MONITORING AND EVALUATION OF NATURE IMPROVEMENT AREAS: PHASE 2

The NIAs are a diverse, broad based partnerships with a wide remit and the evaluation has responded by including a wide range of information sources to meet the project's aims.

The NIAs are a diverse, broad based partnerships with a wide remit and the evaluation has responded by including a wide range of information sources to meet the project's aims.

CEP with partners GeoData Institute and Cascade Consulting were commissioned by Defra (Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs), in collaboration with Natural England, to undertake the Monitoring and Evaluation of the Nature Improvement Areas Phase 2 project. Nature Improvement Areas (NIA) are places where a shared vision for the development of the natural environment exists among a wide partnership of local people, including statutory and voluntary sectors.

The NIA Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Phase 2 project is a three year project (February 2013 - November 2015) with the following overall aims:

  • Gather evidence of approaches used within the NIAs and their outcomes, to maximise learning from the pilots and build a practical evidence base to inform future extension of the NIA approach.
  • Assess the individual and aggregated contribution of the NIA pilots towards meeting the outcomes included in the Natural Environment White Paper and other agreed policy outcomes.

The project combines qualitative research methods, online indicator based monitoring and detailed thematic investigations, for instance: exploring monitoring and evaluating habitat management activities at the landscape scale and social and economic well-being benefits; the development and testing of innovative approaches to understanding the counterfactual for landscape scale initiatives; and the development of lessons for future landscape scale monitoring and evaluation programmes.

The final evaluation reports are published on Defra‚Äôs project webpage or contact Collingwood Environmental Planning's: Owen White (Principal Consultant) o.white@cep.co.uk Ric Eales (Managing Director) r.eales@cep.co.uk