Reviewing the monitoring and evaluation practices and perceptions of Australia’s regional natural resource management organisations

Masters Thesis


Richardson, Lucy. 2012. Reviewing the monitoring and evaluation practices and perceptions of Australia’s regional natural resource management organisations. Masters Thesis Master of Business. University of Southern Queensland.
Title

Reviewing the monitoring and evaluation practices and perceptions of Australia’s regional natural resource management organisations

TypeMasters Thesis
Authors
AuthorRichardson, Lucy
SupervisorCockfield, Geoff
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameMaster of Business
Number of Pages183
Year2012
Abstract

Established under a joint venture between the Australian Government and the individual state and territory governments, Australia’s regional natural resource management (NRM) organisations have been the primary structures for delivering NRM investment programs across Australia. The quantity of investment devolved through these organisations places significant accountability pressure on them and requires them to evaluate the impacts of their programs. Despite the increasing volume of literature about these NRM bodies, no previous review has established a baseline of the regional bodies’ evaluation practices and capabilities on a national scale.
This research reviews the monitoring and evaluation drivers, barriers and practices of these regional bodies. Findings include the identification of two main driver factors (improvement and maintenance), two barrier factors (skills and resourcing, and technical) and three practice factors (monitoring and evaluating intermediate outcomes, appropriateness of investment aspects, and need and benefit). The majority of regional bodies were operating within the higher level expanded contextual (25 percent) and constitutive and bounded rationality (58 percent) evaluation model groups. The results suggest that very few regional bodies are operating within the more narrowly focused organisational excellence (11 percent) and political and symbolic (6 percent) evaluation model groups. Evaluation capabilities and culture were also high across the regional bodies in line with the high level evaluation models generally being applied.
A review of the influence of the statutory status of the regional bodies, which applies in some states, identified statistical differences between the evaluation barriers and models of statutory and non-statutory regional bodies but not between their drivers, practices, capability, culture, satisfaction levels or partnerships.
Important relationships of relevance for the future evolution of this sector were also identified through the analysis and include links between the presence of corporate strategic planning and organisation size and the higher level evaluation models.

Keywordsnatural resource management; evaluation drivers; Australia; investment aspects; outcomes; regional bodies; Australian government; evaluation models
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020410406. Natural resource management
410404. Environmental management
410206. Landscape ecology
Byline AffiliationsFaculty of Business
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