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Field Practical Monitoring and Evaluation in Agricultural Extention: Ex Ante Sustainability Assessment Through Spreadsheet Modeling and Participatory Research Science to Achieve Results FellowshipEPA Grant Number: U915599
Title: Field Practical Monitoring and Evaluation in Agricultural Extention: Ex Ante Sustainability Assessment Through Spreadsheet Modeling and Participatory Research Science to Achieve Results Fellowship
Investigators: Sulser, Timothy B.
Institution: University of Florida
EPA Project Officer: Edwards, Jason
Project Period: January 1, 1999 through January 1, 2001
Project Amount: $57,075
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1999) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Social Sciences , Economics and Decision Sciences , Academic Fellowships
The objective of this research project is to harmonize requirements for monitoring and evaluation with the realities of work in the field. For community-based, agroforestry extension, monitoring and evaluation are is critical for assessing the efficacy of projects, and for planning improved future efforts. Tools for project assessment that can be continually updated, and eventually form a database of project experience, are essential for extension programs that have limited time, labor, and finances. The reality of field work means that monitoring and evaluation should be field practical, that is: (1) be quick and inexpensive,; and (2) provide direct, productive results, or be an integrated element for project productivity.
Project efficacy, defined by sustainability in three different realms (socioeconomic, sociocultural, and biophysical), will can be quickly and efficiently measured through analysis based on ethnographic field data. Research tools to be employed in project sustainability assessment will be spreadsheet modeling at the socioeconomic level, and Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) at both the sociocultural and biophysical levels. These tools will be used to identify key household- and community -background factors for project effectiveness. Also, systematic biases, project strengths and weaknesses, and overall constraints on agroforestry will be revealed through this research. The paramount concern for all extension work needs to be the achievement of specific and valuable objectives leading to the overall goal of improving social well being. Also, as the extension project that will be the site for this applied research is managed by a conservation organization, the goal of improving local social well being is commensurate with the goals of forest and biodiversity conservation. Therefore, monitoring and evaluation of both conservation and community-development goals are merged into a single methodology.