Extension is a process used by government and private organisations to facilitate change in communities.
Many organisations use extension for dealing with change in situations where traditional communication, marketing and facilitation approaches are not enough.
In extension a community may be a town, region, industry or social grouping.
Extension achieves change in complex environments because of the strong involvement of the community. It is therefore a partnership but it is also an education process. People need to learn the need for change, be convinced of its value and then once committed, how to go about it.
Extension can be a complex process but often very rewarding for those involved.
In rural areas extension has been used extensively and is best known in the fields of agriculture and natural resource management. It is however used in many other fields but not always referred to as extension.
The following pages have been developed to give a simple introduction to extension. More detailed information can be found elsewhere on the site.