Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS), a $9.5M AgReach project funded by USAID, was active from 2010-2016. Overall, the MEAS project contributed to significant impacts on extension systems, organizations, individual actors, and farmers while increasing the prominence of extension on the international agricultural development and food security agenda.

Over 60 institutions and programs are using MEAS training modules and manuals and MEAS materials have been accessed online on over 270,000 times. MEAS focused its efforts on the organizations that served them through the analysis, design, evaluation, and reform of rural extension and advisory services, collaborating with public systems/governments, donor funded projects, NGOs, public sector entities, farmers’ unions, and civil society organizations. In total, the MEAS project used this approach to reach over 11 million farmers.

Though no longer active as a project, related and subsequent AgReach projects have built off of MEAS's foundations. All MEAS publications, extension tools, learning modules, and the rest of the resource library are available for public use at meas.illinois.edu.

The publications below represent a sampling of the MEAS library, click to find more:

Training Material

  • Climate change adaptation guides
  • Region-specific field extension manuals
  • SMART Skills training modules

Technical Notes

  • Series on teaching and learning for extension practitioners
  • Farmer-to-farmer extension
  • Designing ICT-supported extension

Academic and Discussion Papers

  • Social factors in ICT use in extension
  • Designing EAS to reduce post-harvest loss
  • Reducing the gender gap in EAS
  • ICT in extension and advisory services
  • Linking farmers to market M&E in extension


  • Farmer-to-farmer extension approaches
  • Public-private extension collaborations

Case Studies

  • Small farm resource centers
  • Reaching rural women
  • Human resource development in EAS

Our Work

Extension systems in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Central America need to undergo significant change if they are to effectively serve the food security and economic development needs of resource-poor men and women farmers. New approaches must draw on full breadth of resources in public, private and civil society organizations and utilized available advanced information and communications technologies. MEAS is a Center of Excellence that seeks to promote and support such endeavors.

The MEAS project is made up of three components expected to benefit a wide audience of users:

1 TEACH - Disseminating Modern Approaches to Extension through user-friendly materials for dissemination and training programs that promote new strategies and approaches to rural extension and advisory service delivery. Click here for a brochure on this component.

2 LEARN - Documenting Lessons Learned and Good Practice through success stories, case studies, evaluations, pilot projects, and action research.

3 APPLY - Designing Modern Extension and Advisory Services Program through assistance to selected host country organizations — public and private — for the analysis, design, evaluation and reform of rural extension and advisory services.

Who We Are

The MEAS project is funded through a USAID Cooperative Agreement Leader with Associates (LWA, 10/2010 to 9/2015).

Consortium Partners

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (ILLINOIS, Lead)
  • Michigan State University (MSU)
  • University of Florida (UF)
  • University of California Davis (UC Davis) 
  • Cornell University (CORNELL)
  • North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (NCAT),
  • Catholic Relief Services (CRS) 
  • Cultural Practice (CP), LLC
  • Winrock International (WI)
  • Sasakawa Africa Fund for Extension Education (SAFE)
  • Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) with its partner, the Global 2000 program of the Carter Center (SG 2000)

Associate Partners

  • The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 
  • Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)

Work With Us

In MEAS, we emphasize participatory approaches and collaborative development work with public and private commercial as well as non for profit extension and advisory service providers in developing countries together with other donors and a broad range of practitioners. We are also open to working faculty and staff from universities that are not formal partners of the MEAS consortium. 

For the current fiscal year (2012/2013) we are not able to fund any additional collaborations but welcome your inquiries about future collaboration. Simply send an email to Andrea Bohn, abohn@illinois.edu.(link sends e-mail)

MEAS has been collaborating with the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS), development projects, farmer organizations (like Federacion National de Cafeteros in Colombia), research institutions, independent consultants, non-governmental organizations like ECHO, social entrepreneurs like BIID (Bangladesh), universities (like Makarere in Uganda and Sokoine in Tanzania) and various USAID missions (Bangladesh, Egypt, Georgia, Ghana, Indonesia, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Nepal, Rwanda, Tajikistan).

Together we are conducting assessments of the pluralistic extension landscape in various countries, do case studies, carry out evaluations, conduct pilot action research, and offer training programs.

More information is available: