Evaluation and accountability
Last month at the 2013 AAEA Annual Conference, I was one of three presenters in a concurrent session on "Creating and Documenting Extension Programs with Public Value-Level Impacts." I learned a lot from both of my co-presenters, but here are just two quick ideas I took away from the session:
From Jo Ann Warner of the Western Center for Risk Management Education: As a funder, the WCRME demands evaluation plans--and ultimately results--from grant applicants. But the Center itself is accountable to its own funders, who demand that the Center demonstrate the effectiveness of the programs they have funded. So generally, grant applicants should keep in mind to whom the granting agency is accountable and provide the kind of results that will help the agency demonstrate effectiveness.
From Kynda Curtis of Utah State University: Intimidated about evaluating the effectiveness of your extension program? Don't be! It's not as hard as you think it is, won't take as much additional time as you think it will, and costs less than you expect. No excuses!