How we track progress
To ensure that our region is on the right track to achieving our vision for the South Australian Murray-Darling Basin (SAMDB), we track progress against the targets detailed in the Natural Resources Management Plan. This work is done by the Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement (MERI) team.
Before evaluating our region’s progress, the MERI team carefully considers who will utilise the results. This ensures that evaluations generate highly useful information, have a clear purpose and make a valuable contribution to the organisation.
The MERI team have coordinated the following key evaluation and improvement processes:
- regional outcomes report – evaluates progress on the Management Action Targets and incorporates review of multiple lines of evidence by expert panels comprising the SAMDB Natural Resources Management (SAMDB NRM) Board, Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin, NRM groups, local government, state agencies and non-government bodies, such as Local Action Planning groups
- strategic evaluations – periodic reviews initiated by the SAMDB NRM Board to address information gaps and support program improvement. These evaluations are supported by steering committees and delve deeply into a certain topic or program area
- annual reflection summit – brings together project deliverers, NRM Board members and NRM group members to discuss achievements and share their learning
- reflection and learning workshops – provide proponents of regional investments programs an opportunity to discuss the progress of their current projects and share lessons learned.
In addition, project leaders also assess the performance and progress of their own projects, which benefits both those undertaking the project and the region as a whole.
Monitoring is an ongoing, systematic collection of data that helps us to answer our evaluation questions and improve our understanding of natural resources.
Monitoring at local and regional scales helps us establish:
- a baseline understanding of the condition of our natural resources
- whether the condition of natural resources is improving or declining and the context of these changes
- whether our management activities are making a difference.
The MERI team use information from a broad range of sources including:
Community monitoring groups are highly valued, as they collect important information about the health of local sites and environments. If you’d like to get involved, find out what volunteer groups are in your area. You can also use the Community Monitoring Toolkit to develop and implement your own monitoring program.
A range of monitoring support is offered by Natural Resources SA Murray-Darling Basin to help monitoring participants expand their skills and knowledge. There are forums where participants can share results and experiences of their monitoring and learn new ideas on how to undertake monitoring.