Recent literature on model evaluation has highlighted the need, particularly in an interdisciplinary problem and team setting, to go beyond the evaluation of results and outputs of a problem-solving pathway (process), and monitor and evaluate the pathway itself to improve ongoing activities undertaken by the research team that best achieve the desired impact. By reflecting on what decisions have been made, the reasons, influences and effects of each decision, such evaluation can improve the learning process of stakeholders and researchers. The authors have designed a formative, self-reflective monitoring and evaluation (M&E) process and applied it to an integrated assessment and modelling project in the Campaspe catchment, part of the Murray-Darling Basin in Victoria, Australia. The M&E process consists of six steps: 1) review of documents to understand research goals, priorities and records, 2) pathway assessment, 3) reflective meetings with each team member, 4) analysis of qualitative data from meetings to capture perceived strengths, weaknesses, successes and failures, and suggested actions, objections and goals, 5) survey to elicit feedback on identified goals, objectives and actions, and 6) a report of approved actions based on the conducted survey of team members. Four overall goals and constituent objectives were identified with 42 actions, and between 37 and 42 of these actions appear to have support for adoption. The evaluation indicated the benefits of the enhanced M&E approach to realise a more adaptive and effective problem-solving modelling and assessment project.
- Integrated water resources management
- Participatory modelling