Alluvium was engaged by the Murray Darling Basin Plan to assess and document the monitoring, evaluation, and reporting capabilities of all those responsible for implementing the Basin Plan monitoring and evaluation program. This extends to the MDBA, the Commonwealth Environmental Water Holder, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, and Basin State governments (the Basin jurisdictions).
The project required a description of the current state (maturity) of MER capability and to identify the target state of MER capability needed to jointly deliver the monitoring and evaluation program from 2018 to 2026. This process therefore described the gap between current and future needs.
The capabilities assessed included:
Reporting capabilities: skills and resources required to prepare annual and 5 yearly reports on the effectiveness of Basin Plan as a whole and at smaller spatial scales, and integrate findings across disciplines.
Evaluation capabilities: capability sufficient to analyse monitoring information to perform annual and 5 yearly evaluations of Basin Plan effectiveness, as required by Part 3 of Chapter 13.
Monitoring capabilities: nature and consistency of collection, and ability to attribute Basin Plan influence – a key consideration is whether data and information is able to be used in determining the contribution of the Basin Plan to Basin outcomes and objectives.
This project required extensive multi jurisdictional engagement and the final preparation of a report to present opportunities to improve MER capabilities (both short term opportunities (over 1-2 years) and longer term opportunities (to 2026).