A Study to Assess Needed Improvements and Barriers in Planning and Delivering Agricultural Extension Activities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq



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The purpose of this study was to assess planning and delivering agricultural extension activities in the Kurdistan region of Iraq for future program implementation. The study was a descriptive research and used a modified Delphi technique to identify needed improvements and highlight barriers in planning and delivering extension activities by the willingness of extension workers. The population of the study was 50 MOAWR purposely selected government employees consisted of 10 extension experts, 15 extension administrators, and 25 extension agents. The study used three rounds web-based survey questionnaires.

In Round I, the panelists were responded to two open ended questions to identify needed improvements and barriers in planning and delivering extension activities. The gathered information from Round I was examined, organized, and combined to create the second questionnaire for Round II. In Round II, the panelists were indicated their levels of agreement or disagreement about each needed improvement and barrier. The study employed a six-Likert scale with 1=?Strongly Agree?, 2=?Agree?, 3=?Somewhat Agree?, 4=?Somewhat Disagree?, 5=?Disagree?, and 6=?Strongly Disagree?. The needed improvements and barriers that received two-thirds of agreement (numbers 1 and 2 in the six-point Likert scale) were used to create the third questionnaire for Round III. In Round III, panelists were developed consensus by rating the statements that received two-third agreement in Round II. Equally, the same Round II six-point Likert scale was used in Round III.

The result findings of the study were revealed to the demands of extension policy implementation in the region. The results of the study were summarized in three overall implementation theme areas: community based program development, building capacity program, and institutional structuring and three distinct research areas: leadership in extension, personal traits of extension agents, and external communication. Furthermore, the results of the study provided key points and details for each implementation theme and distinct research area.