About Capacity Building - projects
The CVCB has commissioned four core projects and a number of supporting projects.
Core projects (commissioned research) 
The Cooperative Venture has four “key result areas”, for which it has commissioned research projects. 
What works and why 
Fostering involvement 
Optimising institutional arrangements 
Support for rural educators 
What works and why (also called the National Extension/Education 
Evaluation core project) is evaluating the following: 
extension and education programs being implemented around Australia, looking at best practice as a means of sharing and learning how new guidelines, principles and tools will generate effective information and learning. 
It has reviewed an extensive range of extension/education projects across agriculture and other fields. In reviewing the literature a context map of the influences and trends that are shaping the extension/education structures, funding and approaches across Australia has been prepared. 
The project has developed a set of five models which describe how projects are delivered. For each model a set of criteria has been developed which characterise successful delivery. A database of projects has been constructed which allows searching by project, model type or by industry. Users can interrogate the database to provide information to assist in designing and evaluating projects. Research leader: Coutts J&R Pty Ltd. 
Extension project database. A database of extension projects implemented around Australia. This database is a great resource for developing a project or if you are looking for ways to evaluate extension projects. You can search the database by project name, model or industry. 
For more information or if you know of a project that could be included in the review contact: 
Jeff Coutts, email couttsjr@bigpond.net.au 
Kate Roberts, email kroberts@robertsevaluation.com.au 
Finnoula Frost, email frosts@iinet.net.au 

Fostering Involvement is studying factors that inhibit farmer participation in learning activities so we can develop new processes to encourage participation, extension and learning. As starting point to the research a literature review was completed. 
The project report provides a summary of the theoretical basis for participation in learning activities with an emphasis on formal organised activities. Four key factors influencing participation have been identified: 
Relationships between the learner and the learning ‘environment’. Social and structural factors inhibiting participation. 
The learning and educational experience of the farmer. Situational, institutional and dispositional barriers to participation. Based on these factors nine strategies have been described to foster involvement in learning. 
Research leader: Research Policy Management Pty Ltd For more information contact: John McKenzie, email mckenzie@ix.net.au 

Institutional Arrangements (click here for final report) has developed a definition of capacity building based on a wide range of literature on the subject. The definition describes capacity building as a process by which communities use their human and social capital and their access to financial, physical and natural capital to improve a problematic 
situation, and also improve the amount of capital in the process. A comprehensive review of trends in the operating environment for rural Australia is provided. A set of five propositions regarding capacity 
building are described and recommendations for future research made. A preliminary set of seven criteria has been developed to guide the design, conduct, monitoring and evaluation of capacity building initiatives. 
Research leader: Rural Enablers 
Final report 
Summary report 
For more information contact: Robert Macadam, email r.macadam@uws.edu.au 

Mapping of Rural Service Providers has found that the greatest inhibitor encountered by service providers in their professional development is the organisational and external environment. Within the scope of what service 
providers do there is a high level of job satisfaction, and they believe they have enough skills to carry out the tasks required, but there is considerable frustration at the constancy of organisational change and a lack of leadership in managing that change. A demographic picture of service providers is provided and the required skills for service providers are described. Training needs are outlined and recommendations made to deal with the issues raised in the report. Research leader: Kate Roberts Research and Evaluation 
Final report 
Summary report 
For more information contact:Kroberts@robertsevaluation.com.au 

Support projects 
Nine support projects have been funded. Participative evaluation of learning and impacts from “farmer-driven 
RDE” Targeting 'pragmatist' farmers in transfer of simulation-bsed decision support Improving delivery mechanisms for sustainable land management in the small farm sector Reconceptualising extension to deliver triple bottom line outcomes (complete – final report to come) Creating inspiration - how visual and performing arts shape 
environmental behaviour A responsive training market: the role of brokers Nesting community-based NRM for regional accountability and grassroots cooperation An evaluation of the demand for a national accreditation scheme for professionals in the natural resources, agriculture and related sectors (Full report || Summary) 
Agribusiness role in extension, education and training – a case study 

Participative evaluation of learning and impacts from “farmer-driven RDE” 
By working with influential, proactive farmer groups, the Birchip Cropping Group (www.bcg.org.au) in southern Australia and Conservation 
Farmers Inc (www.cfi.org.au) in northern Australia, to enhance the design, implementation and evaluation of “farmer-driven RDE” in Australia through: 
forming recommended actions to improve processes, learnings and impacts through review of past, current and planned RDE activities of collaborating farmer groups 
actively involving researchers with farmer and adviser members of collaborating groups in designing, implementing and evaluating RDE case studies which have adopted recommendations referred to above. The project began in 2003 and is due to be completed in November 2005. Research leader: Dr Peter Carberry, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, 
Toowoomba For more information contact: Peter Carberry, email 

Targeting 'pragmatist' farmers in transfer of simulation-based decision support 
To demonstrate how to effectively implement powerful computer-mediated decision support for risk management in dryland farming among enough of the farming community to enable a viable commercial agribusiness service. 
Use an existing network of consultants and farmers in which the FARMSCAPE approach to decision support is being implemented in the Northern Cropping Region by intervening to create reference groups of satisfied adopters among the 'pragmatist' category of farmers who are crucial to the diffusion process required for viable market volume. 
To provide new knowledge about "market segments" in the farming community crucial to avoiding marketing failures in adoption of "discontinous" technologies. 
The research began in 2002 and is due to be completed in November 2005. 
Research leader: Dr Lisa Brennan, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Brisbane 
For more information contact: Lisa Brennan, email lisa.brennan@csiro.au 

Improving delivery mechanisms for sustainable land management in the small farm sector 
The long-term outcome of this project will be improved sustainable land management on small rural properties through greater landholder participation in natural resource management extension programs. This will be achieved as a result of improved understanding of the needs of the small farm sector and identifying best practices in extension and 
Project deliverables: 
A new model for innovative education and knowledge exchange programs for small property owners. 
Improved delivery mechanisms, network and training resources to increase participation of small property owners in natural resource extension programs. 
New strategies to engage small land managers and enhance the professional development of rural service providers. 
Improved understanding of the drivers of change in the small farm sector for land stewardship. 
The research began in 2002 and is due to be completed in August 2005. 
Research leader: Carol Hollier, Department of Primary Industries, 
For more information contact: Carol Hollier, email 

Reconceptualising extension to deliver triple bottom line outcomes 
Proposed outcomes include: 
a diagnostic framework developed from literature analysis and experiential data that can inform extension practice within production landscapes 
a WWW page report of findings tied to the RIRDC initiative, including a (secondary data) case study application of the framework rural industries more aware of and able to design programs to deliver appropriate triple bottom line outcomes. 
Research leader: Dr Ruth Beilin,ute of Land and Food Resources, University of Melbourne 
For more information contact: Ruth Beilin, email rbeilin@unimelb.edu.au 

Creating inspiration - how visual and performing arts shape environmental behaviour 
This is part of a larger project, funded by Land & Water Australia, which is investigating how the arts are used in shaping perceptions towards the environment in Australia with a view of providing policy and procedural 
recommendations for extension and environmental education programs. 
Aims of this part of the research are: 
Review overseas experience to investigate how the arts are used in shaping perceptions and behaviour towards the environment internationally. 
Use a series of events that incorporate the arts and environmental repair to evaluate the role of the arts in changing people behaviour towards the environment. 
Develop a multi-media kit and training package for extension agents, community based organisations and R&D practitioners that helps them incorporate the arts into their extension. 
The research began in January 2002 and is due to be completed in January 2005. 
Research leader: Dr Nick Reid, University of New England, Armidale 
For more information contact: Nick Reid, email nreid@metz.une.edu.au 

A responsive training market: the role of brokers 
After mapping existing agricultural training/learning brokerage, the outcomes for primary producers of these arrangements will be investigated and features of and inhibitors to effective brokering identified. From 
this, models of effective brokerage arrangements that apply to learning activities for various sectors, groups and issues in agriculture, as well as case studies and a manual, will be developed. 
This project is due to be completed August 2005. 
Research leaders: Sue Kilpatrick (University of Tasmania) and Amabel Fulton (Rural Development Services) 
For more information: Sue Kilpatrick, email sue.kilpatrick@utas.edu.au, 
Amabel Fulton amabel@bigpond.com 

Nesting community-based NRM for regional accountability and grassroots cooperation 
A set of design principles for nested community-based NRM will be identified and described in a variety of media, including a manual, discussion papers, a final project report, and journal and other scientific papers. As well, recommendations on how government and community-based NRM processes might be better integrated will be made, and practical guidelines for regional/catchment organisations about how they might bolster their capacities to accept greater accountability, including through more effective local monitoring, sanctioning and enforcement will 
be developed. A final aim of the project is to make recommendations on how organisational innovations in community-based NRM might be communicated better within the policy community to secure successful adoption. 
This project is due to be completed July 2007. 
Research leader: Graham Marshall, University of New England, Armidale 
For more information: Graham Marshall, email gmarshal@metz.une.edu.au 

An evaluation of the demand for a national accreditation scheme for professionals in the natural resources, agriculture and related sectors 
This project was based on the premise that there is a significant demand for a national accreditation scheme from professional advisers and consultants to the agricultural, natural resource management and related 
sectors. Its aim was to identify whether this was the case and, if so, where this demand came from. According to the research, the demand came from: 
Specific industries working closely with advisers/consultants to ensure they remain at the forefront of innovation and best management practices Professionals wanting to maximise the quality of advice, continuous 
improvement and relevance of their profession Commercial companies wanting to provide evidence of the marketable 
competencies and credibility of their commercial agronomists/advisers The desire for various groups of professionals to gain recognition for the roles they play – eg Landcare coordinators and facilitators and rural financial counsellors 
A desire, across the board, for targeted professional development programs that maintains currency of competencies based on industry/sector standards 
A growing requirement for auditable evidence of compliance supplied by certified auditors of industry and NRM activities 
A demand for training organisations to deliver industry-relevant programs. 
This project was completed in November 2003. 
Research leader: Australian Institute of Agricultural Science 
Final report 
Summary report 

Agribusiness role in extension, education and training – a case study 
To create baseline data concerning the structure of the agribusiness sector, its influencing factors and the sector’s current and future contributions to capacity building. Define the future agribusiness contribution for rural innovation. Establish the opportunities and limitations of this sector to contribute and define a recommended 
direction to increase this potential contribution. Research leader: Gordon Stone, Gordon Stone and Associates, Toowoomba For more information contact: Gordon Stone, email gordon@stoneco.com.au