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

Extension: Skill Summary

Mark Bell
Paul Marcotte
USAID Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS) project
University of California at Davis
Date Published: 
March 5, 2013

Click on the resource icon in the right hand corner above to access the full text. This is one out of a series of fact sheets on classic and proven methods of extension delivery with lots of practical tips intended for extension practitioners, trainers and facilitators. 

The practice of extension – which can be defined as: getting knowledge to farmers, so that they will make a positive change - and can be presented as a five-part framework (see image in document)

<!--[if !supportLists]-->1.    <!--[endif]-->Audience and Needs - Who are the audience and what do they need?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->2.    <!--[endif]-->Solutions – What are the viable, appropriate solutions?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->3.    <!--[endif]-->Core message – Which part of the solution message do farmers need to hear (to understand and be able to change)?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->4.    <!--[endif]-->Packaging and delivery – What is the best way to package and deliver the message to help farmers make a positive change?

<!--[if !supportLists]-->5.    <!--[endif]-->Evaluation – How can you collect information to improve both the extension process and the message while also identifying emerging needs and opportunities?


The elements required for a successful extension system are:

1.    Technical – Extension workers need sufficient technical knowledge to be able to identify problems, suggest potential solutions and/or know who to contact for more technical expertise.

2.    Delivery - Extension workers need to understand how to package, deliver and communicate with farmers and providers of technical content.

3.    Institutional - Extension workers need adequate institutional support and structures to be sufficiently motivated and able to effectively work with farmers.