From the Editor
AIAEE's plan for the Journal included a publication goal of four issues a year. Four years old this year, the Journal marks an intermediate milestone on its way to this goal. From a modest start of two issues (spring and fall) in 1994, the Journal maintained this level through volume 3. The publication of three issues this year in volume 4 was made possible as a result of the decision to bring out an inaugural annual conference issue this past summer. The Journal's editorial board and AIAEE's leadership plans to continue the conference issue.
When we will reach our target of four issues per volume depends on several factors, including an assured stream of quality manuscripts, a manageable review/editorial load, a reasonable level of Journal subscriptions, and involved, interactive readers.
In my view, the volume of manuscript submissions will be the only significant limitation in reaching this goal. The Journal basically supports itself on generated funds, and there is no plan in the foreseeable future to raise subscriptions. We can realize our goal if more people would write for the Journal. Please share your scholarship with your colleagues by contributing articles in one or more of the Journal's sections - feature, commentary, and tools of the profession. In particular, commentary offers a forum to share provocative and insightful views on current and emerging issues in our disciplines and professions, the academic world, and development in general. Tools of the Profession is, in my judgment, the practice or application component of the Journal. This section can be an outlet for innovative ideas, methods and techniques, and reflective program experiences, in addition to reviews of books, reports, and developmental and education resources.
Several themes are addressed in this issue. The pervasive and timeless theme of human development- empowerment is the focus of several articles.
Ismail reports on how rural projects owned and operated by women in Malaysia contributed to increases in their income, employment, and participation in these projects. She advocates inclusion of women in technical assistance, and development efforts of government extension services, something that has not happened in the past. A similar argument for engaging women in extension education programs is voiced by Chizari, Lindner and Bashardoost. They point to the traditional subjugation of women in the cultures of developing countries, and prove their argument by showing why and how women who share a significant burden of rice production activities in a province of Northern Iran need to be included as participants and beneficiaries of these programs.
Reviews of publications in the Tools of the Profession section also highlight the value of human-centered development. Seven human development reports published by the United Nations Development Program from 1990-96 are summarized. These reports should be of interest to both scholars and practitioners in extension and development work. The idea of using a human development index that considers social and economic indicators as development criteria in contrast to gross national product, which uses economic criteria alone, to evaluate a nation's level of development is intriguing and challenging, and offers a truer and more realistic measure of development. Agunga in his book "Developing the Third World: A Communication Approach" (1997) argues that development is meaningful only if it improves the human condition, emphasizes the great need for human-centered development in third world countries, and suggests that communication is the essence of development.
4 Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education
Extension systems around the world are changing. More and more, countries are moving toward privatized extension systems as public sector resources decline and philosophical shifts occur in the leadership of these countries. Two articles focus on this trend. Quispe describes the successes and weaknesses of a three-year old, self-managed system of production in Veracruz, Mexico, partially supported by Mexican government funds. The author suggests that despite implementation problems observed in the project, the local autonomy that has been fostered could lead eventually to a true privatized system. Rivera, Elshafie and Aboul-Seoud characterize Egypt's extension system as a pluralistic complex comprising a dominant public sector system and an emerging private sector component which is moving toward decentralized decision- making and operations, and a comprehensive, community development perspective.
Program design is the theme of two articles in this issue. Carey and Etling draw on the literature of rural appraisal and their experiences in using this technique of program development in several countries to propose a participatory rural design strategy. Düvel reviews work on behavior theories, and adds findings from empirical research, to substantiate an interdisciplinary model. He advocates use of this model to analyze needs, perceptions, and knowledge of clientele to plan change strategies affecting individuals, groups, and communities.
In the formal education setting, Dlamini and Sithole relate prior academic performance in a junior national certificate examination of agriculture students enrolled in Swaziland high schools to their demographic and school-related characteristics.
Included in this issue is the announcement for a new Journal editor for the next three-year term, 1999-2001. I have had a good experience, and would encourage those of you who have the desire to serve the association in a truly satisfying way to apply.
Also included is a list of those who helped review manuscripts. I am grateful to them. Their insight, competence, and professionalism continue to make our Journal better.