Performance Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting

Why we monitor and report on reserve management effectiveness

Monitoring, evaluation and reporting on management effectiveness for Tasmania's national parks and reserves is necessary in order to:

  • provide factual feedback about management performance to guide informed decision-making for improving (and/or optimising) the achievement of the objectives and desired outcomes; and
  • provide public and parliamentary transparency and accountability for the investment of funds in management of Tasmania's national parks and reserves, including World Heritage listed areas.

Our adaptive management approach

The adaptive management cycle integrates monitoring, evaluation and reporting into an overall cycle of planning, doing, learning and adjusting to enhance the delivery of the intended results.

The Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service's adaptive management cycle provides an integrated, evidence-based approach to achieving objectives and delivering long-term desired outcomes. For a brief article describing our evaluation and adaptive management approach, see:  Is the management plan achieving its objectives?  

The Monitoring and Reporting System for Tasmania’s National Parks and Reserves

The Parks and Wildlife Service has developed a state-wide (jurisdictional) management effectiveness Monitoring and Reporting System to measure and report on evidence of management progress, achievements and challenges across Tasmania's public national parks and reserves estate. Key features of the system are that it is:

  • outcomes focused
  • evidence-based
  • operationally practical and scalable, and
  • transparent to all interested parties. 

Through a PWS consultation process involving numerous workshops, staff and stakeholders identified that in order to be able to understand how management of Tasmania's national parks and reserves is performing, they need reliable, factual information about a variety of topics. These topics (now referred to as 'key performance areas') form the Framework of the Monitoring and Reporting System for Tasmania's national parks and reserves. The report outlining the system (PWS, 2013) is available on the PWS website - click here. For a brief overview about the Monitoring and Reporting System, click on the following Powerpoint presentation.

Building and implementing the Monitoring and Reporting System is ongoing and progressing as resources permit.

Evaluated case studies

An important component of the Monitoring and Reporting System for Tasmania's national parks and reserves is evaluated case studies of the monitored effectiveness of significant and selected projects.  Examples of evaluated case study reports to date include:

Evaluating management effectiveness for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area

The first comprehensive evaluation report examining management effectiveness for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) was published as the State of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area - an evaluation of management effectiveness, Report No 1, 2004. This report presents detailed information and evidence about management effectiveness against the statements of 'key desired outcomes' in the then statutory management plan for the Area. This evaluation report has established a sound reference platform of reliable information against which ongoing performance can be compared. The State of the TWWHA Report No 1 was awarded the 2005 Australasian Evaluation Society's Caulley Tulloch Award for best publication in evaluation. The second State of the TWWHA report and online State of TWWHA Reporting system is currently under development in 2017 - see State of the TWWHA Reporting - Working Draft

Future Directions

Key commitments for monitoring, evaluation and reporting under the current TWWHA Management Plan 2016 include:

  • concise State of the TWWHA Reports will be prepared every three years.
  • regular Status and Trends Reporting will be prepared and made publicly available for: (i) levels and sources of funding for the TWWHA and the allocation of funding and staff resources; (ii) status and condition of Aboriginal cultural values in the TWWHA; (iii) status and condition of natural values in the TWWHA; (iv)monitored condition of selected sites, based on aerial photographic monitoring of popular and/or vulnerable areas.
  • new evaluated case studies will be conducted for (i) community partnerships; (ii) access to Country for Tasmanian Aboriginal people; (iii) management of the road network; and (iv) monitoring and data collection for priority areas of the walking track network.

Integrating evaluation into reserve management plans

The management agency is progressively integrating statements of key desired outcomes and provisions for monitoring, evaluation and reporting into new reserve management plans to establish a sound basis for understanding and tracking management performance.  Early development of these approaches is evident in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan 1999 which was awarded the Australian National Award for Planning Excellence 2003.  The new TWWHA management plan was approved in December 2016 and is available on the DPIPWE website - Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan 2016.

Where possible, the management agency is aiming to identify what would be a 'great result', a 'satisfactory or acceptable result' and an 'unsatisfactory or unacceptable result' for each identified key desired outcome in a reserve management plan or major project.  This establishes an explicit, agreed framework for assessing how management is performing. For example, see Chapter 7, page 53 and Appendix 1 of the Coningham Nature Recreation Area Management Statement 2009.

Additional information

References

  • Jones, G. (2015) What’s working, what’s not: The Monitoring and Reporting System for Tasmania’s National Parks and Reserves. pp. 77-90 In Watson, Alan, Carver, Stephen, Krenová, Zdenka, McBride, Brooke, comps. 2015. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Tenth World Wilderness Congress symposium, 4-10 October 2013, Salamanca, Spain. Proceedings RMRS-P-74. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. Available online at  http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/pubs/rmrs_p074.pdf.
  • Jones, G. (2009) The adaptive management system for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area — linking management planning with effectiveness evaluation.  Chapter 13 In Allan, C. and Stankey, G. (eds), Adaptive Environmental Management. A Practitioner’s Guide.  Co-published by Springer and CSIRO Publishing, 351pp. Dordrecht The Netherlands and Collingwood Australia.  www.springerlink.com.  Chapter 13 available on PWS website at http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/file.aspx?id=15135.
  • Jones, G. (2005) Is the management plan achieving its objectives?  Case study 21.1 pp 555-557 In Worboys, G, De Lacy, T. and Lockwood, M. (eds),  Protected Area Management. Principles and Practices. Second Edition. Oxford University Press.  Case study available on PWS website at http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=7679.
  • Parks and Wildlife Service (2013) Evaluating Management Effectiveness: The Monitoring and Reporting System for Tasmania’s National Parks and Reserves.  Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment. Hobart Tasmania.  Available on PWS website at http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/file.aspx?id=31865. Permanent URL: http://stors.tas.gov.au/1234092.
  • Parks and Wildlife Service (2004) State of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area – an evaluation of management effectiveness.  Report No 1, 2004. Department of Tourism Parks Heritage and the Arts. Hobart Tasmania.  Available on PWS website at  http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=5957. Permanent URL: http://stors.tas.gov.au/1346583.