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Goondoi Indicator evaluation workshop

Goondoi and ESS came together on the 22nd an 23rd of February to undertake Goondoi’s first Evaluation Workshop. The workshop was held on-country at Radiant Life College in Innisfail, with the aim of reviewing the monitoring data captured during the last 18 months in order to make evaluations for each of the indicators in Goondoi’s MER program.

The workshop commenced by bringing together a group of Goondoi women, including elders, emerging elders and young people, to undertake a community-based monitoring focus group. This provided an opportunity for knowledge holders to contribute their perspectives and experience regarding the condition of several of Goondoi’s subjective and culturally-informed indicators. This input was collected and combined with existing datasets, which informed subsequent indicator evaluations.

The second part of the evaluation workshop involved making assessments or ratings for each of the indicators in the MER framework. This involved looking at the data that had been captured throughout the past 18 months in relation to each indicator. Analysis of this data was facilitated by the visual data products that have been produced by ESS and installed in the Goondoi’s MER dashboard (see screenshots below for examples). An overall rating was made for each indicator based on the available information and a comment was recorded. Comments were not intended to justify the rating but to add richness and context that might be of interest to community members when viewing the MER report card. Where relevant, the comments also proposed potential management implications for the rangers, or other aspects of Goondoi’s businesses.

The workshop exceeded expectations and brought Goondoi back in line with its timeframe for the delivery of the Strong People - Strong Country Pilot Project. Notable workshop outcomes include:

  • More than 40 knowledge holders took part in the first women’s monitoring focus group.
  • A total of 33 indicator evaluations were made. This included:
    • Achieving the workshop’s intention to make evaluations for all 21 active indicators (see table below) in Goondoi’s MER framework and bring the program up-to-date.
    • Making 12 indicator evaluations for previous periods (for which historical data and evidence existed, which had been gathered as part of the monitoring undertaken in the past 18 months).
  • Reviewing all existing indicators and the MER framework as a whole.
  • Making several refinements to indicators were made as a result for the review, which mainly involved modifying data sources and monitoring methods.
  • Identifying new data sources for some of the bio-physical indicators were identified as part of the review. These data sources mainly include external research projects, which are beginning to work Goondoi, or include them in data collection activities.
  • Demonstrating the importance of having accurate and meaningful data, which serves as the evidence upon which evaluations are made.

Learning note:

The community/knowledge holders workshop held at the start was really successful in the way that it led into the evaluation process. Engaging the community and hearing their passionate contributions emphasised the uniqueness and importance of the MER program for Goondoi. This is certainly something that will be done again in future instances of the MER program.

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