Results and analysis of impact

Periodically evaluating change in impact indicators can reveal whether the Action Plan and Strategy are having the desired effect, and highlight synergies and trade-offs of different interventions. Impact assessment starts with agreement on the set of target indicators (adapted from Element 3.2) to be evaluated. To inform a multi-stakeholder ILM strategy, these need to include indicators related to production and the economy, healthy nature, human well-being and inspiration for collective action. Then decisions need to be made about methods that will be used to assess each of them, as well as who will be responsible for collection and then analysis.

Quantitative measures can be used for indicators with relevant data easily available or regularly collected by organizations working in the landscape. Qualitative measures–based on key informants, focus groups, or surveys of stakeholder perception–may be used to estimate indicators for which there is little quantitative information or it is too expensive to collect. The LP may decide that certain impact measures are so important for guiding or sustaining collective action that they need to set up their own measurement system.

Once the target indicator measures are agreed, baseline assessments can be conducted. These can be repeated at regular intervals, roughly 3-5 years to allow time for interventions to generate results. Some ecological or market development indicators may need much longer time lags.

Reports on the impact results are most valuable to stakeholders when data are synthesized and shared in simply structured spatial and visual formats. As impact measurements are produced, these can be reported in a simple structured format, such as tables, maps, simple graphs, or photographic or satellite records, against an initial baseline or historic data. Combining these measures with the action plan tracker (4.1) can provide a rich picture of change dynamics.

The challenge is to analyze the results across all the landscape values, and to interpret the results. A rich way of doing so is to convene the LP members and knowledgeable allies to review the results in small groups and then as a full group. The results can then be synthesized into a report, together with the LP stakeholder interpretation.