Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation is an essential tool for managing government programs. It is used for accountability, decision making and program improvement and involves looking at the appropriateness, efficiency and effectiveness of a program. Monitoring and evaluation can identify where a program is heading, how it will get there, whether it is heading in the right direction and whether it is using resources in the most cost effective manner. State, territory and Australian governments, along with community groups, industry and landholders are investing large sums in natural resource management in Australia through the Caring for Our Country initiative.

Effective monitoring and evaluation ensures that these investments are delivering the desired outcomes. Systematic monitoring of program performance acts as an early warning system, enabling managers to undertake preventative or remedial action. Evaluation is an in-depth assessment of program performance. Effective monitoring and evaluation ensures that managers have the information required to allocate resources efficiently and effectively, and the parliament and public can have confidence that funds are being appropriately spent.

The Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council, on which governments of all states and territories and the Australian Government are represented, was established to develop a coordinated approach to issues affecting natural resource management in Australia. The council has two national documents to assist with monitoring, evaluation and reporting on natural resource management. They are:

More information about monitoring and evaluation is available from the Caring for Our Country website.

Other business units of the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry monitor and evaluate natural resources: