Monitoring Evaluation Reporting and Improvement (MERI) for Australian Government natural resource management Programs
As part of the Australian Government’s commitment to accountability, reporting on program outcomes and adaptive management in natural resource management and biodiversity conservation, a suite of new documents have been developed to support MERI over the next 5 years.
The purpose of these documents is to support the collection and reporting of data and information about the natural resource management and biodiversity conservation efforts that the Australian Government invests in, and that the natural resource management community delivers. This will enable us to be accountable for our achievements and learn from experience to enhance future efforts. Data and information will also contribute to building a more comprehensive understanding of the state of our environment.
The following range of informative and practical resources will help you, the natural resource management and biodiversity conservation practitioner, contribute to building a better understanding of how Australia is managing its natural resources and conserving biodiversity.
Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement Strategy: Caring for our Country and Biodiversity Fund
This is essential reading for all Caring for our Country and Biodiversity Fund recipients. This high level document outlines the broad objectives, principles, and approach of MERI and outlines the roles and responsibilities of funding recipients and the Australian Government. Caring for our Country or Biodiversity Fund recipients are encouraged to read this document prior to developing their project MERI plan.
Program MERI Plans - Sustainable Environment, Sustainable Agriculture and Biodiversity Fund
These documents outline how the Australian Government will monitor and evaluate the two Caring for our Country (sustainable Environment and Sustainable Agriculture) streams and the Biodiversity Fund. The documents describe the important elements of each program and how progress will be monitored, evaluated and reported. Program MERI plans provide further detail to the funding recipient on the specific performance indicators for the program(s) and may be useful when developing project level MERI plans (see below).
- Sustainable Environment Program MERI Plan (available soon)
- Sustainable Agriculture Program MERI Plan (available soon)
- Biodiversity Fund Program MERI Plan (available soon)
Program MERI Plan – Biodiversity Fund
- Biodiversity Fund Program MERI Plan (PDF - 249 KB)
- Biodiversity Fund Program MERI Plan (Word - 102 KB)
this document includes Key Performance Indicators and Standard Project Measures
Project MERI Plan Templates
The following templates are provided for Biodiversity Fund recipients. As outlined in Funding Agreements, funding recipients are required to complete and submit a MERI Plan for approval by the department.
- Biodiversity Fund Project MERI Plan Template (PDF - 230 KB)
- Biodiversity Fund Project MERI Plan Template (Word - 1.4 MB)
- Guide to completing a MERI Template (available soon)
- Example Project MERI plans (available soon)
Other MERI Resources
Draft reporting template
The draft annual report template is provided as an example of potential reporting requirements for successful projects. It should be noted that successful projects would not necessarily be required to complete all sections.
Biodiversity fund ecological monitoring
Biodiversity Fund projects with approved Funds greater than or equal to $500,000 (GST exclusive) are required to collect ecological monitoring data and report the data collected to the department. This data can be collected using one of the following recognised methods, the department may add additional methodologies to this list:
- Habitat Hectares
- BioMetric: Terrestrial Biodiversity Tool
- TasVeg: Tasmanian Vegetation Condition Assessment Method
- Bushland Condition Monitoring
- Native Vegetation Condition Assessment & Monitoring for WA
If you do not intend to use one of these listed monitoring methods, you must then collect and report ecological monitoring data to the department in accordance with the department’s “Biodiversity Fund Ecological Monitoring Guide”. For further information about monitoring requirements please contact your departmental case manager.
Video guide to Ecological Monitoring in the field
Demonstration Online MERI Tool
A key feature of the new MERI process is that funding recipients will soon be able to report via an Online MERI Tool. This tool is being developed in collaboration with the Atlas of Living Australia. A demonstration version of the tool is now available and currently includes recently reported data from Biodiversity Fund Round One projects to show how project information will be presented publicly. This tool will allow funding recipients to record and upload data about the progress of their projects on a continual basis and submit reports online. It will also increase information sharing within NRM communities and the broader public. Some data and information required by the Australian Government for contractual purposes will remain private.
While funding recipients cannot add data to the tool yet, development continues and it is anticipated that the tool will be available for use in late 2013. Guidance on how to use the tool will also be provided online.