Feed the Future Developing Local Extension Capacity (DLEC) improved extension programs, policies and services by creating locally-tailored, partnership-based solutions and by mobilizing active communities of practice to advocate for scaling proven approaches. Led by Digital Green in partnership with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS), DLEC was an action-oriented, evidence-based learning project. DLEC ran from May 2016 until June 2021. Explore our legacy page by clicking the link below.

Diagnostics: We analysed existing extension and advisory systems

Diagnostic reports provide insight into the strengths and challenges faced by national extension systems and outline customized recommendations. The diagnostics evaluate the access, quality and sustainability of the governance structures and policy environment; organizational and management capacities and cultures of EAS organizations; advisory methods used within each system; the extent to which the system is market-oriented; how the system engages different communities, including youth and women; and how it supports overall livelihood strategies of farmers by addressing relevant topics such as nutrition and resilience. The profiled countries include Bangladesh, Guinea, Honduras, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Senegal. DLEC also helps conduct additional studies at the request of local USAID missions, such as on youth and private sector engagement in extension.

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Engagements: We customized activities based on country-specific needs

DLEC worked with USAID Missions, national governments, development organizations and the private sector to identify opportunities to tangibly build local EAS capacity. Our engagements are locally-tailored, partnership-based solutions that address country-specific challenges and build the capacity of country stakeholders to address them. DLEC’s engagements have catalyzed USD1 million in additional funding to improve extension thus far as a result of the evidence generated by the engagements.

Communities of Practice: We shared knowledge, evidence and best-fit practices from the agricultural extension sector

DLEC mobilized lasting communities at national and global levels in collaboration with GFRAS and others to advocate for scaling proven approaches to catalyze change in EAS. We convened a global CoP and collaborate with several country-led EAS communities such as the Uganda Forum for Agriculture Advisory Services (UFAAS) and the Bangladesh Agriculture Extension Network (BAEN). Results from the DLEC engagements are used as a catalyst to advocate for change and contribute to current or future extension programs implemented by our community members. DLEC is also collaborating with multiple donors to lead the development of a common framework for extension metrics.

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Our Team

Kristin Davis

Co-Director, DLEC | Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI

Alesha Miller

Co-Director, DLEC | Vice President, Strategy & Partnerships

Shreya Agarwal

Director, Strategy - Digital Green

David Spielman

Technical Advisor, DLEC | Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI

Henry Kinyua

Head of Africa, Digital Green

Gelsey Bennett

Senior Program Manager, Strategy, Digital Green

Joep Slaats

Program Officer, GFRAS


Countries served

> 70

Partner organizations

1.3 Million

Households reached