10.5191/jiaee.1999.06205

 

Abstract

Extension education has evolved from being a process of dissemination of information, to a process of actively advocating for change, to facilitating the change process. To be a facilitator of the change process requires deeper knowledge of the internal dynamics of a community and the factors impacting people’s decision making. The purpose of this case study is to describe an extension education program in which the extension educator’s role was as a facilitator in the change process. Using Rogers’ innovation-decision process as the conceptual framework, ethnographic research techniques were used over three growing seasons to collect data revealing the factors impacting this process in women farmers. The rice production system is described as well as the major findings on factors impacting the five steps of the innovation decision process. The process of facilitating change in this case study is described leading to conclusions of what is required to be an effective facilitator of change for sustainable development. The paper advocates developing new competencies and teaching new skills to the next generation of extension educators so that they can be effective advisors to farmers strengthening the feedback loops in the research process.

 

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