Principles of extension program planning

A principle is a statement of policy to guide decisions and actions in a consistent manner (Mathews). The principle is a universal truth that has been observed and found to be true under varying conditions and circumstances. A principle is a fundamental truth and a settled rule of action. Extension programs have the definite purpose of improving rural life through individual group and community action. Extension program planning has certain principles which hold irrespective of nature cliental and the Enterprises they may pursue.

1. Extension program planning should be based on analyzing past experiences, present situations, and future needs. 

For program determination, adequate information about the people and their situation has to be collected. The present situation is analyzed and interpreted based on past experiences by taking local people into confidence; This shall help arrive at future needs.

2. Extension program should have clear and significant objectives which could satisfy the important needs of the people 

The ultimate objectives of program building are to satisfy the needs of the people. For this purpose, significant objectives about the important needs of the people should be selected and clearly stated. The emphasis Shall be on what is attainable rather than on what is ideal; one should not lose sight of the latter.

3. Extension programs should be fixed up the priority based on available resources and time

Rural people, particularly in developing countries, have a multitude of problems. All problems cannot be taken up at a time for a solution because of the limitation of trained personnel, availability of funds, facilities, and other resources. Time is also a limiting factor as both the people and the funding agencies cannot wait for an indefinite period to get the result; considering these parameters, it is essential to fix up priorities in the program.

4. Extension programs should indicate the availability and utilization of resources

An extension program should clearly state where the funds, facilities, supplies, and the needed personnel shall be available and how these shall be utilized. This shall make the program practical and workable.

5. Extension programs should have a General agreement at various levels

Programs prepared at the various levels such as a village, district, state, and National levels should conform to each other and shall not work at cross purposes. Similarly, the extension program of a particular department should not be in conflict or contradiction with the extension program of another department.

6. Extension programs should involve people at the local level 

Extension programs are implemented at the local level. Local people should, therefore, be involved all through program formulation to program implementation.

7. Extension programs should involve relevant Institutions and Organisation

Extension programs cannot be implemented in isolation. It requires the support of many institutions and organizations. The program should broadly indicate the Institutions and organizations involved and how they shall contribute to attaining the program objectives.

8. Extension programs should have a definite plan of work

The plan of work may be separately drawn up or incorporated into the program. The program should at least broadly indicate how it will be executed. Unless the plan of work is drawn up, the program remains a theoretical exercise.

9. Extension programs should provide for evaluation of results and reconsideration of the program

An extension program is not a static outline of activities. The program should make provision for periodical monitoring and evaluation of results to judge its progress. Based on the evaluation findings, the program should be suitably modified to reach its objectives within the stipulated period.

10. Extension programs should provide equal distribution of benefits amongst the members of the community

It has been found that in a community, generally, the resources-rich person benefits more in comparison to the resources poor from the implementation of extension programs as this may generate social disparity and social tensions. The planning of extension programs should give adequate emphasis on the weaker section of the community.

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