Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services

How We Work


Disseminating Modern Approaches to Extension through user-friendly materials for dissemination and training programs that promote new strategies and approaches to rural extension and advisory service delivery.


Documenting Lessons Learned and Good Practice through success stories, case studies, evaluations, pilot projects, and action research.


Designing Modern Extension and Advisory Services Program through assistance to selected host country organizations – public and private – for the analysis, design, evaluation and reform of rural extension and advisory services.


a consortium led by the University of Illinois

Granted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the “Modernizing Extension and Advisory Systems” (MEAS) project aims to improve the livelihoods of rural farmers in the world’s poorest nations by modernizing and strengthening their agricultural extension systems. The objective for MEAS is to define and disseminate good practice strategies and approaches to establishing efficient, effective and financially sustainable rural extension and advisory service systems in selected countries. Our goal is to help transform and modernize these extension systems, so they can play a key role in both increasing farm incomes and enhancing the livelihoods of the rural poor, especially farm women.

  • 13 Countries

    We have worked with organizations and individuals from across the globe to modernize extension a d advisory services. See "Country Studies".

  • 10 Pilot-Action Research Projects

    Targeted activities to test and demonstrate key, new interventions and efficiency enhancing technologies.

  • Case Studies

    high-quality illustrative Lessons Learned Case Studies on a variety of agricultural extension systems and projects.


Our team includes core experts and collaborators, both within each country and at U.S. institutions.
Uploaded image

Dr. Paul E. McNamara

Director, University of Illinois
Paul has been involved in international development activities since 1982, working with communities across Western and Central Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central America. His focus lies in extension, consumer, health, and agricultural economics and rural development.
Uploaded image

Andrea Bohn

Associate Director
Andrea has worked in the field of international development for the past two decades, including working at CIMMYT in Mexico and applying her skills at in curricular reform and innovation in Agricultural Sciences at the University of Hohenheim in her home country of Germany.
Uploaded image

Dr. Deborah Rubin

Cultural Practice, LLC
Deborah is a senior development analyst, helping to integrate gender-sensitive framework, policies, and practices in programs for USAID and other development organizations. She has significant experience working with communities in Tanzania and Kenya.
Uploaded image

Dr. Kathleen Colverson

University of Florida
Kathleen has over 20 years of experience with gender analysis, assessments, publications, and evaluations in east Africa, Central America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and the United States. She has over 25 years of experience in formal and non-formal education.
Uploaded image

Dr. Sandra Russo

University of Florida
Sandra has been working in international development for over 30 years, beginning in 1981 in sub-Saharan Africa and working across northern Africa and the Middle East. She focuses on agronomy, animal sciences, water resources, and agricultural innovations for smallholder farmers.
Uploaded image

Dr. Mark Bell

University of California, Davis
After 20 years living and working in Mexico and the Philippines, Mark is now based at UC Davis, where he continues his work with partners around the world to help small scale farmers better access useful, credible information and improve communication pathways.
Uploaded image

Dr. Joyous Tata

University of Illinois
Joyous began working in the field of agricultural development in her home country of Cameroon as an extension officer with men and women farmers. Since then, Joyous has spent her efforts building capacity in food security and nutrition, monitoring and evaluation, technology transfer, and research-extension linkages.
Uploaded image

Cristina Manfre

Cultural Practice, LLC
Cristina is a gender and development specialist focusing on assisting implementing organizations to improve attention to gender in agricultural value chains. Cristina has experience leading and managing gender and economic growth programs in Kenya, the Dominican Republic, and Peru.
Uploaded image

Dr. Brent Simpson

Michigan State University
Brent M. Simpson is an Associate Professor in International Development, Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics at Michigan State University (MSU). Over the past 30 years he has worked in over twenty-five countries, primarily in Africa.
Uploaded image

Katy Heinz

University of Illinois
Katy has worked with several initiatives focusing on international human rights advocacy, community development, and urban and rural agricultural development. For these initiative, she has led the creative materials production and communications strategy.

Discussion Papers and Briefs

MEAS publishes discussion and working papers on good practices and best fit approaches to modernizing extension and advisory services. These will be shared openly through this website and distributed to the network of agricultural extension professionals.

Get in touch