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Evaluating Effectiveness: A framework for assessing management effectiveness of protected areas. 2nd edition

TitleEvaluating Effectiveness: A framework for assessing management effectiveness of protected areas. 2nd edition
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsHocking M, Courrau J, Dudley N, Leverington S, Stolton S
CityGland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK
Keywordsassessment, benefit, biological diversity, communication, conservation, convention, design, diversity, effectiveness, environment, guidelines, impact, indicator, management, methodology, monitoring, planning, policy, protected area, trend, value

Management effectiveness evaluation is defined as the assessment of how well protected areas are being managed - primarily the extent to which management is protecting values and achieving goals and objectives.Four major purposes drive evaluation of management effectiveness (detailed in Chapter 2). It can: - lead to better management in a changing environment;- assist in effective resource allocation;- promote accountability and transparency; and- help involve the community, build constituency- and promote protected area values.The Framework for management effectiveness developed by the IUCN World Commission for Protected Areas was published in the first version of this Best Practice Guideline.1 It is further explained and interpreted, though not substantially altered, in this version (Chapter 3). It is based on the idea that protected area management follows a process with six distinct stages, or elements:- it begins with reviewing context and establishing a vision for site management (within the context of existing status and pressures),- progresses through planning and allocation of resources (inputs), and - as a result of management actions (process),- eventually produces goods and services (outputs), - that result in impacts or outcomes.This Best Practice Guideline is not intended as a 'how-to' manual and does not contain a detailed methodology, but explains (Chapter 4) the steps in designing and conducting an assessment, through the phases of:1. defining assessment objectives, scope and resourcing;2. choosing and developing a methodology, including establishing an assessment team and defining indicators;3. implementing the assessment in the field and office; and4. interpreting, communicating and using results.The process of conducting an assessment often has great benefits in itself, through building cooperative teams of people and encouraging the sharing of knowledge and reflection.Management effectiveness evaluation is only worth doing if it results in better managed protected areas: in other words if the results of an assessment are first interpreted to identify some practical lessons and then acted upon (Chapter 5). Appropriate, targeted communication to a range of audiences is critical, as is timely feedback to those who have contributed time and information to the assessment. Public reporting of results needs to be undertaken with some care, as agencies balance the desire for increased transparency with political sensitivities. At local, regional and global level, results can be used to adapt plans and practices, adjust resource allocation, revise policies and affirm good work being undertaken.A number of key guidelines for good practice in evaluation are presented, drawn from the experience of many practitioners across the world (Chapter 6). Important needs and directions for the future are identified:- Make evaluation part of 'core business': move from trial and intermittent assessments to regular exercises integrated into the management and planning cycles of protected area agencies;- Improve data coordination and rationalization of assessments and compile data: cooperative work is underway to allow more global compilation of essential reporting information;- Further develop cost-effective, meaningful monitoring systems and indicators, with emphasis on ecological integrity assessment and indicators for social, cultural and economic factors;- Find better ways to engage with managers and communities;- Look for common threads: begin to draw data together to find trends, themes and lessons across regions; and- Make a difference: ensure results are interpreted, communicated and used.To illustrate the progress being made in management effectiveness evaluation and to further assist those interested in the topic, case studies from assessments around the world are presented and a list of relevant resources including publications and websites is also provided at the end of this book.

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