Depending on the length of the project, there may be a number of reporting cycles, e.g. annually. Regular reporting is important in all project phases. The suggestions in this section address final project reporting (after the project or a substantial portion of it has been completed) but can be applied to other project reports. For on-going monitoring projects, it is important to present overall findings and results of the monitoring regularly.
The most common problem is the gap between the time of completion of the project (or a portion of it) and the time when the report is available. Another common problem is presenting (or mailing) a report written in scientific language that lay people, and especially community members, cannot understand. Figure 2 shows an example of a step-by step approach for keeping a community in the loop after the monitoring activities have been completed.
After all activities have been completed, a simple letter of appreciation sent to all participants in the community will acknowledge the value of their contribution and will inform them about the time line for project results and final reports. If appropriate, town-hall meetings and presentations to local authorities should be organized.
Approximately within one month, project summary materials and any results available at this time should be delivered to the community. These materials should be concise and visually appealing (brochures, posters). Slide shows and short videos are excellent media as well.
Presentation of final project product(s) should be done in the communities, preferably by the project lead within a reasonable time after the activities are completed. If necessary, material should be translated into local languages. Whenever possible, recommendations on how the results of the research may be of use to the communities should be developed. Presentations should not be limited to talks and reports. If the budget permits, films and books should be considered. A successful conclusion of a project opens doors to many other opportunities with that community. This is important because monitoring presumes on-going activities for long periods of time and building interest and support in the communities will ensure future cooperation.