Interviews with rural advisory service (RAS) providers

Representative organisations of leading RAS providers gathered for joint discussions at the national level, in North-Macedonia, Slovakia and Hungary. The events were held online, due to the limitations of physical meetings during the period. 

The main discussion points (see below) were provided in advance by the coordinator and the task leader GKO.

The information gathered from the interviews are incorporated in the main Output 1 Report.

In North Macedonia, the focus group consisted of 3 type of participants, managers, advisors of the public NEA- National Extension Agency; and representatives of the private advisory service.

In Slovakia, advisory participants also submitted a special questionnaire, tailored for them, by the theme of the interview, which was assessed in the interview evaluation report.

In Hungary, the participants represented several of the largest service providers, most of them also implementing the subsidized (CAP) advisory support scheme, each organisation serving several hundred clients and very actively assisting farmers undertaking various CAP schemes.

The discussion topics were mainly tailored to

  • certification, quality assurance systems operated within the organisations
  • identification of business processes within the organisations
  • collecting and using data (to improve performances) in relation to the operation of your organisation
  • measuring performance of advisors, data/indicators used 
  • main needed competences of advisors working in the field, grouping these competencies to categories / main areas
  • what data sources can be identified - qualitative / quantitative – to measure the performance of the advisors, and how much (and how directly / indirectly) can be connected these with the above competences
  • how much is it possible to assign / attribute these to the performance advisors 
  • using software for monitoring advisory service (such as CRM, issue tracking, etc),
  • utilizing the results of the feedback for what purpose - service improvement, training of advisors, certification, providing better salaries, etc
  • kind of training programs for advisors within in the organisations or broader level