Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Agricultural Education and Studies

First Advisor

Robert A. Martin


In development situations in both the United States and developing countries, there is a concern with the development of the capacity of people to identify and solve their own problems and to determine their own future. Agricultural extension professionals and others involved in development planning and implementation need to be aware of and understand the factors affecting the achievement of capacity-building objectives in order to successfully develop human resources. The purpose of this study was to develop a framework for evaluating the capacity-building components in rural development projects, to determine which factors contributed to the successful implementation of these components. A naturalistic, qualitative documentary analysis of project administrative records and related documents was performed to examine the program development processes of selected rural development projects, in both the United States and developing countries, in which development of capacity was one of the overall goals. On the basis of a literature review, questions framed in the CIPP (i.e., Context, Input, Process, Product) model of evaluation, and a conceptual framework of investigation were formulated and then combined to form a matrix to assist in data recording and analysis. The contents of the documents were analyzed and categorized to provide detailed descriptions of the development of each project, with particular reference to capacity-building. The findings from all the projects were then compared and synthesized. The developed framework proved to be a valuable tool for evaluating the capacity-building components in rural development projects throughout the project development process. The areas of concern for development and agricultural extension professionals involved in projects with capacity-building components included: establishing capacity-building objectives and ways of evaluating their achievement; consideration of external factors affecting the project; strategy development and implementation of plans; planning and implementation of monitoring and evaluation; utilization of indigenous institutions; planning and conducting management training; planning and implementing a process approach to development; and consideration of the evolution of the project development process. Agricultural extension professionals may be actively involved in all the processes related to the evolution of a rural development project. They therefore need to work with other development professionals to ensure that the above areas of concern are given due attention in order to facilitate the development of individual and institutional capacity.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Annette Cook Elliot



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

125 pages