Monitoring and evaluation of community-based forest monitoring projects is important for understanding how effective they are, what improvements can be made, and whether they will lead to undesired or unexpected impacts. Even if an initiative is short-term or if community-based forest monitoring is a small component, it may be important to design a long-term monitoring and evaluation system, or to ask questions early on about how you would know if the project or initiative were successful. After all, the objectives of international forest agendas are generally long-term and may take years to emerge or be detected.
Our report from Phase 1 of the Forest COMPASS project in North Rupununi, Guyana (see the final case study here), provides a summary of the collaborative project evaluation that was undertaken during that period (see section 5 of the report). The same evaluation was repeated at the end of the project. A similar evaluation was carried out for the Forest COMPASS project in Brazil, covering themes such as skills attained and perceived impacts. See our Resource Library for guidance and examples of M&E.