International Waters learning Exchange & Resource Network

Frameworks and indicators for assessing progress in integrated coastal management initiatives (2003)

The fundamental purpose of all integrated coastal management (ICM) initiatives is to maintain, restore or improve specified qualities of coastal ecosystems and their associated human societies. A defining feature of ICM is that it addresses needs for both development and conservation in geographically specific places—be they a single community, an estuary or the coast of an entire nation. The times required to achieve these fundamental goals at significant spatial scales far exceed those of the usual 4–6-year project, the dominant ICM modality in developing nations. This paper offers two simple, but elastic frameworks for assessing progress over the extended time periods involved. The first is the four Orders of Outcomes that grouptogether the sequences of institutional, behavioral and social/ environmental changes that can lead to more sustainable forms of coastal development. The second framework is a version of the more familiar ICM policy cycle. These conceptually simple frameworks are making it possible to unbundle and organize into consistent formats the usually implicit assumptions that underpin project and program designs and then group activities and outcomes along a critical path that leads—or is presumed to lead—to the desired outcomes. Each stepin the ICM policy cycle and each Order of Outcomes suggest the indicators by which progress and learning can be assessed. The application of these frameworks to a diversity of ICM initiatives is proving useful in assessing progress across portfolios of ICM initiatives, extracting good practices and teasing out how different governance contexts effect the forces that shape the evolution of ICM initiatives.

06 Sep 2018

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Frameworks and indicators for assessing progress in integrated coastal management initiatives (2003).pdf