Donor Evaluations of ICM Initiatives: What Can Be Learned from them?

Kem Lowry, Stephen Olsen, James Tobey
Type of Resource: 
Best Practice / Lessons Learned

The experience of 19 donor agencies and international organizations with evaluation of ICM initiatives is surveyed to analyze the diferences in the evaluative purposes and methodologies and their relevance to a `learning-based approach to ICM. We group evaluation into three broad categories: performance evaluation, management capacity assessment and outcomes evaluation. Performance evaluations address the quality of project implementation, and the degree to which project goals are achieved. Management capacity assessments are conducted to determine the adequacy of management structures and governance processes as these relate to generally accepted international standards and experience. Outcome assessments evaluate the impacts of a coastal management initiative upon coastal resources and the associated human society(s). The survey show that most donor evaluations emphasize performance evaluation, but usually combine elements of all three types. There is strong interest among international donors investing in coastal management in learning from and advancing coastal management practice. If donors are to maximize leaning and commit to an adaptive approach to ICM they will need to modify the manner in which project monitoring and evaluations are conducted, analyzed and distributed. A number of modifications to current approaches to evaluation are suggested in the paper.