This review of literature on evaluation methods, in combination with a meta-evaluation of extension evaluation case studies, is intended to be a resource for extension evaluation. It is envisaged that this review will be of interest to those involved in managing and implementing evaluations of rural advisory services as well as to extension and evaluation specialists
The literature review focuses specifically on approaches and methodologies in evaluation which are relevant for evaluating initiatives in extension or rural advisory services.
The materials reviewed include academic papers, existing evaluation toolboxes and major evaluation guidelines and frameworks. After an introduction and information on the changing orientation of both extension and evaluation, the context and scope of the review are discussed. This is followed by sections addressing the purposes, users and uses of evaluation, evaluation standards and criteria, approaches, rigour, and attribution. The final three sections discuss the principles for evaluation of rural advisory services in highly complex situations; the strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in existing approaches; and the ways forward.