The evaluation of a participatory extension programme focused on climate friendly farming

Jorie Knook*, Vera Eory, Matthew Brander, Dominic Moran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


Agriculture is a major source of global greenhouse gas emissions and therefore effective policy interventions are required in order to mitigate these emissions. One form of intervention used within the agricultural sector is participatory extension programmes (PEPs). PEPs are advisory programmes based on voluntary participation where farmers, researchers, and rural experts collectively learn by sharing information and experiences. To evaluate the contribution of these programmes towards more climate friendly farming, this paper conducts an ex-post evaluation of a PEP focused on the voluntary uptake of on-farm emissions mitigation practices in the UK. We use a mixed-methods approach to understand both the adoption of new practices and a range of human-social outcomes such as social learning, resilience and improved decision-making. We find that participants in the PEP show a higher level of practice adoption compared to non-participants. However, the evaluation of the human-social indicators shows that the change cannot always be attributed to PEP participation. The paper contributes to the current literature by conducting the first evaluation on a climate change PEP in a developed country and by developing and applying an effective evaluation framework for climate change PEPs, in order to achieve an understanding of the change achieved by PEPs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-48
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Rural Studies
Early online date4 Apr 2020
Publication statusPrint publication - May 2020


  • Agriculture
  • Climate change
  • Evaluation
  • Extension programme
  • Mixed-methods


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