Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

First Advisor

Satish Verma


Increasingly, developing countries view the partnership of research, education, and extension in traditional agricultural extension education systems as an adaptable model for improving their agrarian economies. The process of adaptation, however, has too often followed the traditional developmental project approach and been little more than the transplantation of a predefined extension education model into a developing country with little regard to existing country specific factors which impact the effectiveness of a domestic extension system. As a result, less than satisfactory technology transfer has occurred and slow rates of agricultural economic development have been posted, painting a disappointing record for agricultural extension in developing countries. The general assertion remains, however, that extension education can promote development by improving the capacity of small farmers to produce food and fiber, enabling them to become functional, contributing parts of the economic development process. The challenge is to design an extension system, within country specific parameters, which will effectively meet the established developmental goals of a country. The purpose of this developmental research project was to identify the factors to consider when designing an effective agricultural extension system for a given developing country and then link these factors to the components of existing extension models to "custom" design an appropriate, effective extension system for the country. A review of literature identified country specific factors which impact the effectiveness of an extension system and the primary components of the seven major extension models. Additional procedures included the development of two instruments, the "Country Analysis Instrument" which serves to identify and quantify various existing or desired characteristics which impact the development of an extension system and the "Model Correlation Instrument" which correlates these identified impactors to particular components of existing models. The designed instruments were subjected to a modified Delphi review by a panel of recognized experts in extension education and development for evaluation and refinement. Field-testing of the final instruments was done in the Peoples' Republic of China and Cambodia through a 1994 Fulbright Project and Turkmenistan in a 1995 USAID Project. These studies validated the instruments as capable of withstanding practical application.