SUCCESS activities are designed around an adaptive management and learning framework in which monitoring and evaluation are core elements. Performance is managed around and assessed against four results categories:
- Improved management and conservation across diverse landscapes through science, inter-disciplinary approaches, and the adoption of best practices
- Equitable coastal resources governance and management of natural resource conflicts
- Increased tangible and equitable economic benefits through sustainable production, marketing, and trade of natural resource-based products and services
- Wide sharing of knowledge and best practices to promote learning
Twelve indicators are used to measure progress in these results categories on a quarterly or annual basis. The SUCCESS Program uses a web-based system to collect indicator data. Field-based monitoring and evaluation coordinators upload data and supporting documentation and manage their own content via this system. Program partners, including the USAID cognizant technical officer, use a password protected website to search the system for monitoring data and create reports.
SUCCESS uses the Orders of Outcome Framework for tracking progress and performance at the site level. One of the underlying assumptions of the SUCCESS Program is that adaptive governance requires preparing governance baselines and documenting results and outcomes as they evolve and periodically comparing them with the expected outcomes. Each SUCCESS field site prepared a governance baseline in the first year of the Program to define the existing governance capacity.
Annual self assessments are used to evaluate the Program logic—i.e., is the Program achieving its goals and are activities generating the desired results? If aspects of the Program are not successful in achieving the expected outcomes, this assessment exercise helps in analyzing the reasons—from faulty assumptions, to flaws in activity design, to unavoidable socio-economic or natural disasters, to capacity failures. The self-assessments generate recommendations for how to adapt project activities and targets to better accomplish results.
SUCCESS promotes cross-site learning on topics such as governance baselines and livelihood development. Site-based learning is then shared more widely through regional networks and globally through knowledge management. Such sharing accelerates the development of best practices and increases the understanding of how programs in different contexts reach (or do not reach) different levels of outcomes.