April 24, 2015

Workshops and Seminars

June 3-5, 2015
As the MEAS project comes to a close, consortium leaders and key actors will converge in Washington, D.C. to consolidate on the knowledge gains made by the project and reflect on its role for the future of extension and advisory services. Over a period of three days we will review the main lessons learned and celebrate the successes MEAS has experienced over the past five years. 
This will be an important time to also reflect on how our understanding of the concept of “pluralistic extension” has grown along with the evolving roles of different players in EAS (public and private extension, farmer organizations, educators). We will come away with a comprehensive response to the question: How can the extension system be prepared for sustainable success? Full program and presentations here.

A MEAS Workshop

Please join us on June 2nd at 20 F Street Conference Center in Washington, DC for an event focused on how private sector agribusinesses and public private partnerships (PPP) approach agricultural extension in working with small holder farmers. The MEAS team will review current research out of Cornell University on the typologies of extension approaches and we will share successes and best practices. Details here.
There is no registration fee for this event, but participants are responsible for covering their transportation and accommodation cost.


November 17-21, 2014

Regional Conference on Rural Advisory Services (RAS) in Central Asia and the Caucasus


From 17 to 21 November 2014, the Central Asia and the Caucasus Association of Agricultural Research Institutes (CACAARI) and the Central Asia and the Caucasus Forum for Rural Advisory Services (CAC-FRAS), in collaboration with GFAR (Global Forum on Agricultural Research), MEAS (Modernising Extension and Advisory Services), ICARDA (International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas), IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute) and other partners, will organize a joint Regional Conference on Rural Advisory Services in the Bishkek region of the Kyrgyz Republic. Read more ...

October 29, 2014

MALAWI – “The Making of a Messenger: Engaging Extension and Advisory Service Providers in Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture”. SPRING-MEAS webinar

Agriculture extension agents are a valuable source of information and expertise for many small scale farmers across the globe. As global understanding builds around the linkages between agriculture and nutrition, efforts are currently underway to integrate activities promoting nutrition into agriculture extension programming in several Feed the Future countries. Join SPRING and the Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS) project in a two-part webinar series exploring these efforts in Malawi and Ethiopia.

The first event, scheduled for October 29th at 9:00 a.m. EST, will focus on MEAS’s assessment of agricultural extension, nutrition education, and integrated agriculture-nutrition programs and systems in Malawi. The assessment aims to inform the design of an activity that will strengthen delivery of coordinated and integrated extension and nutrition outreach services in Malawi’s Feed the Future focus districts. Vickie Sigman, Independent Senior Agriculture Extension Specialist, will discuss the various programs and systems in place in Malawi to deliver integrated extension and nutrition outreach services. Service delivery constraints and possibilities for addressing existing constraints will also be highlighted. Paul McNamara, Director, Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services Project and Valerie Rhoe, Senior Technical Advisor at Catholic Relief Services, will serve as respondents as part of the presentation.

View the Webinar Recording(link is external)

Presentation (Sigman) (PDF, 1.85 MB)

Response 1 (Rhoe Davis) (PDF, 175 KB)

Response 2 (McNamara) (PDF, 694 KB)


September 28 to October 3,2014


MONTEVIDEO – Agricultural extensionists, researchers, economists, and Ministry of Agriculture representatives from across Latin America converged in the capital of Uruguay last week to deepen their understanding of new concepts on extension and above all share experiences across country lines. Sixteen delegates from almost every Latin American country from Mexico to Chile took part in the 2014 Spring Institute hosted by the USAID-funded Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS) Project led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Latin American Network for Rural Extension Services (RELASER), in collaboration with FAO[1], IICA[2] and PROCISUR[3].  … [read more]

[1] Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

[2] Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura

[3] Programa Cooperativo para el Desarrollo Technológico Agroalimentario y Agroindustrial del Cono Sur

March 11-13, 2014

MOZAMBIQUE – Promoting Equal Access to Resources and Opportunities in Agriculture for Men and Women

A team of facilitators was assembled from ILRI and the University of Florida, using workshop materials previously tested in several other countries, which were translated into Portuguese by the University of Florida and revised by collaborators in IIAM. Once in Mozambique, the team was joined by collaborators from the Gender Unit of IIAM, from the Trilateral Cooperation (US-Mozambique-Brazil) project based at IIAM, from ILRI-Mozambique, and from USAID. The workshop took place on the main IIAM campus in Maputo. … [read more]

March 3-4, 2014

NEPAL – Strengthening Agricultural Extension in Nepal: Workshop on Demand-Driven, Participatory, Pluralistic Agricultural Extension Services 

This workshop, attended by fifty people representing the research, extension, education, and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) sectors, sought to train senior and mid-career agricultural development professionals on emerging and demand-driven, pluralistic agricultural extension polices, programs, and modules, and to develop key recommendations for strengthening agricultural extension programs and activities. Decentralization and/or devolution in agricultural extension services in Nepal does not seem to be working. There is some degree of decentralization on planning up to district level and no decentralization at the community level, particularly with respect to implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. … [read more]

February 11, 2014

Strengthening Agricultural Extension in Cambodia: Workshop on Demand-Driven, Participatory, Pluralistic Agricultural Extension Services

Workshop held at Himawari Hotel, Phnom Penh, Cambodia February 11, 2014

 … [read more]

January 20-23, 2013 

LIBERIA – Action-oriented training and capacity building on dubbing and utilizing extension videos in local languages as a tool for agricultural extension and advisory services in Liberia

The USAID-funded Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS) project at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and Development Alternatives International (DAI) in Washington DC, in collaboration with the Liberian Ministry of Agriculture and the USAID-funded Food Enterprise Development (FED) Project hosted an “action-oriented training and capacity building on dubbing and utilizing extension videos in local languages as a tool for agricultural extension and advisory services in Liberia”. The training is aimed at enhancing the capacity of the public, private, and civil society institutions in the agricultural extension and advisory services system in Liberia. The training was organized under the guidance of MEAS Director, Professor Paul McNamara of UIUC … [read more]

January 14-17, 2013 

SIERRA LEONE – Action-oriented training and capacity building on dubbing and utilizing extension videos in local languages as a tool for agricultural extension and advisory services in Sierra Leone

The hands-on training workshop brought together 23 participants from the Ministry of Agriculture Forest and Food Security (MAFFS) of Sierra Leone, World Vision (WV), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI), and Njala University. The training was facilitated by Dr. Suiyigheh Joyous Tata (MEAS Project/UIUC, USA), and Messrs. Francis Chepyegon and Phil Malone, both of whom were from the Access Agriculture, an International NGO based in Nairobi, Kenya. … [read more

November 20, 2013 – Agricultural Sector Council Webinar hosted by Agrilinks

Scaling the Uptake of Ag Innovation – The Role of Sustainable Extension and Advisory Services

 Achieving large-scale adoption of agricultural innovations among resource poor    farmers has taken many forms through development history. Many successive  approaches have all won pockets of success, yet all have largely been abandoned (or  soon will be) in the search for more effective, less-costly, broadly replicable means of  inducing technological change among the poor. What have these experiences taught  us? What is the proper role of agricultural extension and advisory services in  facilitating technological change? How can the services and opportunities that  extension efforts offer be expanded and sustained?

USAID works with local partner Farms Inputs Promotion-Africa to help increase the productivity and incomes of rural farming families in Kenya as part of the U.S. Government’s Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative, Feed the Future.

Paul McNamara and Brent Simpson, Project Director and Deputy Director of the USAID Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS) project, spoke on the sustainable financing of extension services for scaling the adoption of agricultural innovations. The presenters provided an overview of alternative means of offering and financing agricultural extension services and the issues surrounding the various approaches. Drawing insights from comparative country experiences and agricultural history to frame the challenge of sustainable agricultural extension services, the presentation explored: the challenges of the uniqueness of agricultural and small-holder systems to scaling efforts; and the contribution of sustainably financed extension services to small-holder farmers access and adoption of new agricultural technologies at relevant scales.
Webinar Recording

June 5-7, 2013:
MEAS Symposium on Extension and Advisory Services 

(click link above for description)

May 15 to 17, 2013 at Njala University, Sierra Leone:

Njala – MEAS Short Course 

Participation in this course is by invitation only.

May 18 to June 12, 2013:

MEAS Summer Institute 2013

Click here to access the report on the summer institute.


May 27 to 30, 2013 in Kumasi, Ghana:

MEAS-AGRA Workshop on Strengthening Extension Training for Graduate Students

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa’s (AGRA) Soil Health Program in collaboration with Modernizing Extension and Advisory Systems (MEAS) and Kwame Nkrumah University for Science Technology (KNUST) hosted this workshop from 27-30 May 2013. Participation in this workshop was by invitation only.

April 17, 2013

Mobilizing Extension and Advisory Services to Improve Food Security and the Livelihoods of the Rural Poor

How can GFRAS and its members, MEAS, USDA/NIFA, USAID, the World Bank, INGOs, and IFPRI jointly support this?

on April 17, 2013 from 8:30am – 12:30 pm in Room 3109, South Building, USDA, Washington DC

The summary of the preceding e-discussion is available for download below or by clicking on this link

Agriculture Extension and Advisory Services under the New Normal of Climate Change

February 20, 2013, AgSector Council Seminar, Washington, D.C.
Since the domestication  of crops and emergence of sedentary societies, our species has never faced a more serious challenge than that which we will confront in adapting to climate change. The scale is global, potential magnitude of impacts catastrophic, timing of onsets unknown, response formulation, and proactive preparation are the first steps, and will be iterative as our knowledge expands and new interactions and effects manifest themselves. Extension change agents and advisory service (EAS) providers in particular will be called upon to serve both as the critical link between farmers and sources of information and tools, and as the facilitators of widespread behavioral adaptation. As we move forward, persistent problems, past failures, and new challenges within EAS provisioning have the potential to converge in a perfect storm as the scramble to adapt to the new normal of life under climate change intensifies. At this seminar, the presenters will outline the nature of the challenges, identify past and present points of successful EAS engagement, and discuss necessary areas of preparation. own, and increased risks due to delayed action real. In the years to come, climate change, coupled with population growth and energy and natural resource depletion, will increasingly challenge our continued ability to feed ourselves.

National Agricultural Extension Policies – Improving the Enabling Environment for Effective RAS

Afternoon Seminar, September 25th, 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm
In conjunction with the GFRAS 3rd Annual Meeting – Manila, Philippines

Presentations (click title to download or scroll to bottom of this page for downloadable files)

Developing National Extension Policies – Experiences and Recommendations from 


  • Liberia – National Policy for Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services
    Stakeholder Workshop, July 3, 2012
New Perspectives on Rural Extension

March 29, 2011, 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
USAID, 1325 G Street, Suite 400, Washington, D.C.

The USAID Agriculture Sector Council

Individual Seminars Given by MEAS Team Members

  • Paul McNamara: “Leading Issues in International Agricultural Extension: Lessons from MEAS Experience”, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, January 28, 2013
  • Brent Simpson, MSU
  • Brent Simpson, India
  • David Ghandi, Catholic Relief Services on behalf of MEAS as part of the 3rd Njala University/University of Illinois workshop on Sustainable Agriculture, Environment and Community, January 2012, Njala, Sierra Leone on January 7, 2012
  • USAID Evidence Summit on Agricultural Technology Adoption and Food Security in Africa June 1-2, 2011, in Washington, D.C.
    B.E. Swanson and P. Hixson
  • USAID Agriculture Core Course
    June 8, 2011, in Washington, D.C.
    B.E. Swanson
  • USAID Agriculture Core Course
    Dec 15, 2011, in Washington, D.C.
    B.E. Swanson, A. Bohn

Learning Exchange on
Best Fit Approaches in
Extension and Advisory Services 

(Click on the title to access full program and presentations)
June 6-8, 2012
The Conference Center, 20 F Street NW, Washington D.C

Extension Related Conferences

Follow this link for information on extension related workshops and conferences sponsored by other organizations.
Further below the MEAS presentations are available for download and dissemination.

A selection of MEAS presentations is also available at http://www.slideshare.net/MEAS1.



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