The Conservation Planning Group Applied conservation research

Bali workshop on social-ecological monitoring and evaluation

Georgina recently participated in a workshop on social-ecological monitoring and evaluation hosted by the Indonesian branch of Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). The workshop was held in a beautiful villa in Bali; work-travel can have its benefits!

Georgina is working with WCS, primarily Emily Darling who is leading the project, to develop a global social-ecological monitoring framework for WCS’s coral reef sites. In particular, she has developed the social indicators for the framework which are designed to facilitate assessment of impacts to various components of human wellbeing, including equity and power in relation to natural resource management. Constructing the framework is the first step in WSC’s 10-year project on understanding conservation impact, which is being funded by the McArthur Foundation. The framework of social-ecological indicators is intended to be employed across all of the coral reef sites that WCS works in, including in Kenya, Madagascar, Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Caribbean. Standardising monitoring and evaluation protocols across sites will help achieve the project’s ultimate aim of improving understanding of the social and ecological impacts of WCS’s management strategies, and the contextual and management conditions that facilitate positive impacts.

The workshop was attended by WCS scientists and practitioners based in Indonesia, Fiji, and New York. A key aim of the workshop was to discuss the social-ecological monitoring framework that Emily and Georgina have developed, including whether the indicators were appropriate for the Indonesian and Fijian contexts. The group provided important feedback and input to the framework, particularly in relation to understanding how impacts to food security might be assessed.

Georgina also conducted a session on theories of change, which are narratives describing the assumed causal links between a management intervention, intermediate outcomes and desired management impacts. The session involved developing results chains depicting the theories of change underpinning some of the management activities currently being undertaken by WCS in Indonesia. The exercise proved very useful in uncovering untested assumptions in regards to management, as well as elucidating alternative mechanisms through which management could lead to intended or unintended impacts.

Photo credit: Emily Darling, Sangeeta Mangubhai

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About Us
We are a multidisciplinary group of researchers at James Cook University, interested in all aspects of conservation planning and led by Prof. Bob Pressey. We are based at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, the College of Marine & Environmental Sciences, the College of Business, Law & Governance, and the Cairns Institute. We collaborate widely with conservation biologists and practitioners worldwide. 

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