Programme planning is the process of making decisions about the direction and intensity of extension-education efforts of extension-service to bring about social, economic and technological changes.
Principle of extension programme-planning:
The planning of an extension programme is done on the basis of certain well recognized principles which should be clearly understood and followed by extension workers. The main principles are: (i) The programme-planning should be based upon a careful analysis of a factual situation. (ii) In a good programme-planning, problems for action are selected on the basis of recognized needs.
(iii) A good programme-planning determines objectives and solutions which are feasible and offer satisfaction. (iv) The programme should be permanent and flexible to meet a long-term situation, short-time changes, and emergencies. (v) A sound programme should have both balance and emphasis. (vi) A good programme has a definite plan of work. (vii) Programme-planning is a continuous process. (viii) Programme-planning is a co-ordinating process. (ix) Programme-planning should be educational and directed towards bringing about improvement in the ability of the people to solve their own problems individually and collectively. (x) A good programme-planning provides for the evaluation of results.
The programme-planning process:
The steps involved in this process are as follows: 1. Collection offacts: Sound plans are based on availability of relevant and reliable facts. This includes facts about the village people, physical conditions, existing farm and home practices, trends and outlook. Besides, other facts about customs, traditions, rural institutions, peoples’ organizations operating in the area, etc. should be collected. The tools and techniques for collecting data include systematic observations, a questionnaire, interviews and surveys, existing governmental records, census reports, reports of the Planning Commission, Central Bureau of Statistics, and the past experiences of people.
2. Analysis of the situation: After collecting facts, they are analyzed and interpreted to find out the problems and needs of the people. 3. Identification of problems: As a result of the analysis of facts the important gaps between ‘what is’ and ‘what should be’ are identified & the problems leading to such a situation are located. These gaps represent the peoples needs. 4.
Determination of objectives: Once the needs and problems of the people have been identified, they are stated in terms of objectives and goals. The objectives represent a forecast of the changes in the behaviour of the people and the situation to be brought about. The objectives may be long-term as well as short-term, and must be stated clearly. 5. Developing the plan of work: In order to achieve the stated objectives and goals, the means and methods attaining each objective are selected and the action plan, e. the calendar of activities is developed. It includes the technical content, who should do what, and the time-limit within the work will be completed. The plan of work may be seasonal, short-term, annual or long-term.
6. Execution of the plan of work: Once the action plan has been developed, arrangement for supplying the necessary inputs, credits, teaching aids, extension literature etc. has to be made and the specific action has to be initiated.
The execution of the plan of work is to be done through extension methods for stimulating individuals and groups to think, act and participate effectively. People should be involved at every step to ensure the success of the programme. 7. Evaluation: It is done to measure the degree of success of the programme in terms of the objectives and goals set forth. This is basically done to determine the changes in the behaviour of the people as a result of the extension programme.
The evaluation is done not only of the physical achievements but also of the methods and techniques used and of the other steps in the programme planning process, so that the strong and weak points may be identified and necessary changes made. 8. Reconsideration: The systematic and periodic evaluation of the programme will reveal the weak and strong points of the programme. Based on these points the programme is reconsidered and the necessary adjustments and changes are made in order to make it more meaningful and sound. Programme-planning is not the end-product of extension activities but it is an educational tool for helping people to identify their own problems make timely judicious decisions. From the above mentioned cycle, it is clear that the planning of an extension programme comprises a logical series of consecutive steps. The first 4 steps form the programme-phase.
The steps 5-7 form the action-phase. The step 8, i.e. reconsideration, joins the 2 phases together, where it leads to the fact-collecting step, thus beginning once more the never ending or continuous process of planning the extension programme. The procedure followed for planning extension programmes, including agricultural development programme, is as follows: A state government indicates to the districts and blocks the tentative outlays proposed in their respective areas under the various heads and the financial and other assistance that may be expected. The blocks prepare their respective annual plans, taking into account the special local problems and the local contributions and the state finances available. These are then consolidated district wise, on the basis of which the state plan is formulated. The plans are prepared by the panchayat samities for the blocks and the zila parishads for the districts where the panchayati raj is in force.
Where this set-up has not yet been introduced, the plans are prepared by the block development committee and the district development committee for the block and the district respectively. The outlay of the state plans is finally approved by the Planning commission.