doi: 10.5191/jiaee.2018.25206

Evaluating Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services through a Governance Lens


Cristina Álvarez-Mingote

Paul E. McNamara

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 



Demand-driven extension services have been promoted as a potential mechanism to improve governance quality and lead to better-served farmers. In this paper, we evaluate i) the extent to which demand-driven elements are present in extension services in developing countries, and ii) whether governance problems persist and why. We accomplish so by performing a qualitative analysis of the Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS) country assessments, and find that, despite the adoption of demand-driven features, extension services are not fully participatory, transparent, accountable, equitable and responsive to needed farmers. 

Keywords:extension and advisory services; demand-driven, good governance

Note:We are grateful to all the authors of the Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS) country assessments for their insightful contributions. We thank all the respondents and participants in these studies as well as Austen Moore and Matthew Winters for helpful comments on earlier versions of this manuscript. We also gratefully acknowledge the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for support. This work was supported by the USAID through the Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS) under grant No. AID-OAA-L-10-00003, and the Feed the Future Malawi Strengthening Agricultural and Nutrition Extension Services Activity (SANE) under grant No. AID-612-LA-15-00003 programs at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, USA. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Agency for International Development.


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