What Works in Rural Advisory Services? Global Good Practice Notes

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Davis K ,  
Bohn A , Franzel S , Blum M , Rieckmann U , Raj S , Hussein K , Ernst N
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What Works in Rural Advisory Services? Global Good Practice Notes

Abstract: 

There is plenty of information available in the public domain that covers various aspects of rural advisory services (RAS; in many countries also referred to as extension). However, this information is often scattered, presented in complex academic language, and not readily accessible. RAS managers and practitioners, who often have very limited time and may have only basic formal education, find it difficult to make use of this information. Another weakness of the available literature is that much of it is written up as success stories, lacking balanced information about an extension method’s weaknesses and under what circumstances it may or may not be effective.The Global Good Practices (GGP) Initiative of the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) aims to bridge the existing knowledge gap regarding what works in RAS by looking at experiences of existing good practices and evidence at a global level to create a set of concise briefs – Global Good Practice Notes. These provide guidance to extension managers and practitioners on how to select and apply approaches in their specific situation. The notes also explain the different ways in which an approach has been used, and how it has been adapted to different contexts and countries. In addition to extension managers and practitioners, other audiences who will find the notes useful include staff and students in universities and other educational institutions, researchers, policy-makers, producer organisations and private companies buying produce from farmers, and development practitioners interested in promoting agricultural innovations.With the support of many partners, and based on broad consultation processes, GFRAS has developed a common definition of good practices and a framework for their selection in RAS; established an Advisory Committee; and, working with and connecting actors from all around the world, has developed 31 GGP Notes to date. All content developed within the initiative is freely available at http://www.betterextension. org in English and French (with the exception of notes 27–30, which are currently only available in English). Based on demand, versions in other languages will be added over time.This book offers the full collection of notes published up to August 2017. Following an overview of extension philosophies and methods, the notes are divided into four sections: Governance and structure; Capacity and management; Advisory methods; and Cross-cutting issues. This introduction outlines the conceptualisation and historyof the GGP Initiative, how it is managed, and the reasons behind the organisation and structure of the GGP Notes.