3. Review of Community Based Monitoring Projects

3.1 Introduction

Section 2 provided a glimpse of the complex issues that a community based monitoring practitioner needs to understand and the range of expertise that is required for a successful community based monitoring project. In this part of the Handbook, eight community based monitoring programs (Map 1) are reviewed. Their real life successes and failures are discussed, as related by the project leaders.

Map 1. Community based monitoring projects

Eight projects are presented in alphabetical order. Then interview questions are presented which cover their operations, strengths, and challenges. The projects represent a broad geographical area and show a variety of community based monitoring models that can serve as examples for those interested in the development of community based monitoring programs. Although all efforts were made to present project information in a systematic way, the interviews range in their depth and level of detail due to the great variety of projects and the information shared by the project leaders.

The interviews are summarized with the following questions:

  1. What are the main goals of the project?
  2. Who are the participants?
  3. Who initiated the project?
  4. What are the locations and how were they selected?
  5. How difficult was it to find funding and how long did it take?
  6. What are the relationships between the project researchers and the communities?
  7. What type of monitoring and what methods do you use?
  8. How do you organize your data management?
  9. Volunteers versus paid staff and participants: how did you address this issue in your project?
  10. What problems have you encountered and how did you work them out?
  11. What do you think is the main achievement of the project?
  12. What advice would you give to others who would like to develop a similar project?
  13. What future do you see for this project?