research can have a
short term impact that actually improves its long time efforts
rather than diverting resources from them. An early impact can
be used to gain respect for the research entity in the government
and to encourage its own personnel, both of which are important
components of institution building.
Early impact will often require technology from the
international technology network as well as personnel. The
process is an adaptation of the FSR/E process. The first step is
to characterize an area--its ecology, its farming systems, and it
problems and resources. The next step is to determine which of
known technologies would have the highest probability of fitting
needs and giving a payoff. That technology is then tested,
adaptations are made, in the FSR/E on-farm research mode. When
it passes this test, it is promoted in a small area. If it
passes that test it goes on to a full-fledged campaign.
Production programs are usually associated with extension,
with inadequate attention being given to thorough and adequate
testing and needed adaptation. Extension can not perform well
with inadequately tested technology.
The design differences for early impact are not very
different from conventional design. The process of knowing the
farmer and doing on-farm trials are virtually the same. The
difference comes from expecting production from research AND
extension, not just from extension alone, and putting a
reasonable pressure on research for early impact.
Expecting early impact will also mean that project sites
will not be in the most difficult areas. However, that should
not be a difference. Until an institution is fairly well
developed with a considerable capacity, it is a doubtful strategy
to expect it to perform in difficult ecological areas or in areas
ill-served by infrastructure and markets.
E. Basic National Capacity
Five elements can be considered as constituting Basic
National Capacity in agricultural research and extension.
1. One is the ability to know and to understand the
farmer clients and their systems of farming. This does not mean
all farmers in all areas and all commodities. Choices have to be
made, and the choice does not have to be the smallest farmers in
the most difficult areas. Choices are difficult because so much
has to be left unattended. It does mean that for the areas,
problems, and commodities chosen there is a capacity to know and
understand producers--and that the choices are limited to a scope
that can be adequately attended by resources available.
2. The second element is the ability to generate
technology OR the ability to import it. For the concept of basic
national capacity it makes no difference which of these abilities
exist or if they exist in combination. What is significant is
that farmers are offered technological opportunities, and that
the national R/E system has the capacity to do this on a
continuing basis. Many countries have little chance to develop a
sustainable capacity to generate technology, even in a few
commodities. Most countries can develop the capacity and the
management system to monitor the world technology system for
3. The third element is the ability to test the
technological alternatives IN the relevant farming systems and
BY criteria of those systems. This also requires hard choices to
keep the program scope within institutional resources.
4. The fourth element is the ability to inform
farmers of improved technology and to instruct them on it use.
Some technology is very easy for farmers to learn and integrate
into their operations, and little more is needed than to
demonstrate it. Other technologies are increasingly difficult to
work into the system and more instructional effort is needed.
Basic capacity can begin with ability to handle the simpler
5. The final element is the ability to transmit
information and understanding among units of research and
extension entities. Because they serve farmers, units and
personnel of research and extension are dispersed over wide
areas, and communication is not simple, even within each of the
entities. Research and extension communication is seldom even
near to adequate.
Several of these functions will be recognized as central to
FSR/E, and this indicates its role in the technology innovation
process. Much technology can be imported. Yet without this
basic capacity, a country cannot take advantage of the technology
F. International Technology Transfer
Hyami and Ruttan in Agricultural Development: An
International Perspective present a model of international
technology transfer and an analysis useful in R/E project
development. The model was developed from historical studies and
is supported with empirical data. The model recognizes three
stages of technology transfer among nations.
1. Materials transfer is the simplest. Technology is
often embodied in a commodity--seed, machine, or chemical. The
simplest form of transfer is transfer of the commodity embodying
technology. It often happens through exploration, warfare, and
trade. Materials transfer requires little national capacity.
2. Design transfer requires national capacity. It
involves the capacity to produce materials involved in the
earlier stage. Blueprints for factories and designs of tractors
can be imported, often with technical assistance. Seed can be
produced, and certain technologies copied. A production capacity
as well as technological capacity is required. A country often
moves into this stage as it begins to develop its national
capacity in research and extension.
3. Technology capacity transfer is the most complex
and most difficult. This is a transfer of ability to generate
new technology. It takes more than excellent training in a
foreign country, according to their historical analysis of
several countries, including the United States. It often
requires that scientists be imported to work with well-trained
national staff over extended periods.
The value of these models is to help donors and host
countries determine the level of technology transfer that is
relevant, so that expectations of probable performance can be
realistic. Some of the most serious mistakes are those arising
out of unrealistic expectations.
G. Don't Underestimate th: Potential
It is common to evaluate a donor on the size of its
financial input, or resource transfer. Financial input is indeed
a measure, but it is not t:he only measure.
The need for a steadily improving institutional capacity
ranks at least equal to the need for capital and financial
support in virtually every LDC. Improved institutional capacity
cannot be bought with money alone. It needs direction, and it
needs time. Neither of these are costly in terms of dollars, and
neither is a ready made item for sale on the market.
Donors have shown a remarkable persistence in their
inability to coordinate efforts, especially in research and
extension. Yet some degree of coordination is essential if the
same understaffed and underfinanced research or extension
institution has to deal with many donors. It may well be that
the best chance of achieving donor coordination will be to help
the research and extension institutions to develop their
capacities to the point at which they can effect the coordination
of donor efforts and establish their direction. This is a
completely feasible objective for the donor who has the will and
the persistence and access to a certain level of technical
competency which can be offered the Host Institution. It does
not require a large capital input.
H. Linkage, R/E and ITN
This summarizes some of the material discussed above.
Inadequate research-extension linkage has been one of the
most persistent of problems. The technology innovation process
provides a possible explanation. Research has operated at the
left end of the model and extension at the right, leaving the
center inadequately attended. FSR/E has moved in to fill that
gap, and in doing so may provide the key to improving linkage.
If it is the key, both research and extension must be involved
for the potential to be realized. That involvement can be
greatly facilitated if donors will develop projects with both
entities instead of just one.
Another linkage that needs specific attention is that with
the International Technology Network (ITN), which is the store
house for the world's agricultural technology and scientific
knowledge. Most countries are relatively passive in dealing with
the ITN, either taking what is offered or not. Few have an
active program to search the ITN systematically for technology
and knowledge it needs or could use with great profit. Such a
program needs to be developed for many LDC's, and it will cost
considerably less than the investment needed to generate
technology. Such importation will not be a stopgap for most
countries. It will be a standard arrangement.
I. Other Design Considerations
These considerations have been distilled from the
experience of design teams and implementation and evaluation
teams who have dealt with design.
1. Do not expect the design team to initiate project
implementation. An informal survey or rapid reconnaissance made
during project design or before implementation will serve little
of its intended purpose in facilitating the R/E process. It is
necessary for the implementing FSR/E team to participate in the
process. Learning.from another's rapid survey is not usually
On the other hand, it is reasonable to expect that the
design effort lead to an improved understanding between donor
and the host country on the nature and requirements of the
technology innovation process and the way that the project will
help meet some of those requirements.
2. Do not rely very heavily on negotiation to solve some
fundamental problems, such as memoranda of understanding to
achieve research and extension linkage or pre-project agreement
to provide national financial support. Until there is a solid
product or process that justifies research-extension linkage, it
will not happen. The project should address this issue and solve
it over time.
3. Be careful that you do not facilitate project management
at the cost of impeding institutional development and linkages.
A project management unit outside the Host Institution management
framework eliminates an opportunity to address basic management
problems and denies the institution an experience. Institutional
management can well be addressed in the project.
4. Secunding extension personnel to research facilitates
project management, but it leaves the extension entity outside
the process and gives it no chance to learn along with research.
Design the project so that extension is involved and can
demonstrate to itself its own interest in linking with research.
Coordinating committees or special coordinating units are
seldom very effective. Linkage will come when linkage activities
(a) serve the self-interests of both parties to the linkage and
(b) they are provided for in position description and personnel
5. Allow plenty of time for project design.
The time provided for most project design is adequate for
the work to be done, but it often is not adequate for developing
a working consensus among the donor, the Host Institution, and
the design team. This is especially important in collaborative
mode projects. Here are some considerations.
Select your design team contractor well ahead of time and
arrange for for the team leader to visit the country at least a
month ahead of the team's scheduled arrival.
The team leader on this trip should be expected to
accomplish these ends.
a. He should understand what the donor wants. The donor
may need to use his counsel to help make some final decisions
regarding the project.
b. He should do or initiate an institutional analysis of
the Host Institutions. This would include a dialogue with the
Host Government and Host Institutions on the nature and scope of
the project and its role in helping achieve their needs and
c. He should do a tentative plan of work for accomplishing
the project design, including an outline of the document needed
by the donor.
d. He can do other analyses needed for the project.
Bringing the team leader in ahead of time would add little
to the cost if he could do some studies and analyses that would
have to be done anyway. It would cost time, in the sense that
the donor would have to plan well ahead, but both time and money
would be saved in the improved product resulting from the
If there is need for studies and analyses to be done before
the design team begins its work, you can improve the
effectiveness of the design if you can use design team members
for the studies and analyses, whether the team leader or not.
6. Anticipate evaluation in design stage.
Expect more than merely a schedule of evaluations in the
evaluation plan. Some guidelines are suggested in Chapter IV.
Some experience suggests that it would be helpful to have
some continuity between the design team and the evaluation teams
and on the evaluation teams. This would consist of a design team
member being on subsequent evaluation teams. It could also be
handled by arranging for the same team to do all evaluations, or
at least the same contractor.
The DESIGN of
Research and Extension Projects
This chapter is intended for the team responsible for
working on project design. However, it is derived from an
analysis of the interests and needs of the host institution and
can be used as a basis of discussion among the team, the donor,
and the host institution.
These guidelines address both research and extension
(R/E) and consider technology innovation as a single process,
even though in most cases two entities share responsibility for
implementing it. Orient your work to the single process.
In R/E project design you do not deal directly with
agricultural production technology. You deal with organization
and management with the aim of improving the host country's
ability to deal with agricultural technology.
. B Technical Design Considerations
1. Base your design on a set of models that are
consistent with each other. Models will help explain the way you
view the phenomena with which you are dealing. They will help
test your ideas and suggest new ones, and they will provide a
common orientation for all of the personnel who are to be
involved in the project. That common orientation will greatly
facilitate communication among the various groups with diverse
backgrounds who will work on the project during its lifetime.
This set of guidelines is based largely on the
Technology Innovation Process (TIP) Model and derivatives from
it. It is explained in Appendix A and summarized in various
places. You can use the Model, modify it, or develop one of your
own. As you develop and use models, please report your
experience to FSSP.
(a) The TIP Model provides a firm conceptual base for
FSR/E. It also places FSR/E in context and shows both its
potential value to the technology innovation process and its
limitation if viewed outside that process. FSR/E addresses the
functions of integration (knowing and understanding farmers and
their farming systems testing (in the farming systems by
criteria of those systems), and adaptation (to improve the fit of
the technology for the system and for similar systems.
These are essential functions of the technology innovation
process. They enable research to select problems of most
relevance to farmers and to search for innovations most likely to
fit. These factions serve to "finish" the innovation so that
extension can be presented with farmer-ready technology.
They treat a segment of the technology innovation process in
which research and extension both have an essential interest.
This fact improves the chances for research-extension linkage.
At the same time, the Model shows the inadequacies of these
functions if they are not linked to a technology generating
function (or source of technology) on the one hand and to a
dissemination function on the other. While they are essential,
the FSR/E functions are not sufficient in themselves.
(b) It can be inferred from the TIP Model that a country
can rely heavily on international sources of technology, but from
the testing function onward, a country must have its own
capacity. The international technology network cannot provide
them. They are components of Basic National Capacity.
(c). Reconcile the organization of the R/E System with the
technology innovation process, using the TIP Model. Use Figure
IV to help (i) to determine a feasible assignment of
responsibilities to the extension and research entities, (ii) to
reflect those assignments in the organization of research and
extension, and (iii) to relate the the two organizations so that
the integrity of the technology innovation process is maintained.
Think of the rectangle REXT as the total combined R/E
effort. However, the area shown for each sub-unit does not
measure its importance relative to the total effort because equal
width is used for the functions. This illustrates an important
inadequacy of a model such as this. While it is useful for
conceptualization, it value for analysis is limited. Indeed if
pressed too far as an analytical device, the model may actually
do more mischief than good.
You will need to experiment with your own lines. The
Figure will help you to understand that:
+ The functions of the technology innovation process
must be translated into job assignments,
+ That each job assignment has to be assigned to an
+ That the jobs must be related to each other within
each of the entities, and
+ That the activities of the two entities must be
related in such way that the technology innovation process
can be implemented.
Only one guideline is critical. The lines showing task
assignments and organizational responsibilities must slant across
the technology innovation functions. Joint participation in a
function will greatly facilitate research and extension linkage.
"Joint participation" does not mean "duplication of activities."
There are various activities and roles involved in any of the
functions, and some of them are best suited to research, others
The model and this line drawing exercise could serve as a
topic for a seminar that involved both research and extension
management. Such a meeting would help achieve consensus on
project objectives. It would tend to emphasize technical and
management considerations, real live problems, and it would
facilitate participation of host country personnel. Research and
extension management have to draw these lines.
Use Fig. IV-lb to draw lines that seem appropriate for
your country. The following discussion may be helpful.
2. Understand the functional assignments needed.
The functions of the TIP model must be translated into
activities, assigned to specific units of the R/E entities, and
reflected in job descriptions. Four essential activity
assignments are identified. Some of them can vary considerably
in scope and intensity. Some can be combined and assigned to one
unit. In no case, however, can the functional assignments be
Four activity assignments are identified:
National Subject Matter Research
Technical Liaison and Support
a. Area-specific Research
Area-specific research responsibilities are:
+To know and understand the farmer and his production
system or systems;
+To report problems and constraints and explain them
to national subject matter research;
+To test promising technologies in the farming
+To modify or help modify the technology to improve
its fit in the farming system and adapt it to other
farming systems; and
Fig. IV-la. Activity Assignments between Research and Extension,
By Functions of the Technology Innovation Process
Technology Innovation Process
Stock Science Tech Tech Tech Tech Tech Dfusn
Knoldg Genratn Testng Adapttn Ntgratn Dsmnatn Adoptn
R \ X
\ Area-Specific /
Subject Matter \ Research / /
Research \ / Technical/
\_ / Liaison & / Field
/__ / Support Extension
E / / T
Units to which Assigned
Fig. III-lb. Activity Assignments between Research and Extension,
By Functions of the Technology Innovation Process.
rTechnology Innovation Process
Stock Science Tech Tech Tech Tech Tech Dfusn
Knoldg Research Genratn Testng Adapttn Ntaratn Dsmnatn Adoptn
Unit Receiving Assignment
+To collaborate with extension and others who can
help disseminate the tested, improved technology.
Area-specific research is often done by teams under a
variety of names. These teams are key actors in identifying the
factors limiting agricultural production and in putting the
finish on technology. Much of their potential depends on how
effective they can be in "conditioning" other elements in the
national R/E System and even the international technology network
(ITN). They must be related with the suppliers of technological
alternatives and with those who can deliver their product.
Area-specific research deals in a range of commodities and
problem areas, but its program orientation is geographic area and
the farming systems of that area. It is responsible for the
integrity of the research program by area needs and farming
b. National Subject Matter Research
National subject matter research has two responsibilities.
+To support area-specific research, responding to
problems and questions, dealing with both subject
matter and research methodology. It is the first
recourse of area-specific research personnel, its
+To provide new technological alternatives to area
research teams and farmers, that is. to provide
technical leadership, to come up with something
beyond what area personnel are requesting--either by
generating new technology or by importing it.
National subject matter research has country wide
responsibility to maintain the subject matter integrity of the
research program. Its personnel needs to be specialized by
National subject matter research efforts can vary greatly
in size. They can be substantial and assume responsibility for
technology generation, i.e. generate the technological
alternatives they offer the field teams. Or they can be very
small, perhaps only one person, and work with the ITN to supply
technological alternatives. Or they can be anywhere in between.
Size will be a function of the country's resources and its
strategy in research development. Even in any one country, some
programs could be small and others large. No matter what the
scope of the program's work in generating its own new technology,
it must still be responsible for keeping up with technology
developments in the ITN. No country can afford not to keep in
touch with the international technology network.
c. Technical Liaison and Support
This activity assignment is not found in many LDC R/E
Systems, and this lack is one explanation for extension's limited
effectiveness. The assignments, activities, and responsibilities
associated with it are not well understood. There must be some
mechanism by which the field extension agent can be linked
effectively with sources of technology. If the link is not
present, agents are not de facto part of the System and must
supply the technology from their own resources. This has never
proven a viable alternative.
There are several options for providing this linkage. The
research entity can provide it, extension can provide it, or they
can share it. Technical.liaison and support has three major
responsibilities which it will discharge through several
+One is to maintain liaison with research for the
purpose of knowing about and understanding the current best
technology alternatives available and about promising
alternatives that are becoming available. It must not only know
about the technology, it must also have the capacity to
understand the technology and to work with it.
This requires that at least half the TLS staff have formal
training to the same level as area research personnel, probably
the M.S. degree, and all should have adequate short-term
Collaboration with the field research in testing and
adaptation is the single most effective way of keeping up with
technology development. By this collaboration extension can
inform itself of the technology and understand it. It can give
the technology a better test than can research without this
collaboration, thus serving its own interest. Finally, for the
technology that does stand the test, the extension process is off
to an early start.
Collaboration also facilitates extension participation in
problem identification and problem definition and in deciding
what passes the tests.
+The second responsibility of technical liaison and
support personnel is to liaison with input suppliers to improve
the chances that the right inputs will be available for that
technology embodied in inputs. In the case of seed, this unit
could recruit producers of improved varieties.
+The third responsibility is to provide technical
support to field staff. The field staff, by its very posting,
will quickly become isolated from the rest of the system, if the
system is not energetic in keeping it integrated.
Technical support activities include training of field
agent; preparation of reference materials and training aids;
trouble shooting and response to agents' requests for help.
Training of field agents needs to be integral to the extension
program, not an ad hoc service from other entities. Training is
the principle means by which information, extension's stock-in-
trade, flows through the system. Field agent training needs to be
part of the program of technical liaison and support personnel
and written into job descriptions.
Until we can provide better information think in terms of
one TLS person for every twelve field agents, with half the TLS
personnel formally trained to the same level of area research
personnel and the other half with training, short-term and
otherwise, well beyond that of the extension field agent.
d. Field Extension
The performance of the field agent is an exceptionally good
indicator of the performance of the research-extension system.
With few exceptions, inadequacy in his performance is due to
deficiencies in the technology innovation system, more than to
deficiencies of the agent.
Agent to farmer ratio or formal training of the agent, both
often cited as major problems, are not nearly as important to
agent performance as are the quality of the technological
information the system makes available and the training and other
technical support he gets from the rest of the research and
extension system. The agent is an instrument of the system and
cannot be expected to be an autonomous force in himself.
The field agent has two major responsibilities--to inform
farmers of new (to the farmer) technological alternatives and to
instruct them in how to use the technologies. He is also
responsible for reporting on performance of the technology and
farmer problems and needs.
We know of no rule of thumb for the number of field agents
needed. It is clear, however, that many countries have more
agents than they can support adequately, either technically or
logistically. Almost all countries have a higher ratio of agents
to TLS personnel than is desirable. Bryce and Evenson present
some analyses that indicate LDC's tend to over invest in
extension compared to research. (Bryce, James K. and Robert E.
Evenson, Agricultural Research and Extension, Agricultural
Development Council, 1975, pp 8-10). It will rarely be the case
that more field agents can be justified. It is better to support
the present ones more effectively.
3. The above discussion provides the best reasoning
available to justify the need to address both research and
extension in a single project. Working with both entities in a
single project will provide a common orientation to both entities
and will provide resources to both entities, dedicated to the
same purpose. Often linkage cannot happen because one of the
entities is simply not capable of holding up its end of the
linkage. The need to work with both entities was addressed in
the section on project development. If the project as originally
conceived does not intend to work with both entities, do what you
can to get some resources and technical assistance into the other
one, even if full participation of both is not feasible.
C. Management Design Considerations
The technical aspects of R/E are sometimes the easiest to
accomplish. Organization and management are more difficult, but
often they are the variables that make the difference. Here are
some guidelines that will increase your chance for success.
1. Personnel Training
Training is one means by which you develop the human
resource, but training may not automatically achieve the results
a. The field agent needs continuous training, and
that training needs to be an integral part of the extension
program. That is one of the reasons that the Technical Liaison
and Support Unit is so important. It must provide technical
support to the field staff, and a principal means of doing so is
by training. Field agent training needs to be specific to the
technology extension is promoting. Extension deals in
information, and training is one of the ways it processes and
b. TLS personnel need to be trained up to the level
of the field research teams. The only alternative is for the
field research teams, or some other unit of research, to assume
the technical support functions, and that requires more trained
personnel in research.
c. For both research and extension, you can gain some
time and economies by giving U.S. quality graduate training in
country. This could be given for graduate credit, which would
help insure quality. You can do it in off seasons, either by
bringing in professors on short term assignments or by using
members of the contractor team.
d. The possibilities for self training are
significant. Both research and extension are dealing with new
information, and this experience offers chances for seminars in
which personnel can literally train themselves. One of the real
opportunities are in meetings in which research results,
including on farm trials and perhaps even demonstrations, are
reported and analyzed and in which research plans are formulated.
These can be seminar-style, involving both research and extension
personnel and accomplish an educational function as well as an
2. Host Institution Management
Virtually every host institution needs help with
management, and virtually every project can be made more
effective if it includes some management assistance to the host
institution, especially if institutional development is
considered a desired end.
a. Inadequate logistic support for research and extension
is a major problem. It will be difficult to achieve, because most
LDC governments are under pressure to give employment to as many
people as possible, and increasing the budget (outside donor
contribution) will be slow, difficult, and uncertain. Do the
best you can.
Resist expanding the field extension staff, unless there is
an exceptional opportunity. There are few situations in which
number of field agents is a serious limiting factor. There are
many in which support is. Field agent to farmer ratio has little
meaning without adequate logistic and technical support.
Move research into new areas before expanding extension.
If there is no source of farmer-ready technology, extension has
Look to as many alternatives as you can list for expanding
(b) A second major problem is the lack of financial
resources adequate to the function expected of the research and
Maintaining support for an organization is just as
important in public administration as is developing and
maintaining a good program. Many techniques have been developed
over time, and many of them can be fitted to the host country and
host institution situation.
Here are some alternatives that can be considered.
+ Make a record of performance and success.
Translate into monetary terms and develop skills and
program activities to inform those who hold the purse.
+ Present the research and extension program as
an investment rather than a cost.
+ Make use of "advisory councils" and name people
to them who know the system, who can legitamize the R/E
program, and who can actually help influence fund
+ Don't overlook other donors. Donors may be a
quasi-permanent source of support in some countries.
+ Look for private sector support. It will often
come as a result of program activity that serves a
commercial interest. This involves some risk, but
don't be overly fearful
+ Consider a permanent position in the Host
Institution with the sole responsibility of acquiring
financial support. This position should be very close
to top management to emphasize the fact that resource
acquisition is a major responsibility of management.
(c) Linkage with the international technology network is
often inadequate, with the host institution being in a reactive
mode and leaving all direction and initiative to some foreign
entity. With a basic national capacity in research and extension
discussed elsewhere in this handbook, the host institution is in
a position to take the initiative and help set direction and
scope of the collaboration with international entities. However,
it needs a system and a program for doing so. Here are some
ideas that can be worked into a project.
+ Develop a plan or program or system by which
host institution personnel are to maintain contact with
the international sources of technology, and assign
responsibilities to persons or positions. Make linkage
a significant part of the job description.
+ Provide subscriptions to journals and to other
relevant publications or information services.
+ Provide for travel to scientific meetings and to
research stations where relevant work is being done.
Travel could be as frequent as once a year.
+ Facilitate contacts between host institution
personnel that can be maintained by mail and perhaps
occasional visits. A few particularly good contacts
can be brought in as consultants for the express
purpose of establishing long time links. This can
also include helping to maintain contact with major
professors or other professors of HI personnel.
The contractor's home office can be helpful in setting
up and maintaining contacts. Participants in degree
courses can aim at establishing these linkages.
(d) Most Host Institutions will be in great need of
strategic planning. They need a long time plan that sets
program direction, sets goals as to scope and program, and
includes a strategy for reaching the goals. Without such a long
range plan, growth is not likely to occur. If it does, it will
be haphazard. If the institution does not have such a plan, then
donor support will follow donor criteria because there is no
The project can include a component to facilitate such a
plan. Such a component would not be costly to the project. Most
of the work needs to be done by the host institution, but the
process is fairly tedious, and some technical assistance could be
useful. It could be by short term persons, perhaps in repeated
tours, supplemented by help from the project implementation team.
Strategic planning could take place over the life 'of the project.
Even though long run planning is needed, many actions need to be
taken in the short run.
A major issue in strategic planning is the extent to which
the country will depend on international sources of technology
and the nature of that dependence. This issue, in turn, is
critical for the organization and operation of the system in the
short run, starting today.
(e) Research-extension linkage must start with management
and must be encouraged and supported by management, even though
most of the work and action takes place in technical-program
activities. This subject is treated in various places through
this handbook and needs to be central to the project.
(f) Personnel management and development is another
important issue for institutional management, given the fact that
personnel is by far the most important resource in research and
extension. It is common to think of personnel problems in terms
of salary, but there are other issues involved. Personnel will
respond to opportunity for development and to do a good job.
Assignments are an important element in both motivation and
development of personnel. The assignment, for example, to
maintain contact with international sources of technology would
help develop and maintain many persons at a relatively low
Resources to enable a person to develop a good program
would also be both a motivation and a development instrument.
This emphasizes the need for an active program in resource
acquisition. Often the resources needed to enable a person to
work are not great, and acquiring resources in small amounts
sometimes simplifies the job.
Another important element in personnel motivation and
development is participation in important matters of the
institution. Management can solicit participation, for example,
in strategic planning as well as in managing the routine affairs
of the institution.
Training is not the only element involved in personnel
development. The design team needs to consider this issue as
part of the project's component in management.
D. Organizational Design Considerations
No "best" organizational form for the R/E System has been
identified and justified. You can feel fairly confident,
however, that the assignments, discussed in Section B above, are
needed to make the technology innovation process operational and
that if provided they will indeed do so. The "assignments" have
been derived from experience. Assignments divide up the
functions and responsibilities. As a result they tend to divide
the organization as well. Organization must relate the divisions
so that the R/E program is de facto a single, integrated program.
Organization refers to structure, i.e. how the parts relate
to each other. However, it is important that the job description
of each unit which has been assigned a responsibility provides
for activities that will link that assignment effectively to
assignments received by other units. Thus, job description
becomes as important as the structure of the organization.
Thus, two criteria must be satisfied:
+- The responsibility assignments must cover the four
assignments discussed and explained in Section B. The efforts can
be modest, but they must attend to the four responsibilities.
+- Job descriptions must be written so that the
responsibilities are attended and so that each assignment is
linked effectively with other assignments.
When you are working with organizational issues, you must
have more interaction with the host institution and the host
country than is essential on design of other project elements.
You also may not be able to achieve a resolution during design of
organizational issues. What you can do, however, is to open up
the problem, get people started to be concerned about
organization and organizational alternatives, and to improve the
chances that the implementation team can address them
nnnnntively. Thus, design should seek to make organization a
relevant issue of the project, a legitimate issue for the project
to address. It should also make resources available. This kind
of issue will not take many resources, but the ones that are
needed may well be critical.
1. Organization Alternatives
There are several alternatives for organization and
for combination of alternatives. Those listed here will be
helpful in starting an analytical process that will lead to a
relevant organizational form for the specific situation. Some
may fit as they are. Others will almost certainly need
a. One alternative is to assign each responsibility to an
administrative unit or units. Thus, each subject matter program
would be an administrative unit, even though small. By the same
token area-specific research would be assigned to units, a team
for each area.
The technical support and liaison function could be
assigned to one unit in the extension entity. It could also be
assigned to several units, organized by subject matter or by
geographic areas. In most cases the field extension agents are
organized into units that would fit into a total system.
Size of country and thus size of the research and extension
entities will be important factors in organization. In general,
the simpler an organization can be the better. In small
operations, for example, one unit could handle the technical
liaison and support responsibility, without subdivisions. As
size increases, sub-divisions will be needed.
b. Area Specific Research
On-farm research teams (FSR teams) is one way to
organize area specific research. These teams can answer directly
to the research director; they can answer to a technical director
who is also responsible for subject matter research; or they
could answer to an "area research deputy" who in turn answers to
the director of research. In cases in which area-specific
research is rather new and not well integrated into the program,
a deputy director could be useful in helping the research entity
and the teams learn and perform this new assignment of
An alternative to on-farm research teams is the branch
experiment station. This requires, however, (a) that the station
adequately reflects the area's ecology, (b) that the researchers
spend a great deal of time with farmers, and (c) that they work
closely with extension.
There could be a combination of the two. Even on-farm
research teams need a headquarters. In some countries in which
on-farm research is emphasized, the branch station is known as a
production center rather than an experiment station. If the
branch station work is emphasized, there needs to be some on-farm
work. If research personnel have trouble getting off the
station, extension through demonstration and trials may be able
to serve the function of keeping close contact with farmers.
Area-specific research personnel need to be to some degree
extension workers, and this needs to be reflected in their job
descriptions. Their major responsibility is/to test and adapt
technology, but that is so close to extension that it is
difficult to tell what is research and what is extension. They
need to be sensitive to farmer needs and to extension needs and
above all not to worry about distinguishing research from
c. Subject Matter Research
This responsibility can be assigned to teams, if
there are enough personnel to provide teams. If there is a
severe resource constraint, there may be just one unit that is
charged with keeping contact with international sources of
technology. It would be constituted by specialists.
The subject matter research personnel are responsible for a
country-wide program of research. Members of a commodity team
could be stationed in several places. There needs to be
communication so that there is a single, national program.
d. Relating subject matter and area-specific research.
It is just as important to link these two elements
together within research as it is to link research with
extension, and sometimes it is almost as difficult. There is
ample experience of the two elements working together very
effectively. The key has been the recognition of the service the
"other" group could provide. Area-specific research, for
example, can give subject matter technology a far greater test
than subject matter research can. It can also identify problems
of much more significance and help evaluate them and plan
research. On the other hand, subject matter research is the
first recourse of the area-specific teams and is area specific
research's link with the world. Area-specific research has
limited potential without this source of technology.
Under severe resource constraints, personnel in subject
matter research can be reduced with lessharmful impact than
in area-specific research. The country can rely on the world as a
source of technology, but not for area-specific research.
However, subject matter research has to be organized, planned,
and managed to achieve this end. It doesn't happen simply by
The matrix form of research organization has worked well
in some experiences. It is depicted in Figure IV-2. This shows
that the subject matter people have to maintain the integrity of
the subject matter program, countrywide, while accommodating the
needs of area-specific research. Area-specific research is
responsible that the research program serves the farmers of the
area while accommodating the needs and resources of the subject
matter programs. These accommodations are more fruitful and
effective if there is joint effort in r viewing research results
and in planning annual research programs. These joint research
review and planning meetings are effective self-teaching
In the experience with the matrix/, all teams answered to a
technical director. It should serve as well if there were a
deputy to the director for subject matter research and for area
e. Technical liaison and support
This responsibility is vital to extension and is
perhaps the single most neglected area of work in research and
extension. In very few countries is this responsibility
adequately handled. There is virtually no way the field agent
can perform adequately unless the TLS function is carried out
well. If s/he does, s/he is acting independently of the system,
as an autonomous agent, not as an agent of the system. See
Appendix D for a more detailed discussion of the function.
The most effective alternative is for the extension entity
to assume this role, assign persons to it, provide them the
training needed for the function, charge them with effecting
linkage to research, and supporting them with resources adequate
to the task. With an adequate liaison and support unit,
extension can effect liaison with other sources of technology, if
there is more than one research entity in the country. This unit
can also help with area-specific research. A fully.operative
technical liaison and support unit would discharge all the
functions.expected of the verification as well as those expected
of the research-extension liaison officer.
One alternative is for research to assume the role. It is
in the interest of the research entity to do it, if extension
does not assume the responsibility. It is in the interest of
research to facilitate the role, even if extension assumes it.
It is seldom that research can give the technical support the
field agents need. If research assumes the responsibility, the
best that can be hoped for is for research to promote its won
wares. This will be a minimum of support to field agents and
that specific to its most recent technology innovations.
If research accepts this responsibility, it often does it
through the research-extension liaison officer. The fact that it
is referred to in the singular, indicates the minimum level it
implies. In fact, with a technical liaison and support unit in
extension, it still may be a good idea for the research entity to
have a research-extenion liaison officer. The responsibility of
this officer can also be broadened to include bulletins, radio
broadcasts, and other information services.
Still another alternative is the technology verification
officer in extension. His function is to take the technology
that research is recommending and verify it in the conditions in
which extension programs are working. The extension verification
trial is another form of the testing and adaptation trials of
research and is a legitimate and necessary function for extension
to perform. The verification label does not indicate that the
support function is adequately handled.
In very small countries, area-specific research and
technical liaison and support could be consolidated into a single
unit. It would be responsible for testing and adapting
technology introduced by the subject matter research and
promoting it through the field agents.
E. Evaluation Considerations
The design team has an important responsibility for
evaluations. It must do more than assert that there will be so
many evaluations at certain time. Thinking through an evaluation
scheme will help make the design more realistic.
1. Suggest an evaluation process or plan.
There are several ways in which this can be done.
Here is one. You can use it or make some modification of it.
a. Describe the current situation in terms relevant
to the project and make some projection of what the situation
would be at the end of the project if no interventions were made.
b. Describe the desired situation at the end of the
project period. If a follow on project is anticipated, describe
the desired situation at the end of the follow up project and
anticipate what the interim situation, at the end of the first
project, would be. It will be necessary to state the value
system you are using--farm income, institutional change, number
of people involved, total production, organizational and
c. Suggest an evaluation system
First, list the constraints that are going to impinge
on reaching the desired situation and give some idea of their
seriousness. These will include budget resources, manpower,
nature of changes desired. Be as specific and analytical as time
allows. Then reconsider if the desired situation is realistic in
the face of these constraints.
Secondly, deal with three critical elements of
What are the measures you will use to guage
progress and accomplishments? What will be the units you
will use to measure?
In terms of those measures and units, what are
the goals or targets you are aiming for?
How will information be gathered to measure?
d. Reconsider your original "desired situation." If
it seems unrealistic, make adjustments in your evaluation design.
e. Design into the project a review of the evaluation
design by the implentation team and a revision. In this way the
evaluation design can become a useful tool for project
Figure IV-2. Research Organization Matrix
Subject Ares-Specific Research Units
Units Area 1 Area 2 Area 3 Area 4 Area n
_________ ____ ________ !______
---- I ---- I I
! I I !
This system of organization was developed and.used
effectively in Guatemala by ICTA. The area-specific research
units are responsible for the integrity of the research
program in its relevance to the most important farming
systems) of an area. They must know and understand the
farming systems) and enough of the technology so that they
can help adjust the subject matter research programs to that
At the same time the national (or system-wide) subject
matter research program leaders are responsible for the
subject matter integrity of the programs. Where the lines
intersect, reconciliation must take place. Of course no one
is completely happy, but under proper leadership from top
management, totat program integrity can be maintained.
Reconciliation takes place at annual meetings in which
research results of the past year are reported and analyzed
and research plans for the next year are made. Top
management may have to take an active role. If meetings can
be held in the area, it may help.
The national subject matter programs can think of
generating technology if national resources permit teams with
this capacity. The programs can also be manned with very
small teams who depend on the international network and
imported technology under more severe resource constraints.
2. Use objectives to facilitate evaluation.
Skillful use of objectives can greatly facilitate
both evaluation and management. Objectives can serve as the
conceptual glue that binds many project components together and
coordinates activities so that a single project results. It is
clear that the design team cannot set realistic objectives for
the implementation team. Project design can encourage the
implementation team to develop useful working objectives, and it
can facilitate the development of those objectives. All of this
will facilitate both management and evaluation of the project.
The design team can set some provisional or tentative
objectives and can suggest a simple format that can be used from
design through implementation and evaluation. The design team
can use objectives to set the parameters of the project. Finally,
it can design the project so that objective setting becomes
useful in the donor's monitoring and the contractor's
implementation. It is common for a donor to require annual plans
of work in a project. Objectives are essential to good plans of
work and can safely be emphasized.
Here is a simple format that you can use or modify. It is
a simple form that can thread through the entire project, being
used by the implementer and the evaluation team. If the design
and implementation team uses it, that should be a great
encouragement to the evaluation team to use it.
Objectives Target Factors Factors Actions
Date Expected Expected Indicated
to Help to hinder
This form can be easily modified by the implementation team
to monitor its own progress and to serve as a self-evaluation
Designers can fill out this form, both for the project and
for individual components. However, design teams and others
connected with the project cannot expect the design team to have
enough knowledge of the operational situation to fill out the
form definitively. The implementation team will have much more
information than is possible for the design team. Even the
implementation team will be getting new information and new
understanding, and for this reason will need to keep the form
under regular monitoring. The implementation team should be
expected, even required, to bring it up to date regularly.
F. Task Organization and Management
This section is written for the design team and the
team contracting entity. The team leader is the key actor in
design, and the task should not be underestimated. Much work
must be done in a short time, but more important, critical
decisions have to be made, and at least three sets of actors must
be involved, each with its own interest and point of view. The
team leader must organize and manage the operation.
Communication is almost never adequate. Team members are
often unknown to each other until meeting for the task. Many
will not be familiar with the donor and its style and strategy.
The country will be new to some of the team, and often there is
less communication between the donor and host institution
personnel than is expected. The team leader must deal with all
of these communication problems. He must accomplish the task.
At the same time he needs to improve communication.
Project design is part of a dynamic process. Don't be
surprised if various donor personnel are not in complete
agreement on what the donor wants to accomplish in the project.
Also do not be upset. You may be expected to help develop the
Advance work will make the task easier and more effective.
Most productive will be to discover as much of the project paper
trail as you can, to gather information on the country and
donor's interest and strategy in the country, and to have a
briefing before leaving for the assignment. The single, most
useful preparation activity would be a trip to the country by the
team leader at least one month before the team's assignment.
The project paper trail will vary with donors. The AID
paper consists of the country development strategy statement, the
most recent annual budget submission, and the project
identification document, progressing from the general to the
specific. There frequently are other papers that you can check
on. On set would relate to a current or earlier project closely
related to yours. It will have generated much paper.
Evaluations and most recent annual reports would be helpful. It
may be easier to get them from the contractor than the donor.
Check both. Another check you need to make is for studies done
by the donor in connection with your project.
Two major donors, World Bank and AID have headquarters in
Washington, and both of them generate paper on most countries.
Very often the other donor will have project documents or country
studies of value to you. Very often it will have personnel
familiar with the country and project situation. Finally, there
will be contractors of earlier projects who can help.
Aim for a briefing before the team leaves the country.
The briefing should accomplish three ends. One is to get a
stateside donor view of the project along with information and
analysis on the country and the donor's interest and strategy.
This helps you put your project and your task in context. You
will also want a mission briefing.
The second purpose to accomplish is to review some
technical considerations relevant to the task. You can use this
handbook, which attempts to make available to you much of the
experience of others on the same assignment.
Finally, start as soon as you can the task of team
building, i.e. consensus in the team, agreement on the task, and
the specific responsibilities of each. You will likely only get
it started at this point.
Team Leader Visit
Perhaps the most use preparatory activity is seldom done
under the press of time. That is to start the design activity
several months before the team is due to arrive in country. Two
actions have proven helpful.
One is to appoint the team leader early and let him have a
hand in selecting the rest of the team. It is important for the
members to be able to work together, just as important as being
individually well qualified.
The second useful action is to arrange a country visit for
the team leader to help structure and prepare the task before the
team arrives. The team leader could be responsible for much of
the briefing with such a visit.
These two actions require resources and time. The time can
be provided by more advanced planning. The resources can be
justified on two counts. The product will be greatly improved,
perhaps more than enough to justify the cost. There is almost
always some need for analysis and data gathering ahead of the
team's arrival. This could pay for the trip.
+ Arrange for a team briefing soon after you arrive in
country to determine: Donor program and strategy; what is wanted
in the project; more information and understanding of the
country, its institutions, and the actors you are likely to be
dealing with. Determine at this time just what the donor expects
of your team in preparation of the document.
+Keep close contact with the donor throughout your
assignment. If feasible, have a donor representative work
virtually as a team member.
Host Institution Contact
+Seek as much contact with the host institution and as much
participation of host institution personnel as is feasible. If
host institution personnel cannot participate, counsel with host
institution as much as feasible. Under your tight work schedule,
it is not likely that you will achieve optimum participation.
Whether participation or not, aim to establish team
credibility and respect in the host institution. Let them teach
you as much as possible. Discuss with them the models you are
using and seek a consensus with them on modifications you make,
if you or they think modifications would fit your situation
better. Use a few days at the beginning of the assignment to
seek rapport with host institution personnel before worrying
about the project design. Seek some sessions in which host
institution personnel and donor personnel work with the team.
One of your objectives is to establish a three-way concensus--
your team, the donor, and the host institution. Any gains you
can make in this area will improve chance of project success.
+Strive for complete communication among team members. A
meeting once a day, with no others present, will help you build
and maintain consensus, divide up the tasks but still maintain
coordination, share information, and develop understanding.
Information often cannot be taken at face value. Daily meetings
of team after rapport has been established will help you evaluate
+After a few days of introductory work, emphasizing contact
with host institution personnel, develop a tentative time
schedule. You can use activity charts and a Gantt chart to show
Aim for at leat two outputs besides the design per se.
One of these is intangible. If in the project design you can
help improve communication and achieve consensus on the project
between the donor and the host institution, you will facilitate
the work of the implementation team.
The second output is paper. Just as you are urged to
discover the paper trail as you start to work, you are urged to
leave a good paper trail for the implementation team and the
4. An Ideal Case
One case approaches the ideal. The team leader had worked
with the host institution, and he and host institution personnel
knew each other. He visited the country well ahead of the design
activity and after evaluating the task, helped pick the rest of
the expatriate team. He and the host institution personnel
planned the design activity, starting with a conceptual framework
or model and providing for a workshop involving the host
institution and the expatriate team. The workshop defined the
project objectives and strategies, defined the institutional
structure, and identified resources.
This activity did not provide a project design per se. It
did provide an analysis of what the host institution needed, but
in the form of components that would fit into a project design
document. The co-leaders provided a document outline, and the
workshop, under forced draft, wrote the document.
During the workshop, the team leader kept close contact
with the donor, insisting on keeping him informed. There was a
significant participation of the donor in the design workshop.
After the workshop, the team leader worked as a consultant with
the donor in completing the project design.
.-.: J ~i~:-.~... ~ .. .
G. Paper Preparation
1. Develop your own outline. You can do this independently
or in collaboration with the donor. Or you can use the outline
in this set of guidelines, revised as you and the donor decide is
2. During the team briefing you need to do some
organization of the team and make a preliminary plan of work.
The team leader is responsible and should take charge. He should
also get considerable participation of the team.
3.Make an effort to base your design on objective models
and knowledge gained from research and published. Do not
downplay the judgment of the team or the experience of team
members. At the same time you need to show that there are sound
logical and empirical bases for your design--that you are not
completely dependent on the intuition, biases, and experiences of
a group assembled for this task. Models will help you do this.
Some items useful in this regard are included in this
package. They include.
a. The Technology Innovation Process Model
b. The Research Organization Matrix
c. The International Technology Innovation Network
See Appendix H
d. Assignment of Responsibility, Research and Extension
e. Tables on Returns to Research, Appendix B
f. The Logical Framework, Appendix C
These can be included in one or more annexes, and
referred to in various places in the text.
4. Some analyses will likely still be needed in addition to
that done in the process of project development or before you
nrrive.Two types of needs will be important from time to time.
One type is that you need to help with project design. The
other is simply to show that the project and the design is
justified. Deciding on the analyses to do will require some
analysis itself. Note the analyses suggested in Appendix C and
get agreement with the donor on which analyses you will be
expected to do. Getting some work done before your team arrives
in country may be helpful, but it is necessary to get agreement
on what they are and how they are to be carried out. You could
end up with a lot of work and material that serves no useful
Project Paper Outline
1. Project Paper Abstract
One page. Include costs, TA input, training output,
commodities, construction, host country input, changes
intended to be accomplished.
a. Characterize host country agriculture and explain its
importance in the economy. (World Bank reports are useful.)
b. Describe the current status of agricultural research and
extension, showing organization (with diagrams), reporting
budget and personnel, important current R/E policies, and
objectives of this project. This needs to be an analytical
task as well as simply description. (See Appendix B.)
3. Project Description
a. Summary of Goal, Purpose, and Outputs from Log Frame
b. Project Activities
Use inputs from Log Frame (See Appendix C), describe
types of TA needed, prepare job descriptions, explain
short-term consultant needs, describe training, list
commodities, and explain course of action (strategy or plan)
Show plainly how the components relate to each other.
4. Project analyses
Show and explain why you have chosen this course of
action or project strategy and why it is expected to work.
This may have been done as the donor selected this
alternative. Avoid cliches that have little or no meaning
to generalists who have no special knowledge or appreciation
of research or extension.
b. Economic Analysis
It is difficult to make this analysis. You have to
assume too much with regard to results to be very
convincing, if you present an analysis.
It is more useful to use another approach. Data are
available to show that research provides higher returns on
investment than any development :alternative, when it is done
right. The real issue is doing it right. Use tables to
show its economic validity and models to design the effort
correctly. (See Appendix B for tables and Appendix A for
There currently is some question about the cost of FSR.
Make two points. FSR, if organized and managed correctly,
will make the total effort more effective. An important
management issue is the degree of intensity of FSR. In the
final analysis, each farm is a distinct farming system. If
we can find the proper degree of intensity (based on the
proper degree of generalization of the findings)., FSR/E can
be cost effective.
c. Social Analysis
+ Elitism. One issue is that a research project will
create an elite, as you build the capability needed to do
research. Face this issue squarely. Make the point that
research is essential for agricultural development and that
trained personnel is essential for research. Emphasize the
value of investment in the human resource. You can reduce
elitism by emphasizing M.S. over Ph.D., often a good idea
for other reasons.
+ Beneficiaries. Personnel of the research and
extension systems will be first beneficiaries. Face it, but
show that farmers will benefit (from increased production.)
Show also that low-income urban consumers will benefit from
more food at lower prices. Finally show that with increased
farm income the small rural business man will be a
beneficiary, and there will be increased employment
opportunities for the landless laborer. Be accurate and
analytical. These are all real possibilities. Do not deal
in cliches and truisms.
+ Women in Development. Be analytical in your analysis
of what impact this project will have on women and family
life. Resist temptation to deal with the issue as "boiler
d. Administrative Analysis
Can this project be administered with reasonable ease?
Design it so it can and show that in this section. Also note
the impact on management and administration of the host
institutions, both while the project is in operation and
after project terminates. Do not, however, make the project
easy to administer at sacrifice to the host institution.
5. Financial Plan
a. Summarize the Project Budget. Use narrative and table.
b. Host government contribution.
This will often be in kind. This is an administrative
requirement. It will be useful to report the total
research and extension budget of the country. Show trends.
LDC budget analysis is difficult. Do the best you can.
c. Financial Tables
Use tables to show as much project budget detail as is s
6. Implementation Plan
This deals with the administrative aspects of initiating and
implementing the project--selecting contractor, managing
commodity input, construction management, timing, and other
administrative matters. The course of action requested in
"3" deals more with the technical or project operational
7. Evaluation Plan
The donor will have some specific needs and wishes to be
incorporated. This section should look beyond the
administrative requirement, however, to how evaluations can
improve chances for project success. The plan should be
developed as an important component of design.
8. Conditions, covenants, negotiation status
These are all donor determined and need not cause you
Use annexes at your convenience. It is a good idea to keep
the body of the report fairly succint. Use annexes if you
need to include very much data or discussion.
The Implementation of
Research and Extension Projects
Principal audience for this chapter is the contractor who
has assumed responsibility to implement a technical assistance
project in research and extension. There may be parts of it
useful to the host institution, and it may have some value in
helping the donor understand the needs and orientation of the
This chapter places more emphasis project relative to the
host institution than do other chapters. The project is a
critical management entity operating in an unusual environment
and has important managements needs. No matter how closely the
project field team identifies with the host institution or how it
is deployed, the team is a unit and has needs of its own separate
from any other entity. Thus, emphasis on the team is justified.
However, the central orientation of this handbook, namely the
interest of the host institution, still holds. The team has no
reason for being'separate from the interests of the host
institution. Even though the project is the focus of this
chapter, the guidelines are intended to help project management
serve the interests of the host institution, and some of the
guidelines may be useful to host institution management,.
Two management entities are involved. The project includes
the field team and the contractor backstop. It sometimes is easy
to take the backstopping and administrative activities of the
contractor for granted. However, each project faces the
contractor with a new situation, and much of its previous
experience is not fully useful. As part of the project, the
field team is a discrete management entity, under conditions not
fully appreciated by backstop personnel and with team member
interaction such that the backstop group is sometimes the "they"
in a "we-they" relationship.
In spite of the project orientation of this chapter, one of
the marks of a good project is that it goes beyond the
requirements of the contract in assistance and support/to the
host institution. There will be guidelines on going the extra
(See Appendix F for guidelines for team pre-departure
(Also refer to Team Leader Manual. See AL-1.)
B. Pre-Implementation Management
There is often a considerable time gap between being awarded
a contract and being able to begin implementation in earnest. If
resources can be found, this time can be used to great advantage.
You can start selecting participant trainees, start commodity
procurement, set up the support management system, and arrange
housing and make other in-country arrangements for the ex-
patriate team. The team leader should be selected as early as
feasible, and all reasonable effort needs to be made for funding
that will allow him to start to work and to travel to the host
country. For certain purposes other personnel also need to visit
the country. Donors often have some means by which such pre-
implementation (or interim) activities can be authorized.
Persistence in seeking authorization and funds will increase
chances of project success.
C. Team Member Selection
1. Match the person to the position. Lack of personal
technical capability is seldom a problem. Technical mismatches
sometimes are. In some cases, technical qualifications in some
areas are'surprisingly high, and a person who could serve well in
most situations may not be up to host country expectations.
Another type of mismatch is a person completely adequate for a
range of responsibilities assigned to a responsibility outside
that range. Management has to assume responsibility for
inadequate performance under these conditions, not the person.
2. Check for host country personality preferences. Some
countries prefer assertive people, others prefer more passive
types. Check with experienced persons to find if your host
country has such preferences and what they are.
3. The right combination of persons is as important as
individual members. Check for mix of technical abilities as well
as combination of personality types and styles of work. Consider
needs and interests of host institution.
4. Start early and give yourself as much time as you can in
putting.the team together.
5. If an ideal candidate does not accept your invitation,
ask her/him to help identify someone with same qualifications.
6. Be able to explain role and significancelof all
positions. Sometimes significance of a position and need for a
person is as good a motivator as is salary.
7. Analyze thoroughly the actions contractor can take within
own discretion to make service on the project more attractive,
both professionally and in quality of life. Reflect this in
project policy, management, and recruitment.
8. Team leader should be selected first and should be
involved in recruiting others.
9. You have more time in selecting replacements. Use it.
To the extent feasible, send prospective candidates on short term
duty to the project.
D. Team Orientation, General
Until a person has lived or worked in a country it is
difficult for her/him to appreciate much of what you can give in
an orientation. Even though its effectiveness is limited,
orientation does have value, and the value is critical.
Think in orienting original team and replacements. For
replacements you will have much more information than you had
for original team. The project will soon seem commonplace to
you, but it's not to the new team member. Don't slight the
replacement personnel and families.
1. Recognize importance of family, who does not have the
support that the team members' professional responsibilities and
2. Describe the country,. location with respect to other
countries, geography, climate, life style, culture, economic
situation, politics and history, and matters of specific
.relevance to project and team. Provide a map.
3. Build a small library team members can use in their own
preparation. Useful materials are project documents, other donor
prepared documents, your proposal, the contract, along with other
information you can accumulate that would be helpful.
4. Provide both information and discussion opportunity for
families on living conditions. Health and education
opportunities are often of most concern. Develop as much
information as you can on international communication and
transportation facilities; contractor perquisites, such as access
to donor facilities--health nurse, diplomatic mail, commissary,
furniture; shopping facilities--locally, in-country, nearby, and
by mail order--including team members' importation privileges and
restrictions; recreation facilities and tourist possibilities;
opportunities for family member activities; opportunities for
family members to work, either as professionals or volunteers.
5. Provide an orientation kit for each family--with map of
country and capital city, important phone numbers and addresses,
churches, donor privileges available and rules for accessing
them, international communications facilities (airlines, telex,
and cable numbers), ways to contact team and family members in an
emergency. Provide information that is critical, vital, or
highly useful, keeping the kit as neat and maneageble as you can.
6. Discuss, to the extent you can determine it yourself, the
"cultural positioning" of the team and family members. Perhaps
all you can do is to stimulate an awareness and encourage your
personnel to be sensitive to certain issues. These will vary
country by country and even within country, depending on
location. How visible are you as foreigners? What is expected
of you? What can you expect? What cultural customs are
critical? What is general reaction to foreigners? Specific
attitudes towards U.S. persons?
7. If there are any security problems or precautions needed
give realistic information and explanation of them. These could
be in the project area, other places in the country, countries
which team members are likely to visit, or countries and cities
enroute. Be as realistic as possible. Do not raise unreasonable
E. Team Orientation, Professional
Team members need orientation beyond the general which they
need along with their families.
1. Describe the purpose of the project. The donor has a
specific purpose this project is expected to accomplish. You as
contractor also have a purpose. Be sure the team understands how
this project fits both donor and contractor purpose.
2. Help the team understand the difference between overseas
operations and domestic operations. Because of personnel
scarcity, they often are expected to cover a broader scope of
responsibility than in the United States. They may have to
handle questions of organization and management that never arise
at home. If some concepts are new to host country or host
institution, such as area-specific research or the technical
liaison and support function, spend some time on the principles
of these functions. Some other parts of this handbook will be
useful. You can use others to help develop an understanding of
3. Let the team know the policies and practices regarding
team identity and deployment in the project. How closely will
the team be expected to integrate its members into the operations
of the host institution. There needs to be a project policy, and
the team needs to know it. What will be the members' expected
relationship to team leader? To his counterpart? To donor
personnel? To host institution management?
4. Inform the team as fully as you are able to do the names
of key actors in the host institution and host country. Although
subject to change, any special relationships among key actors or
between key actors and high officials need to be made known. Do
not attempt, however, to be precise on just what significance
these relationships have.
5. Try to develop some political awareness and sensitivity
in the team, but do not overemphasize political relationships. It
is extremely difficult for foreigners to understand and evaluate
these relationships, and the cost of error is often greater than
the consequences of ignorance.
6. Inform the team on the personal reward structure of the
host institution. That helps understand the behavior and actions
of counterparts. The structure in which they operate is likely
considerably different from your. If you do not know it, counsel
the team to learn it and report it back.
7. Counsel team to stick to its own task and objectives, and
not try to solve the many problems they will see or think they
see. After an individual is well fitted into the host
institution and has won respect and confidence of his
counterparts, he may be able to work on some problems outside his
specific assignment. Even then he should give attention to those
things that are critical to the project, not to "all the problems
of the world." Work on the extra-assignment problems ought not
be allowed to detract from the assignment.
8. Communication is vital to team members far from home and
their own institution. Inform them fully of who will keep them
informed on what matters, who they are to inform on what matters,
who is expected to help them on various problems, what the
communications procedures are among the team in the field. If
these have not been decided work it out with the team. If team
is new, anything worked out before arriving in country will be
subject to change. However, it is useful to have something
and to have an understanding of how it is to be changed. In
general, the more communication the better, team members should
not be inhibited in communicating outside the project, and care
should be taken in using written means of communicating material
or information critical to other persons or groups.
9. As well as it can be done, inform the team of other
donors and projects that are relevant to this one and the nature
of the relationship. Sensitize the team to the importance of
informing itself of other projects and determining the proper
linkages to develop with them. This is information that needs to
be communicated to contractor support group. Don't attempt to
build linkages that do not serve a real purpose. Linkages cost
time and money and have no value unless they serve the host
institution, either directly or through your project. Keeping
informed, however, is worth some effort.
F. Backstop Structure and Administration
One of the first steps in project implementation is setting
up the backstop or support structure and system of management.
This structure becomes visible only when it doesn't work. The
need is to keep it invisible.
1. Identify the key actors the support structure must deal
with. The donor and the host institution are the two principal
organizations, but there may be others. Within the two
organizations, determine who does what. This requires
understanding something of their organizational structures,
procedures, and positions that you will be dealing with. Know
as many of the persons as is feasible, but they will change, so
you need insight into organization and procedures.
2. Each project is atypical and needs its own management
system. The system will be a blend of contractor, donor, and host
institution procedures, designed to serve specific project needs.
The most effective way to accomplish this is a meeting in
country of representatives of the organizations that have the
authority to make decisions. In case of donors, find out what
decisions are made in country and which at headquarters.
3. Administrative procedures need to be developed. Beyond
this expectations need to be clarified about other roles of the
contractor support system, especially those dealing with
procurement of commodities, recruitment of staff, handling of
participant trainees. You also need to know how to deal with
emergencies, especially medical and medical evacuation problems.
Other matters to deal with include accounting and auditing
expectations, customs clearing for project commodities and
household goods, and shipping practices.
4. Seek to anticipate recurrent needs .and to develop
procedures so they can be routinized. Establishing routines that
fit all organizations' needs and procedures not only saves time
and cost, it is also improves project quality.
5. Relevant project documents, such as project paper and
contract, need to be reviewed for any special administrative
needs or for any special administrative problems, either created
or neglected in the document. There may be need to amend the
contract or agree on special interpretation to provide project
needs. Any special interpretations need to be reflected in the
files, either by minutes or a memo confirming the interpretation.
G. Project Start-Up
Many things need to be done at once. Housekeeping tasks
will be important and will take much of your time, but in this
section attention is turned to the project and to its
responsibilities to serve the interests of the host institution.
You need to rely on your own judgment to set priorities.
1. The only priority to suggest is related to the calendar.
You could lose (or gain) a crop year, depending on how sensitive
you are to the calendar. Check the cropping cycle and set
priorities on what needs to be done and how much time you have
before you have to fall under control of the calendar.
2. Review project design paper. Take it seriously but not
religiously. In a very short time of living and working in a
country, you will have information and insights the design group
could not have. The project is now your responsibility. Take
charge. Clarify the goals and objectives of the project, develop
a conceptualization that can be shared by team members, and from
these set team objectives and individual objectives. (See H,
Objectives in Team and Task Management.)
3. After the team has reviewed the project and set goals
and objectives, work with the host institution colleagues to
build a workable consensus dealing with conceptualization and
goals and objectives. The team may have to modify some of its
ideas and concepts, but it is important to have a workable
consensus. That does not mean total agreement. There are
various ways to achieve a working consensus. They all involve
interaction between your team and the host institution, but
whether in one group, several smaller groups, or between
individuals you will need to decide.
4. One of the first objectives to accomplish is individual
acceptance of team members by host institution. One effective
way to do this is to make a sincere effort to learn all that
seems reasonable from host institution personnel about the
country, its agriculture, and the host institution and its
programs. Travelling with counterparts to learn about
agriculture and to meet people is useful. Don't feel compelled
to demonstrate your own competence and knowledge until a specific
5. Start to think almost immediately how the host
institution with project help can make a production impact fairly
quickly. If managed correctly a plan for early impact can gain
the host institution needed visibility, can help with linkage and
other institution building variables, and can help your team
achieve credibility. FSR/E is expected to test available and
almost-ready technology, make some minor adaptations, and move it
to farmers. Keep the need and possibility of early impact in mind
as you develop team objectives and work with host institution in
setting project working goals and objectives.
6. Establish working arrangements with the host institution.
It is seldom advisable for the team to be housed as a group.
That gives it more visibility than is needed and impedes the
development of an identity with the host institution, its
problems, and its purposes. The extent to which team members
identify with the host institution is a good measure of project
success. That identity can best be encouraged by dispersing the
team to the working units of the host institution. This may
cause some inconveniences at first, but it will add to project
effectiveness and eventually to team member satisfaction. Once
located, members need to seek to become "staff" and colleagues.
7. Keep the team and project visibility as low as the donor
policies will allow. Your task is to support the host
institution, and for this purpose the lower the team visibility
the better. The project will automatically be "visible" in those
places in which it needs visibility and to the extent needed.
The host institution needs to build its self-esteem and self-
confidence, and high project visibility does not help. Team
members need contacts and good personal relations, not
H. Objectives in Team and Task Management
This handbook gives a considerable emphasis to the value and
use of objectives. It suggests that the design team use
objectives as an organizing device and that evaluations be
organized largely around objectives. These short term teams can
make good use of objectives, but the objectives that make the
difference are the ones that the implementation team develops and
works with. A team can seldom work effectively with objectives
developed by someone else. Besides, with its chance to come to
know and understand the project environment the team can be
expected to come up with better objectives. Your team
needs its own. objectives, to serve its own purpose, following its
own defininitions. They should be consistent with the design
team's objectives, but the important thing is that you follow
your own criteria.
Writing objectives requires information, thought, analysis
and discussion. This presents a good opportunity to involve the
team as a team. This involvement will likely give better
analysis than is possible otherwise, but it also encourages team
member participation, which always improves chances for success.
Project team participation in this exercise is not inconsistent
with the concept of officing the team with host institution
units. Host institution interests can be better reflected in. the
team's plans, if team is dispersed. There may come a time when
host institution personnel will be involved with the team in
reviewing and revising objectives.
Objectives need to be revised as the situation changes or as
you accumulate more infomration and understanding of it. They
need to be under continual (or periodic) review, and that
requires monitoring and evaluation.
Objectives need to be stated correctly. They are most
useful when: They are stated as declarative statements.
They describe a future state or situation (not
simply a process or set of activities.)
They contain the specifics related to a
They can probably be accomplished within
You can deal with a heirarchy of objectives, i.e. have short
term objectives that are means for moving toward a long-term
objective. This ranking of objectives should not get too
complicated or detailed. For detailed planning, use other
management devices such as the activity network or Delta Chart.
You can deal with objectives that are common for the team,
or with individual objectives or subgroup objectives.
Below is a simple format to help think through the
objectives, to standardize presentation, and to help communicate
to donor, evaluation teams, host institution, and others who want
to understand your project. Modify it or devise one for your own
Objectives Date to Factors Factors Actions
Achieve Hindering Helping Intended
You can use the objective chart in making presentations to
the evaluation teams or in evaluating their evaluations. This
handbook suggest (1) that evaluation teams use team objective
statements in their evaluations and (2) that they encourage self-
evaluation as part of the effort.
In identifying and evaluating factors hindering and factors
helping, you are using a management technique known as "Force
Field Analysis." You can use brainstorming and group discussion
techniques to make the two lists of factors. Group discussion
can be used in analysis, but more study may be needed. You also
need to identify and analyze the alternatives you have for
action. Finally, you need to decide on actions and program them,
in a strategy for strengthening or taking advantage of the
factors that help and removing or attenuating the factors that
I. Managing Evaluations
Evaluations are important episodes in the life of a project
and can be used to enhance project management. They can be used
to show off your accomplishments and need not be a cause of worry
or dread. Your own attitude is critical. It permeates
everything you do, and it shows through to all observers and
helps create the general image of your project. That "general
image" is important in that it in turn helps create the
expectations, both of the donor and the evaluators, of what will
result from the evaluation. Psychologists have long held that
what people expect to find helps determine what they do find.
The external image will likely be related to the team's own
image, and thus expectations. Certainly, a team's expectations
of itself has important influence on its own performance.
Two guidelines are important. Take charge of the project,
including evaluation, and develop and demonstrate a positive
1. Take charge. Monitoring and evaluation are as important
as any other components of management. In your own interests,
you need continuous evaluation. Start at once to develop a
system. Keep it simple. Don't let it get out of hand.
2. The first step in designing an evaluation system is to
select evaluation criteria. In part this anticipates what others
are going to want and in part it is built on what you need.
Start with the project design document and note what
it has on the subject. The Logical Framework can be made into an
excellent evaluation tool. Finally, review the contract. These
will give you a good idea of what the donor intends. From these
synthesize a list of criteria. Match them against your own
ideas, based on observation and experience,and against the
interests and ideas of the host institution. As you gain
experience, review the match among these interests.
From this draw up a list of evaluation criteria that
will serve your purposes specifically and will be consistent with
donor expectations. The more you can work with the host
institution the more fruitful will be your efforts. Be sure your
list is consistent with your objectives.
3. The second step is to develop measures that will reflect
the criteria. You need measures that can be used well before any
impacts of the project are likely. Early in the project these
will be related more to input management than to output. As time
goes on, more attention can be given to outputs. With inputs,
however, there is a type of interim output. Selection and
processing of participants is an interim or intermediate output
of an input of expatriate technical assistance and resources
Results of the first year's research is an intermediate output,
be it the characterization of a type of farming area, results of
research, or the start of area-specific research in a new area.
These intermediate or interim measures are tricky.
They can easily fall into measures of input, and little more.
There will be some value in measures of input, but you can go
farther without violating the criteria of simplicity.
One means of going farther is to conceptualize the
task or tasks you face, to translate the conceptualization into
activities, and to put them on an activity chart. Progress
through the activity chart will produce significant interim
outputs. If they don't seem significant, then the activity chart
needs to be revised. This indicates the relationship among
planning, objective setting, and evaluation.
4. You will need a means of gathering information on the
measures you have developed. Information should be that which
the team itself can provide, and by activities that are closely
related to the regular team duties. For example, if you can use
information that a team member needs to record as part of his
work, you gain efficiency and increase the chance that your
system will indeed be implemented.
5. Developing a good project image has two components. The
project must be well managed, but in large part image results
from style of operation. These two are more closely related than
they seem. Here are some guidelines.
a. Don't emphasize problems in conversations and
reports. Emphasize positive factors.
b. Face problems squarely in a systematic problem-
solving mode. Face them promptly. Don't let them
linger. This is especially true of problems internal
to the project. Avoid situations that will cause
project members themselves to emphasize project
problems in their contacts and conversations.
c. If a problem has no solution, accommodate it. It
may be necessary to change strategy or objectives.
Or it may be necessary to live with it.
d. If you have to live with it, ignore it to the
extent possible, certainly in conversations and
e. Make the most of the positive elements of the
project, especially outputs and effective project
f. Be able to explain your project clearly,
in terms of objectives, strategy, and accomplishments.
Also be sure the entire team is able to. This
requires good communication and team interaction.
g. Keep contact with other groups who have an interest
in your project and help them to keep informed.
J. Managing New Components
A project is often introducing something new. In some
cases new activities cause no concern. Sometimes, however, they
are met with fear and suspicion by some units of the host
institution or by other entities. If other units are fearful or
suspicious, it is damaging to the host institution and its
linkage possibilities. Below are some actions you can take.
1. Identify the ways the new component can be helpful to
the units whose collaboration you need. In one case, for
example, an area-specific research program won the support of a
commodity team by helping triple the number of trials that could
be run. The commodity team reasoned that allowing field
researchers to help plan the field trials was a reasonable price
to pay for the extra trials. If the new component cannot be
helpful to other units, this is an indication that something is
wrong with design or implementation strategy.
2. Identify with other activities or programs that have
momentum or with problems or programs that are receiving more
attention than usual and seek means to be helpful to them.
Remember, however, that this is suggested as an implementation
strategy and should not be allowed to detract from project goals
3. Work as closely and directly with the farm production
process as is feasible and in line with project objectives. You
may be able to relate this to the need for early production
impact and be able to work it into project strategy.
K. Going the Extra Mile
The basic and overriding purpose of your project is to help
the host institution with its own development. It is easy to
lose sight of this purpose because of the immediate pressure of
managing a project, which takes on its own life and can easily
appear as an end in itself. The project will likely have some
institution building components. In almost all cases there is
much more that needs to be and can be done, within resources that
the project has available to it.
You have some resources. You have your own expertise, and
can always squeeze out a little time. It is always possible to
make some adjustments in the use and selection of short-term
consultants and in short-term training provisions of the project.
It is possible to amend the contract without unreasonable
trouble. There are also some indirect resources. Your donor and
others may have funds available for sound and worthy purposes.
The very existence of your project may create investment
opportunities for other donors and interest in helping out.
Your chance to go the extra mile in helping the host
institution in its own development will be directly associated
with the rapport team members are able to establish with their
host institution colleagues, including top management. One of
the most useful means to establish this rapport is to develop an
identity with the host institution, until team members can feel
the problems, the frustrations, and the aspirations of the
institution as well as those of individuals. This identity helps
project success and makes service on the project more interesting
and more satisfying to the team.
Once a rapport is established many possibilities open up.
It will be a rare case in which the host institution does not
have serious management problems. Once there is rapport, those
problems can be discussed and faced objectively. Until then,
little is to be gained by offering help in management.
With rapport, you can also help host institution management
search for funds among donors for its own purposes. To the
extent the institution takes initiative in seeking funds for
specific developmental purposes according to its own criteria it
has a say in its own destiny. The host institution may be able
to use the presence of your project and your counsel to improve
You can also deal with problems of linkages. It is in the
interest of a research entity, for example, for extension to have
some assistance to increase its ability to link with research.
The potential for your team helping establish these linkages is
likely to be considerably greater than is at first evident.
Perhaps the biggest opportunity is to help the host
institution with its management problems. That is dealt with
L. Host Institution Management
Host institution management is much more demanding than it
is for counterpart institutions in developed countries. Every
manager has the responsibility to maintain and build the
organization, at the same time being responsible for operations
or production. In mature organizations the building-maintenance
responsibility is much lighter than it is in new or inadequate
organizations. Host institution managers are faced with enormous
tasks in developing their institutions, and they operate under
serious national resource constraints. Donor funds often come
with conditions and for purposes which fit donor criteria rather
than host country needs and interests. The upshot is that many
LDC managers find themselves supervising routines without much
real chance or resource that will enable them to manage.
Your project can help, but results will come slowly and
will not be dramatic. There are some things you need not do.
You cannot manage. That does not solve anything beyond the
immediate need. You cannot advise, except in minor matters.
Advice from expatriates is likely to be based on criteria and
premises that are not relevant. The most effective thing you can
do is counsel as they work out their own management solutions,
following their own criteria, in addressing their own problems as
they define the problems. You can provide counsel--helping to
understand the processes of management, helping to identify
alternatives, and helping to analyse them--and you can provide
specific help for specific problems, through either your own
person or short term consultants.
Of all the management needs three stand out.
1. One is the need for long-range or strategic planning.
Developing a long-range plan will likely be more difficult for
research than for extension. Few LDC's can provide the research
they need from in-country resources. They can get help from
international sources, but will likely still have to make some
choices. Some of their problems may have to go unattended, even
with the. combined efforts of national and international
resources. Taking advantage of those international resources
requires a minimum national capacity (a) to decide what to look
for and (b) to handle the technology it receives, and a specific
strategy or system for maintaining linkages with entities in the
international technology network. (See III-E, and IV-C, this
This planning effort needs to be spread out over
several years and involve participation of research entity
personnel as well as other entities, such as national planning,
universities, extension, and possibly others. Expatriates can
help. One person, in country two times a year for three years,
could be much more effective than a team of expatriates for a
month or so.
2. The second major management problem faced by host
institution management is the acquisition of resources. Seldom
do donor projects address this problem, even though it is central
to institutional management around the world. This handbook, in
the Chapter IV, Section C, suggests it be included in design and
lists some alternative actions for consideration.
Even if not included in the project, you can do
something about it, and you can do it with few resources. The
main thing is to address the issue and see that there are several
alternatives to depending solely on the national treasury. The
development and existence of a long-range plan will be of
exceptional value in fund acquisition.
3. The third major problem is that of linkage between
research and extension, a problem which has seldom been solved to
any significant extent. This is difficult to understand, since
the success of each entity depends heavily on the success of the
other. There are several possible explanations for the
persistence of this problem.
One is that the two entities are working at opposite ends
of the technology innovation process and ignoring the center
functions. This means that they have little or no chance for
contact, integration, and linkage. To resolve this problem, it
may require a change in program or organization.
A second explanation is that the manner in which each one
defines its purpose does not require linkage. This would hold
that research defines its purpose as doing research with no
responsibility for dissemination. It holds that extension views
its job as routine dissemination when someone gives it something
to disseminate. Neither defines its purpose as changing and
improving agricultural production. This indicates that neither
entity sees any real purpose in linkage and has not assigned some
group or some individuals the specific responsibility to develop
and maintain linkages with the other.
A third explanation is that with research oriented to
science and technology and with extension composed largely of
field agents with sub-professional training there is too much
social distance between the two groups that interaction,
collaboration, and linkage is not likely. Another manifestation
of this situation is that extension, with so little attention to
technical liaison and support does not have the capacity to hold
up its end of the research-extension linkage.
It may be that one of the important things you can do is to
understand the persistence of the problem. Once the problem is
understood and stated, there may be some fairly clear signals as
to how to resolve it.
Research and Extension Projects
Primary audience for this chapter is the evaluation team
and contracting entity, although some of the information will be
useful to both the donor and the implementing team and in
discussions between the evaluation team and its clients.
There are several types of evaluations. This handbook
assumes a mid-project evaluation which has the main purpose of
helping the donor to understand project progress and to make
decisions regarding project direction, process, and design.
The donor is the primary client of an evaluation. Expect that
donor personnel know a great deal about the project and have been
conducting a continuous de facto evaluation. In most cases the
donor provides a scope of work for the evaluation and may also
identify problems or other issues that need attention. In some
cases the donor will provide criteria, but in many cases it is up
to the team to select and apply the criteria.
While the donor is the main client, these guidelines aim
for the evaluation to be useful for the implementation team and
even for the host institution. To serve these three audiences it
is useful for the evaluation team to take a positive attitude and
develop an empathy for the three involved.
Empathy and a positive attitude will serve the evaluation
team well on other accounts. In most evaluations the project has
not had time to generate definitive impacts, especially if
persistence is one of the criterion for impact. This means that
evaluators must rely heavily on judgments and inferences in
trying to project the probable impact of project strategy and
activities. Data will be difficult to come by, and much of the
data that can be accumulated must be interpreted. It will not be
straightforward. The only way the team can handle the data and
develop expectations of its probable significance is to rely
heavily on judgment and intuition. That involves considerable
risk. One way to make that risk manageable is to approach the
task with empathy for the actors in the situation in which they
It is useful to keep in mind the purpose of the evaluation.
It is not to find and publish the ultimate truth, or to establish
error and place blame. It is to help improve project management
and execution, and the key for that is the implementation team.
The more successful evaluators are in establishing rapport with
that team the more likely their recommendations will be
effective. A positive attitude and empathy are useful devices in
establishing that rapport.
B. Preparation for the Task
Time is a critical element in an evaluation, time for
preparation as well as time for execution. Under time pressure,
pre-departure preparation is often sacrificed, even though a few
days work before leaving for the assignment helps save time in
the field and improve effectiveness of field time.
1. By evaluation time a sizeable paper trail has been
established. Evaluation team should expect donor and implementer
to help establish that trail. It consists of project documents,
project reports, consultant reports, and perhaps other donor
documents relevant to the project. Try to get the time to study
2. A two-day pre-departure briefing will help the
team get to know each other, to share common goals and concepts,
and to gain an expectation'of the task and the division of
responsibilities. This creates a useful mental set and enables
the team to make better use of travel time than would be possible
without it. Try to avoid having to arrive in field a group of
strangers with little concept of the task. Here are some things
to accomplish in the pre-departure briefing.
a. Get the donor's views of the project, the
'country strategy, how the project fits country strategy, and
other information on country, economic situation, political
situation, and the like.
b. Review technical criteria, conceptual models
and other material that will help the team members to operate
from a common technical base. There are many and divergent views
regardind research and extension, and especially so when FSR/E is
involved. With the use of models and discussion, the team can
develop common concepts, at least for communication purposes.
c. Accumulate project information, especially
from persons who know the project and the country. This could be
from the implementing agent, persons experienced in the project,
or others. Accumulate some paper, but be highly selective in the
paper you lug around.
d. Begin to organize the team. Find out the
interests and capabilities of members and help them develop
expectations of their responsibilities.
3. Insist on and expect an in-country briefing as
soon as it appears feasible upon arrival. Donor personnel will
have varying views depending on their position in the
organization. Normally the donor's country office is more your
client than is the headquarter office.
C Evaluation Strategy
Your strategy should be a general method of operation with
certain generalized objectives and style of operation.
1. Be sure you understand what donor personnel who are
responsible for managing the project want and need from the
evaluation. Don't rely too heavily on the Scope of Work. Take
the manager's needs seriously and be sure they are attended.
2. Develop some concept of implementation team's management
needs that the evaluation may be able to help satisfy.
3. Search for positive aspects of project. It is just as
productive to build on strength as it is to correct weakness.
4. Identify the negative aspects.
5. Place the positive and negative into a larger
perspective that is useful or functional.
In general this strategy aims to gain rapport with.both
the project and the donor by (a) seeing their points of view and
(b) seeking the positive. Empathy and positive attitude help
gain rapport, which in turn helps to deal with problems in an
objective manner. An evaluation holds something of a personal or
individual threat, even though the evaluation team itself has no
such intention. Your strategy needs to reduce that threat so
that problems can be addressed separate from persons. You can
deal with problems coldly and logically--once you have dealt with
persons warmly and psychologically.
6. Recommendations need to be considered carefully. In
some cases, donors review and modify your recommendations. In
others the donor will take your recommendations almost without
question, placing the responsibility completely on you. If your
report is to be taken seriously, the recommendations must be
significant, must be realistic, must address the factors most
limiting success of the project, and must be compatible with the
notions of those charged with managing the project. Being
compatible does not mean agreement or whitewash. It means care
in casting the recommendation so that it fits management style
and project concepts of those responsible for the project.
Resist the temptation to make too many recommendations.
Don't make a recommendation out of a "good idea" if it takes too
many resources, too much time, and has little chance of being put
If you have suggestions, use a heading such as
"alternatives to consider." Many "recommendations" would be
better described as "alternatives" and do need further study
before being adopted. Recall that the project manager and donor
live with a project you are seeing only for a matter of weeks.
Recognize the limitations imposed on you by the limitations of
D. Objectives and Self-Evaluation
This handbook has emphasized the use of objectives in both
project design and implemention. Now it does so in project
evaluation. If objectives are being used in line with these
guidelines, it will greatly facilitate your work to use them in
evaluation. If the project has not used them up until now, you
can still use them--and at the same time demonstrate their value
in project management.
The most productive way for you to use objectives is to
have the implementation team state and review its own objectives
and then to do a self-evaluation of the project. Such an
exercise will generate data and insights useful to you. It will
also help you establish rapport as well as initiate a useful
process in the project.
In dealing with objectives, use whatever is written down,
but also spend adequate time in discussion with the team, both as
a group and with individuals to allow them to explain the project
to you. You should expect that the team can explain to you the
conceptualization of the project and of project strategy. The
team should expect to be asked to explain this conceptualization
and should expect to have an opportunity to do so. How well the
team performs in explaining conceptualization and objectives is
an important element of the evaluation.
A simple format will help the implementation team provide
useful information and analysis. If the team has developed a
format, use it to the extent you are able. See the formats
suggested in the chapters addressing project design and project
This exercise will enable the implementation team to help
set the parameters of the evaluation. If its parameters are not
consistent with your scope of work, i.e. the donor's parameters,
check to see if it results from some miscommunication or
difference in viewpoint or if the problem is more serious, such
as a lack of congruence of the concepts of donor and
implementation team or even a confrontation on some aspects of
E. Strive for Objectivity
The emphasis placed here on empathy, a positive attitude,
and the need for rapport should not be interpreted to mean that
you need not be objective and even tough. Difficult though it
is, strive for as much objectivity as is feasible. Analysts like
to use the term "rigor," a term often associated with numbers.
The problem with numbers is placing a meaning on them or making
them relevant to the project. We simply are not able to provide
standards or norms for some of the coefficients. Getting reliable
data often takes more time than an evaluation team has, and many
of the numbers may be relevant to host institution management but
clearly outside the responsibilities of the project.
Non-quantifiable data can also be objective and can be used
with rigor, although the tests of such analysis is not standard.
One way to gain rigor is to present the data, in a descriptive
form or by numbers, and then, separately, to explain its use as
evidence in support of a point or recommendation. Evidence is
the interpretation of the data used to support a point. This all
admits much risk for error in judgment and intutition. Your only
defense is to report and explain as completely as the limited
space of an evaluation report allows. You may be able to use the
models presented in this handbook to help reduce this risk.
Because of the subjective nature of an evaluation and the
short time that you have to do it, achieving validity is not
always easy. For your team to achieve credibility, you must be
concerned with the problem. Here are some things you an do.
1. Plan your work systematically. Models will help you as
will the implementation team's objectives and self-evaluation.
2. Check for consistency in both observations and analyses
among your team members. Solving the inconsistencies may lead
you through an exercise that will improve validity.
3. Develop hypotheses as soon as appears feasible and check
them out specifically in your interviews. You may be able to
specify the data needed, the source, and assign more than one
member of the team to test the hypothesis. The entire team can
hear the evidence and help draw inferences and conclusions.
4. Identify important data needs and gaps as early in the
evaluation to improve your chance of getting the data.
5. Start drafting the report early in the evaluation.
Writing the report is a good way to reveal data gaps and
6. Interview techniques are critical. Never, ever, use
questions in an interview that can be answered with "yes" or
"no." These questions are so easy to answer that they yield
misinformation as often as information. They are especially
ineffective when you and the respondent do not share a common
native language. Instead use questions that require thought and
require a description or analysis.
A second useful technique is to demonstrate the attitude of
a student, trying to learn and understand. Avoid the impression
that you are trying to prove a point or make a case. Respondents
are likely to be candid in helping you learn and understand.
They are put on guard if you are trying to prove a point or make
G. Extra-Evaluation Agendas
Occasionally you will encounter situations in which some of
the parties involved will want to use your team and the
evaluation to achieve an objective that is only marginally
related to the purpose of an evaluation. Many of these extra-
evaluation agendas are legitimate, and you may be able to make a
genuine contribution without compromising your own responsibility.
However, in some cases they are simply attempts to use you and
your task for ends that have little relevance to your task and
could be harmful to your job.
You have to rely on your own judgment (1) in recognizing
these agendas and (2) in deciding how to handle them.
In some cases, even a legitimate request may be outside
your responsibility. For example, either the implementing agent
or the donor, may want an evaluation of an implementing team
member. This is clearly outside what one should expect from an
evaluation. It may be completely legitimate, in which case you
can decide what to do as an individual, outside the evaluation.
However, such a request could be part of an ongoing personality
conflict in which your contribution could do as much harm as
good. In other cases conflicts between two persons result from
fundamental differences in viewpoint on technical criteria, and
the issue may have to be faced.
Some guidelines may be useful.
Only one evaluation report should probably be written. It
can treat squarely and in a straightforward manner, many problems
that appear delicate or sensitive if rapport has been established
and if the issue is handled objectively and according to fairly
specific criteria. If a separate report seems needed or has been
requested, consider very carefully before writing it. Consider
the alternative of an oral report--if the need and request is
legitimate and seems needed. Let the requester, in a memo of
conversation, write it down if he needs it written.
In some cases the request is clearly more than can be
expected of an evaluation team, and your best alternative is
simply not to grant it.
You may have experience or make observations that interest
you as an individual and have value in another context. Handle
these cases by your own criteria. They can be handled or
responded to but outside the framework of the evaluation.
In some cases ignorance is your best strategy. If you
sense trouble on an issue not important to the evaluation task,
the best alternative may be to ignore it and all the data
presented to you.
H. Evaluation Report Outline
There is no standard format for an evaluation report. The
one below is given as a starting point for you to devlope your
own. It will result from your own style of operation, the scope
of work, and your discussions with the donor and others.
1. Project Evaluation Summary
The PES is also called the Face Sheet. It is a standard
AID form, and much of it will be filled out by the donor.
The body of the PES is made up of a list of actions to be
taken against names of specific persons who will be
expected to take those actions and the time at which they
will be completed.
The actions will be derived from your recommendations.
This is one reason to keep your list of recommendations
short and to make them realistic both from the standpoint
of impact and actionabililty.
Give some idea of the purpose and conditions of the
evaluation. There are several reasons for an evaluation.
There are several evaluations in the history of a project,
and each will have its own conditions. Explain, briefly.
Use one paragraph for a brief description of the
methodology used in the evaluation. Explain how background
papers and interviews were used and how that data was
translated into an evaluation.
Closely related to methodology is the way the report was
prepared, who did the writing, who did the reviewing, and
how the final report was prepared.
3. Executive Summary
One to two pages, made up of numbered items that summarize
your report. You do not need much explanation here.
Simply assert your findings. List positive findings as
well as findings reflecting problems. /List these findings
in an impersonal style.
Avoid such wording as "X should be commended for...," just
as you would "A should be criticized for..."
List your recommendations separate from findings, and make
them in summary form with little detail and no discussion.
4. General Comments
There is often a need to comment on the project or the host
institution beyond the area covered by the scope of work.
If your team feels this need, use this heading. Keep
general comments to under three pages. It can come here or
In this section, follow your scope of work, item by item,
using the format below. If some items can be combined, do
so, but don't let an item get lost.
A. Scope of Work item Number one.
Evidence or findings
Recommendations (and "alternatives to consider.)
B. to N.
If you have no recommendations (and you should not
unless they are significant) you can present findings
and discussions thoroughly. It is just as important to
justify no recommendation on an item in a scope of work
as it is to justify a recommendation. Assume that the
donor is interested in your investigation of an issue
listed in the scope of work.
6. Extra-Scope of Work Issues
As discussed above, it is often useful to go beyond the
of work in gathering data and presenting analysis.
Much of the extra-scope material can fit in in the
scope if work above. Use a separate section, however,
if you need it.
Attempt to put all of your evaluation in one document
which becomes part of donor's memory. With reasonable
skill, sensitive issues can be dealt with adequately
in an official document.
7. People and Places /
List the people you talked with, the documents you read,
and the sites you visited.
You may want to include material that does not fit in
report. Put it in one or more annexes.
Technology Innovation Process (TIP) Model ::
The Technology Innovation Process Model is an over
simplified conceptualization of a process that is more complex
and exact than is generally recognized. As with any conceptual
model, it does not intend to represent reality. It is presented
as an aid in understanding and working with reality. It should
accomplish three purposes.
1. One is to help understand and explain the
process with which research and extension must deal.
2. Another is to stimulate the imagination and help
gain insights in managing research and extension.
3. Finally, it will help facility communication among
all of the different persons involved in designing and sustaining
a research or extension effort.
Technology Innovation is defined as an improved technology
in general use by farmers. Unless an "improved technology" is
put into the production process on a fairly broad scale, it is
not an effective innovation in terms of the industry and of
I. The Model
The model has eight components, commonly called functions.
It appears here as a simple linear process, although in practice
that is seldom the case. The model makes conceptual distinctions
between functions that may be difficult to identify in practice.
It is not necessary to distinguish among the functions in
practice, and in fact it may be harmful to try too hard to do so.
1. The World Stock of Knowledge is held in the
International Technology Network, largely in the International
Agricultural Research Centers and in research and extension
organizations of other countries. There is not a formal network
with coordination and management, but there is networking
activity among some of the entities who hold science and
technology knowledge. The World Stock of Knowledge includes folk
wisdom and traditional technology as well as scientific knowledge
and advanced technology. Some of it is embodied in products--
seed, chemicals, implements--some in manuals and books; and some
in the minds, intuitions, and traditions of people. Much of it
is present in-country. Any country can take advantage of this
stock. To a large extent, LDC's do not have to catch UP to the
world's technology; they can catch ON to it.
2. Research in this model refers to science, in contrast to
technology. Scientific research seeks new knowledge, and it does
so by abstracting from the real world. It seeks as much control
over variables as is feasible. It is analytical. New knowledge,
of itself, has no value to farmers, until it is put into a
technology. Farmers can't use science. They need technology.
However, most technology advances are based on science, and
science is the basis for so-called breakthroughs. Technological
advance is often stopped for want of new knowledge that only
science can provide.
3. Technology generation puts together knowledge,
technology, even folk wisdom into a form that serves a useful
function. This form may be a commodity, such as seed, or it may
be a practice, such as placement of fertilizer. Technology
generation synthesizes. It makes new knowledge useful.
Technology must serve in un-controlled conditions and is more
useful the wider range of conditions it tolerates. The role of
technology generation is to produce new technology alternatives.
While there is a conceptual distinction between scientific
research and technology generation, they often blend into each
other in practice. They both use the scientific method, and both
can make use of a high degree of training and creativity. Both
are essential to agricultural progress.
4. Technology testing moves the technology from the
conditions in which it was generated to determine its performance
in other conditions. Eventually the new technology must be
tested on farms--i.e. in the farming systems in which it is
expected to perform. On-farm testing is essential, and if
research and extension do not do it, then the farmer will have to
do it himself. Farmer testing may be effective, but it will also
be inefficient and will greatly delay technology innovation.
5. Technology adaptation serves two functions. It is the
process by which a newly generated technology can be fine tuned
to fit the farming system for which it is intended. It is also
the process by which minor changes are made to fit the technology
to a wider range of farming systems. Efficiency in the process
is increased as the technology serves a wider range of systems.
6. Technology Integration is that fits a new technology
into into current farming systems. It has three dimensions.
a. One pertains directly to the system of production.
integration is facilitated by a knowledge of the farmer client as
a basis for selecting problems and designing interventions. It
is also facilitated by research on related problems and by
extension instructing farmers on its use.
As with testing, integration is essential. The
farmer must do it. If he has to do it without research and
extension help, it will be inefficient and slow.
b. A second dimension is integration with the market,
both input and product. Much agricultural technology is
embodied in a commodity. If that commodity is not available and
cannot be made available, a new technology cannot be adapted, no
matter what its merit. Integration involves market action to
make inputs available or research-extension activity adapted to
the lack of input. On the product side, if there is inadequate
market, farmers cannot integrate the technology into their
systems of production.
c. The third dimension is integration with national
policies. National policy often works through product and input
markets and sets conditions the farmer must adapt to. These
conditions affect the ways he can deal with new technology. If
policies are not adequate and cannot be changed, the conditions
they create must be adapted to.
7. Technology Dissemination involves informing farmers of
the new technology and helping them figure out how to fit it into
their systems of farming.
For simple technology, informing is all that is needed, and
farmers themselves can fit it into their systems. Disemination
means "to seed," and for simple technology, "seeding" is all that
The extension demonstration is one of the most effective
seeding devices. It may not be.as much a "demonstrating" as it
is a means by which the farmer's own experimental process is
facilitated. Most farmers are both experimental and skeptical.
They will not adopt a practice until they have either
experimented with it in their own system or have seen it perform
in a system almost like theirs. The demonstration facilitates
this process and is literally an "on-farm trial."
As technology becomes more complex, more assistance is
needed from extension to help farmers fit it into their systems.
8. Diffusion and adoption are largely a function of the
farmer dynamic. Farmers themselves, through their kinship groups
and other social systems, constitute a powerful force, working
either to facilitate or to impede diffusion. This farmer dynamic
has been responsible for much diffusion throughout history,
unaided by research and extension. Extension is most effective
when it takes advantage of and encourages the farmer dynamic.
Diffusion and dissemination are distinguished here to
reflect the distinction between outside forces and the farmers'
own force in the diffusion function of the process.
Figure A-1. The Technology Innovation Process
- Technology Oevolopnnt -t
Figure A-2 The Technology Innovation Process
m em rcn urgnawmzron "1
wtu n Orainiizaion
Figure A-3a: Activity Assignments to Implement
the Technology Innovation Procesm
Figure A-3b: Activity Assignment Work Shet
II. Some Implications of. the TIP Model
1. Technology innovation is a "natural" or autonomous
process that has been going on throughout history, driven by an
innate human desire to improve things. Research and extension
have been organized to accelerate the process, not to replace it.
Research and extension will likely function best if they
understand the process and collaborate with it.
No part of the process can be ignored. If research and
extension (or other mechanisms for accelerating innovation)
ignore a function, then it will have to be accomplished by
farmers themselves--and the process will be delayed, at best.
2. The model puts Farming Systems Research and Extension in
context. FSR/E deals specifically with testing (in the farming
system), adaptation, and integration. It is through these
functions that research and extension begin t6 come to terms with
the farmer and to take advantage of the farmer dynamic. If the
R/E system does not address these functions, then farmers are on
3. The TIP model presents no clear line by which research
and extension can be separated. As technology becomes "tested.
and adapted," the "on-farm" trial becomes virtually a
"demonstration," and as "demonstrations" turn up new data on
performance of the technology or even confirm old data over a
wide area and several years, they are "on-farm" trials. Thus,.
the research process shades into the extension process.
Extension is probably most effective when it is helping farmers
solve their technology problems than when it is merely
instructing them from what it knows.
4. The TIP model implies that a country can rely on the
international technology network for science and new technology
alternatives. It implies even more strongly that the ITN has
little to contribute from the function of testing onward.
5. The model also shows that FSR/E probably has reduced
potential if left completely on its own. In other words it is
heavily dependent on the processes of technology generation and
science, just as science and technology must depend on it for the
fruition of their efforts. FSR/E completes the research process
(i.e. finishes the new technology) and initiates the extension
process, giving extension a tested farmer-ready technology.
FSR/E also has the potential for sending signals to the
technology generation function on needs. Thus, FSR/E may have
its greatest value in its capacity to condition the entire
technology innovation process, perhaps greater than its own
direct contribution. Management needs to reflect this.
It is virtually impossible to calculate the economic
benefits of a single project in research or extension. If the
project is successful, most of its benefits will come after the
project. Predictions that far in the future simply require too
many assumptions to have much value. Still, it is possible to
appreciate the economic value of technology innovation.
The economics of research has been thoroughly studied,
perhaps as thoroughly as any other investment for development.
Much of this analysis is reported in: Arndt, Thomas, Dana
Dalrymple, and Vernon Ruttan: Resource Allocation in National and
ITternational Agricultural Research; University of Minnesota
Press, 1977. Some seven chapters are devoted to the economics of
research. They generally indicate that "returns to a great deal
of agricultural research have been two to three times higher than
than returns to other agricultural investment." (p.4) No work
since then seriously challenges this contention. Many of these
studies are summarized in tables B-i and B-2.
Methodology of these studies has been examined closely.
The arguments that returns are understated are about equal to
those that returns are overstated. The challenges come from
methods of handling costs and returns, more than from the
While the results of these studies give the proper
signals, they do require some explanation. These studies are ex
post facto analyses dealing with indigenous technology
generation as well as with imported technology. They are not
accurate predictors of any one research or extension project.
Rather they indicate the inherent potential in technology
innovation, particularly research. The real issue, then, is not
whether research is a good investment, but how can it be
organized and managed so that much of its potential can be
Many countries today are going to have to rely heavily on
imported technology. Importing technology from the international
network raises the issue of national capacity. It is commonly
accepted that a country needs a certain basic or minimum capacity
in order to be able to take advantage of technology from the
international network. Robert Evenson has done some tentative
analysis of the returns to imported technology associated with
the level of national capacity. It shows that the benefit stream
associated with a national investment of $1,000 can be as high as
$55,000 with "average indigenous research capability," compared
to $1700 with "no indigenous capability." (See Arndt et al,
Table 9-1, p 250.)
: This brings us to an issue that is not resolved, namely
what constitutes a "basic, minimum national capacity." In the
absence of definitive information, these guidelines hold that a
nation can depend on the international technology network for
science and much of technology generation. However, it must have
its: own internal capacity for the other functions in the
technology innovation process--testing, adaptation, integration,
dissemination, diffusion and adoption.
A major issue that often needs to be faced is the cost of
a research program that involves site specific on-farm research
and adaptation of technology to various farming systems. There
are several considerations.
One is that in a donor project to build indigenous
capacity, operational efficiency is not necessarily the first
test. Building capacity involves learning, both on the part of
nationals and expatriates and donors. The first thing to be
learned is how to be effective. Once that is learned, they must
learn how to be efficient. Finally, the program must be expanded
so that it can have a significant impact on the economy. Craving
for efficient, economy-wide impact too quickly, can cause the
process to be short-circuited with the result that none of the
three are achieved. This is an important economic consideration
that needs to be accomodated in your economic analysis.
(See David Korten, "Rural Development Programming: The
Learning Process Approach," Rural Development Review, Vol.II, No.
2, Cornell University, 1981, for a discussion of the
effectiveness, efficiency, expansion model.)
Looking first for effectiveness does not change the fact
that efficiency must be achieved, and the design can anticipate
and prepare for it. Long run objectives require short term
planning and action.
Here are some alternatives for achieving efficiency in
research organization and management.
1. In some countries it will not be efficient to have
an administrative structure that reflects the two research
components (national subject matter and area specific research)
and the two extension components (technical liaison and support
and field agents). You can save on size and structure.
Do not save by neglecting functions. You can combine
functions in fewer administrative units but not by neglecting
functions. You can save by reducing the number of subject
matters (or commodities) to be attended and by the number of
areas, but keep all the functions for each.
Table B-i. Summary of Direct Cost-Benefit Type Studies of
Agricultural Research Productivity
Study Country Subject Period Internal
and Year Studied Rate
of Study Return
Griliches USA Hybrid maize 1940-55
Griliches USA Hybrid sorghum 1940-57
Peterson USA Poultry 1915-60
Evenson South Africa Sugarcane 1945-62
Ardito Barletta Mexico Wheat 1943-63
Ardito Barletta Mexico Maize 1943-63
Ayer Brazil Cotton 1924-67
Schmitz & Seckler USA Tomato harvester 1958-69
(1970). With no compensation to displaced workers
Assuming compensation for 50% earnings loss
Returns to maize research
Research plus cultivation
Hayami & Akino
Rocha & Trujillo
Source: Arndt, Thomas, Dana Dalrymple, and Vernon Ruttan, Editors:
Resource Allocation and Productivity in National and International
Agricultural Research; University of Minnesota Press, 1975, p. 5.
Studies made in 1975 are reported in this volume, and reports of the
other studies are cited in detail.
Table B-2. Summary of Selected Sources-of-Growth Type
of Agricultural Research Productivity.
Study Period Internal
and Year Country Subject Studied Rate of
of Study Return
Tang Japan Aggregate 1880-1938 35
Griliches USA Aggregate 1949-59 35-40
Latimer USA Aggregate 1949-59 NS*
Peterson USA Poultry 1915-60 21
Evenson USA Aggregate 1949-59 47
Evenson South Africa Sugarcane 1945-58 40
Evenson Australia Sugarcane 1945-58 50
Evenson India Sugarcane 1945-58 60
Ardito Barletta Mexico Crops 1943-63 45-93
Evenson & Jha India Aggregate 1953-71 40
Bal, & Jha India Aggregate 1960/61-
(1975) 1972/73 63
Source: Arndt, Thomas, Dana Dalrymple and Vernon Ruttan, Editors:
Resource Allocation and Productivity in National and
International Agricultural Research: University of Minnesota
Press, 1975, p. 7.
Studies made in 1975 are reported in this volume and others are
* Not significant
2. Intensity can be adjusted to improve efficiency.
Carried to its logical conclusion, every farm is a distinct
system. No country can afford that degree of intensity. Don't
strive for 100 percent effectiveness in technology adaptation.
(See Perrin, Richard et al : "From Agronomy Data to Farmer*
Recommendations:" CIMMYT, Information Bulletin 27, 1976. and
Hildebrand, Peter, Modified Stability Index.....)
3. In many countries there is no numerical shortage of
extension personnel. Many on-farm testing activities normally
associated with research can be done by extension. Shifting some
responsibility from research to extension facilitates the
technology innovation process and is consistent with traditional
extension responsibility. This shift has great potential for
increasing efficiency of the system.
4. Specific attention to minimum capacity can also be an
efficiency measure. In cases it is likely to be more efficient
to develop and manage a system for importing of technology than
it is to attempt a quasi "go-it-alone" strategy.
5. There may be others. For example, some problems have
more generalized solutions than others, some commodities or
subject matters have a wider adaptation than others, some
technologies are simpler to adapt to site than others, some
technologies have far greater payoff than others and can pay for
You can do two types of calculations that will help get
some idea of the likely economic value of the project. These are
calculations. They may be useful in analysis but cannot really
be considered analytical since they have to assume, estimate, or
project the future. The calculations will however, give you
insights on the order of magnitude of investment and return you
are dealing with.
1. One method is to estimate as carefully as you can the
economic value of what could reasonably be expected from the
project. These estimates, of course, are extremely tentative.
Even if you can estimate future production, you still have the
task of allocating cause to this project. Another problem you
face is how to deal with "consumer surplus," if this and other
efforts were to be effective in keeping food costs down or even
lowering them from current levels. This is an important item and
is a major justification of public investment in agricultural
research and extension.
2. Another approach is to set an acceptable goal for an
internal rate of return to estimated costs. This approach
eliminates the need to do an a priori estimate of the benefits of
a project. An example excerpted from the Caribbean Extension
Project Paper is given on page 6.
To handle the uncertainty of appropriate internal rates of
return and likely time horizon for benefit realization, two
possible annual benefit levels are given to illustrate the most
likely range. The following assumptions are used in alternatives
I and II.
1. The project has a useful
life of 20 years.
2. The opportunity cost of
capital is 12%.
3. The majority of costs are
incurred during the first
4. The benefits begin in year
2 at 1/3 of eventual annual
benefit level, increase to
1/2 in year 3, increase to
2/3 in year 4, and reach
full level by year 5 and
constant through year 20.
1. The project has a useful life
of 15 years.
2. The opportunity cost of
3. The majority of costs are
incurred during the first
4. The benefits begin in year 3
at 1/3 of the eventual annual
benefit level, increase to
1/2 in year 4, to 3/4 in year
5, and reach full level by
year 6 and remain constant
through year 15.
No inflation factor is used in estimating costs, and hence
benefits must be interpreted as constant dollars as well.
results of the cost benefit analyses are given in Tables VII
Total public sector investment in agriculture was estimated
at $12.5 million in 1978. With increased emphasis on
agricultural investments in numerous development organizations,
IBRD expects this level of investment to increase over time. The
annual benefits needed to realize the internal rates of returns
to investment in alternatives I and II represent 7 dand 10
percent of this annual public sector investment, respectively.
Increased net income of farmers as a result of improved extension
delivery of known technology onlymight reasonable be expected to
account for one-half of the annual benefit levels derived from
alternatives I and II. In this case, the project would have to
increase the effectiveness of public agricultural investments by
4 to 5 percent of the 1978 level. Since these investments
particularly from donor agencies seem likely to increase in
constant dollars through time, one-half of this extension project
benefits would represent less than 4 percent of these
A small increase of less than 4 percent in efficiency of
these programs through a more effective extension service seems
attainable. First,the extension program will focus on the
delivery of research from CARDI, WINBAN, CARDATS, UWI, and the
various research programs of the ministries of agriculture.
Second, the credit program of the CDB ought to be more effective
by extension trainingof farmers to be awareof credit availability
and use as well as receiving farner feedback on credit problems.
Third, several commodity schemes in various islands are employing
extension workers whose increased effectiveness ought to return
benefits to these program investments as well. Fourth, a sound
extension program should assist in the identification, planning,
and implementation of new agricultural programs.
If one-half of the benefits are attributed to improving
farmer net income through known technology, this would amount to
$460,000 to $665,000 per year by year five and six respectively
for alternatives I and II. This would entail improving net
incomes on an average three-acre farm by $50 an acre for 3,000 to
4,000 farmers each year, of 73,000 such farmers. This seems to
be a reasonable achievement. Better trained, motivated, and
equipped extension workers should be in the field working by
years five and six with at least this many farmers. Fertilizer
demonstrations and recommendations, more effective disease
identification and remedies, and more economic management
practices ought to increase farmers' income by the required
amounts to pay back $460,000 to $665,000 in constant dollars per
year especially with increased incomes expected from new
technology derived from the research activities underway and
Given the critical role the extension service must play in
extending technology being developed, helping farmers increase
incomes from known technology and improving public program
investment efficiency, the returns shown to be necessary seem to
BENEFIT COST ANALYSIS USING ALTERNATIVE ASSUMPTION I
(in constant US. $)
Year Annual Cost of
= 1 = 6.16 x
x = 5647.8 = 916.9
BENEFIT COST ANALYSIS USING ALTERNATIVE ASSUMPTION II
(in constant US $)
Year Annual Cost of DVP of Benefit Stream DPV of
Project Project Benefits
(- thousand $-)
1 890.5 890.5
2 1,285.3 1,118.2 -
3 1,392.7 1,052.9 .33 x .23 x
4 1,257.1 827.2 .50 x .33 x
5 1,249.2 714.5 .75 x .43 x
6 199.2 99 x .50 x
7 199.2 86.1 x .43 x
8 199.2 74.9 x .38 x
9 199.2 65.1 x .33 x
10 199.2 56.6 x .28 x
11 199.2 49.2 x .25 x
12 199.2 42.8 x .22 x
13 199.2 37.3 x .19 x
14 199.2 32.5 x .16 x
15 199.2 28.1 x .14 x
5,174.9 3.89 x
-- = 1 = 3.89 x
x = 5,174.9 = 1,330
The Logical Framework
The Logical Framework (Log Frame) is a model that helps you
organize your own thoughts and provides a common ground for
communication among all of the personnel involved in a project.
The Log Frame displays, in matrix form, the project's means-end
heirarchy along with associated measures, means of verification,
and necessary assumptions regarding factors not under control of
project personnel. The matrix form is shown in Figure C-i. Its
size will vary with your needs.
Figure C-I. The Logical Framework (Log Frame)
"Logical" indicates that the items must be related to each
other in a manner that stands the test of sound reasoning. The
inputs must be such that the outputs are achieved, and if t1,~
outputs are achieved they in turn will accomplish the purpose.
Logical or not, competent workers will often construct the
matrix in- ways different from each other. It may be helpful for
you to use as examples other Log Frames considered good. But do
not hesitate to trust your own reasoning if it shows that each
item will likely achieve the next higher item. Faulty Log Frames
seldom result from the inability of designers to reason.
Problems most often occur because designers do not take the Log
Frame seriously and apply their reasoning to it.
The project design personnel have the greatest
responsibility in dealing with the Log Frame. They are the ones
who have to produce it. Implementers and evaluators use it as a
guide to their work. If the designers do a good job, it becomes
exceptionally useful to those who follow.
Project Goal is an overall or general objective to which the
project will make a contribution. It is seldom logical to expect
it to be achieved either by the project alone or during the
duration of the project. It does serve as a North Star type of
orientation for the project.
Project Purpose becomes more specific, and the project can
be expected to make measurable progress toward achieving it. It
is still broad, however, and a research or extension project will
not likely complete its contribution to the purpose during the
life of the project. This type of project needs to address
institution building issues and aim for an impact or effect that
will be sustainable. No project can complete the.institution
building process and completely achieve the purpose. However,
you can expect progress that is both recognizable and measurable,
and you need to design with those ends in view.
Often the outputs become the indicators of progress toward
purpose.' You need to think it through carefully, however, to be
sure that it is logical and useful to do so.
Project Outputs are the project working objectives. They
can often be counted, (number of persons trained; number of teams
working with numbers of farmers). However, there are quality
measures as well. These are difficult to "objectively verify."
Try to develop some "objectively verifiable indicators" of
quality. The existence and quality of work plans and how closely
they were followed may be such an indicator. The use of
objectives in management may be another. Brainstorming for a few
minutes by the design team will come up with other indicators.
Incidentally, evaluation teams can suggest additional indicators.
Inputs include commodities, training, and technical
assistance personnel provided by the donor and can be measured in
dollar terms as well as other terms. Technical assistance, for
example, can be indicated by subject matter and by length of
service. This section can be used to indicate some general
strategies. It can be very specific. Being specific indicates
care in planning and need not be regarded as so rigid that
project implementation management has limited room to manage.
Inputs should also account for host country contributions to
the project, either through the host institution or other
Assumptions cause the most trouble in a Log Frame. What is
recorded is not as important as facing the question: "What has
to happen in areas over which project management has no control
for the project to be successful?" There are many hazards, some
caused by pressure on the host institution from other donor
projects, at times from the same donor.
Two errors are common in Log Frame assumptions. One of them
virtually amounts to assuming away important problems or hazards
to the project. Assuming the host government will make
equipment, personnel, and funds available on a timely basis is
one such case. Under severe resource constraints exacerbated at
times by donor pressure, host institutions simply cannot meet
these obligations, and experience in the country demonstrates
that it cannot. Assuming that it will is an error.
Another common error is to assume certain factors that
should be under the control of or influenced by either the
project or the donor. By the time that the project is put in its
final form, some conditions that you needed to assume in project
development should have been attended to.
It is not reasonable to assume, for example, that
"coordination and cooperation will continue between research and
extension." If such coordination is precarious, then the project
should address it. This is an item critical to institutional
development and to success of the project.
Assuming success of project elements is not logical. For
example, "small farmer research will be improved through training
provided by project" or "effectiveness of extension will be
improved by training and vehicles the project provides" ar.e
specific variables the project addresses. They do not logically
fit in assumptions.
If host institution contribution is likely to be a real
problem, it needs to be specifically addressed, either in the
project or by donor-host government interaction as an extra-
project activity. It cannot be assumed away.
Don't hesitate to write "No assumptions necessary."
working draft #3
Technical Liaison and Support Staff in Extension
(This section prepared by J.B. Claar, INTERPAKS,
University of Illinois)
An adequate, effective corps of Technical Liaison and Support Personnel
is essential. Extension must be able to reach out to all knowledge sources
to acquire inputs. And extension, to the extent necessary, must have the
internal capability to acquire and help adapt technology for use by its
clients. Farming Systems Research projects which emphasize testing and
demonstrations can make extension's job easier in this regard. In order to
take advantage of this opportunity, technical liaison, as contrasted with
administrative liaison, is essential, including liaison on research
projects. Extension can help in fact, needs to help in its own self
interest with field aspects of research, from identifying problems to
testing technology. Research and extension have a vested interest in each
other. Neither can accomplish its task without the other, and both need to
set up liaison mechanisms for the other to plug into. Therefore, research
and extension services need to remember that solving the research-extension
gap requires transactions-each giving as well as receiving (Claar and
Extension and research share the technology innovation continuum and
when the pressure for results is on, it is easy to suggest that the other
end of the continuum has failed. Too, the two organizations may be
competing for scarce dollars with great pressure on each to assure its
independent identity. However, the more general problem seems to be that
countries may not appreciate the whole continuum, thus leaving the sum of
the functions poorly attended.
It should be easy to sell these two organizations, each in its own self
interest, to help each other do its job. Recognition of mutual interest is
the starting point and an essential condition for successful linkage.
Projects should be designed to make such self-interest obvious and liaison
and support not only expected but easy. Support in extension has two
meanings in this context. Support for research by involvement in all
aspects of farmers' contact for research projects. But as significant as
this is, the need for support of field staff within extension is equally
critical to performance. In fact, such Technical Liaison and Support Staff
(sometimes called extension specialists) are at one time a primary source
of content, training, backstopping, and quality control.
It may not be an overstatement to say that many countries discovered
the importance of field extension and implemented it without an equally
firm understanding of the parallel need for support. Whatever the reason,
it now seems time to correct the imbalance where it exists and to develop a
complete extension system with the capacity to place greater emphasis on
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