Abstract

A program to monitor the capacity for improved natural resource management (NRM) of land managers was implemented under a state-scale monitoring, evaluation and reporting (MER) strategy. We demonstrate detection of change in natural resource (NR) manager capacity by reassessing two groups of landholders at different locations in New South Wales (NSW), Australia that had previously participated in a baseline assessment of capacity for state-wide MER purposes. NR manager capacity in NSW over three years responded to the external influences of the end of a long-term drought, to changes in institutional arrangements that altered the way NRM funding was distributed to regions by the Australian Government and to local investment in capacity building.

References

Allan, C., & Curtis, A. (2005). Nipped in the bud: Why regional scale adaptive management is not blooming. Environmental Management, 36(3), 414–425.
Ashby, J. (2003). Introduction: Uniting science and participation in the process of innovation – research for development. In B. Pound S. Snapp C. McDougall & A. Braun (Eds.), Managing natural resources for sustainable livelihoods (pp. 67–87). London: Earthscan.
Australian Government. (2008a). Caring for our country outcomes 2008–2013 [Online]. Canberra, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Retrieved from http://nrmonline.nrm.gov.au/catalog/mql:1887
Australian Government. (2008b). Caring for our country business plan 2009–2010 [Online]. Canberra, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Retrieved from http://nrmonline.nrm.gov.au/catalog/mql:2263
Australian Government. (2013). Shaping the future: Caring for our country 2013–2018 [Online]. Canberra, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Retrieved from http://www.nrm.gov.au/about/caring/review/pubs/shaping-the-future.pdf
Barr, N. (2003). Future agricultural landscapes. Australian Planner, 40(2), 123–128.
Bebbington, A. (1999). Capitals and capabilities: A framework for analysing peasant viability, rural livelihoods and poverty. World Development, 27(12), 2021–2044.
Bond, R. & Mukherjee, N. (2002). Livelihood asset status tracking: An impact monitoring tool?. Journal of International Development, 14(6), 805–815.
Brown, P. R., Jacobs, B., & Leith, P. (2012). Participatory monitoring and evaluation to aid investment in natural resource manager capacity at a range of scales. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 184(12), 7207–7220.
Brown, P. R., Nelson, R., Jacobs, B., Kokic, P., Tracey, J., Ahmed, M., & DeVoil, P. (2010). Enabling natural resource managers to self-assess their adaptive capacity. Agricultural Systems, 103(8), 562–568.
Carr, E. (2013). Livelihoods as intimate government: Reframing the logic of livelihoods for development. Third World Quarterly, 34(1), 77–108.
Chambers, R. & Conway, G. (1992). Sustainable rural livelihoods: practical concepts for the 21st century. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies
Curtis, A. & Mendham, E. (2011). Bridging the gap between policy and management of natural resources. In D. Pannell & F. Vanclay (Eds.), Changing land management: Adoption of new practices by rural landholders (pp. 153–176). Collingwood, Victoria: CSIRO.
DECCW. (2010a). NSW natural resources monitoring evaluation and reporting strategy 2010–2015 [Online]. Sydney, NSW Department of Environment Climate Change and Water. Retrieved from http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/soc/NaturalresourcesMER.htm
DECCW. (2010b). 2010 state of catchments reports [Online]. Sydney, NSW Department of Environment Climate Change and Water. Retrieved from http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/soc/stateofthecatchmentsreport.htm
DFID. (1999). Sustainable livelihoods guidance sheets [Online]. London, Department for International Development. Retrieved from http://www.eldis.org/vfile/upload/1/document/0901/section2.pdf
Ellis, F. (2000). Rural livelihoods and diversity in developing countries. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press
Farrelly, M. (2005). Regionalisation of environmental management: A case study of the Natural Heritage Trust, South Australia. Geographical Research, 43(4), 393–405.
Feigenberg, B., Field, E., & Pande, R. (2013). The economic returns to social interaction: Experimental evidence from microfinance. The Review of Economic Studies, 80(4), 1159–1183.
Folke, C., Pritchard, L., Berkes, F., Colding, J., & Svedin, U. (2007). The problem of fit between ecosystems and institutions: Ten years later. Ecology and Society, 12(1), 30.
Ison, R. L., Maiteny, P. T., & Carr, S. (1997). Systems methodologies for sustainable natural resources research and development. Agricultural Systems, 55(2), 257–272.
Jacobs, B. C. & Brown, P. R. (2011). Roles of diverse stakeholders in natural resources management and their relationships with regional bodies in New South Wales, Australia. In A. Kaswamila (Ed.), Sustainable natural resources management (pp. 115–138). Rijeka, Croatia: InTech.
Jacobs, B., Brown, P. R., Nelson, R., Leith, P., Tracey, J., McNamara, L., … Mitchell, S. (2011). Monitoring, evaluation and reporting natural resource manager capacity for NSW catchments [Online]. Sydney: NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water. Retrieved from http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/soc/20110720NRMTRS.pdf
Korten, D. (1980). Community organization and rural development: A learning process approach. Public Administration Review, 40(5), 480–511.
LaMore, R. L., Link, T., & Blackmond, T. (2006). Renewing people and places: Institutional investment policies that enhance social capital and improve the built environment of distressed communities. Journal of Urban Affairs, 28(5), 429–442.
Leith, P., Jacobs, B., Brown, P. R., & Nelson, R. (2012). A participatory assessment of NRM capacity to inform policy and practice: Cross-scale evaluation of enabling and constraining factors. Society and Natural Resources, 25(8), 775–793.
Macadam, R., Drinan, J., Inall, N., & McKenzie, B. (2004). Growing the capital of rural australia – The task of capacity building (04/034). Canberra: RIRDC Publication
Marshall, G. (2009). Polycentricity, reciprocity, and farmer adoption of conservation practices under community-based governance. Ecological Economics, 65(8), 1507–1520.
Marshall, G. (2011). Improving economic accountability of investment decisions under community-based environmental governance [Online]. Armidale, Institute for Rural Futures, University of New England. Retrieved from http://www.une.edu.au/irf/downloads/cerf-iec/cerf-final-report.pdf
Natural Resources Commission. (2012). Framework for assessing and recommending upgraded catchment action plans. Document No: D11/0769 [Online]. Sydney, Natural Resources Commission. Retrieved from http://www.nrc.nsw.gov.au/content/documents/Framework%20for%20CAPs2.pdf
Nelson, R., Kokic, P., Crimp, S., Martin, P., Meinke, H., Howden, M., … Nidumolu, U. (2010b). The vulnerability of Australian rural communities to climate variability and change: Part II – Integrating impacts with adaptive capacity. Environmental Science & Policy, 13(1), 18–27.
Nelson, R., Kokic, P., Crimp, S., Meinke, H., & Howden, S. (2010a). The vulnerability of Australian rural communities to climate variability and change: Part I – Conceptualising and measuring vulnerability. Environmental Science & Policy, 13(1), 8–17.
Pretty, J. (2003). Social capital and the collective management of resources. Science, 302(5652), 1912–1914.
Pretty, J. & Smith, D. (2004). Social capital in biodiversity conservation and management. Conservation Biology, 18(3), 631–638.
RIRDC. (2007). Drivers of structural change in Australian agriculture. Canberra: Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. Publication No. 07/057.
Roberts, K. & Lacey, J. (2008). What is the relationship between human and social capital?: What transfers to whom?. Rural Society, 18(2), 103–116.
Robins, L., & Kanowski, P. (2011). ‘Crying for our Country’: eight ways in which ‘Caring for our Country’ has undermined Australia's regional model for natural resource management. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 18(2), 88–108.
Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations. (5th ed.). New York, NY: Free Press
Sandelowski, M., Voils, C., & Barroso, J. (2007). Comparability work and the management of difference in research synthesis studies. Social Science & Medicine, 64(1), 236–247.
Simpson, G. & Clifton, J. (2010). Funding and facilitation: Implications of changing government policy for the future of voluntary Landcare groups in Western Australia. Australian Geographer, 41(3), 403–423.
Stevenson, M. & Lee, H. (2001). Indicators of sustainability as a tool in agricultural development: Partitioning scientific and participatory processes. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 8(1), 57–65.
Strele, M., Holtge, K., Fiebeger, M., Were, J., & Schulmeister, A. with contributions from Weingartner, L. (2006). Participatory livelihoods monitoring. Linking programmes and poor people's interests to policies experiences from Cambodia. FAO LSP WP 21.
Vanclay, F. (2003). The impacts of deregulation and agricultural restructuring for rural Australia. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 38(1), 81–94.
Vanclay, F. (2011). Social principles for agricultural extension in facilitating the adoption of new practices. In D. Pannell and F. Vanclay (Eds.), Changing land management: Adoption of new practices by rural landholders (pp. 51–67). Collingwood, Victoria: CSIRO.
Vanclay, F., Leith, P., & Fleming, A. (2009). Understanding farming community concerns about adapting to a changed climate. In W. L. Filho & F. Mannke (Eds.), Interdisciplinary aspects of climate change (pp. 229–244). Frankfurt: Peter Lang.
Woolcock, M. (1998). Social capital and economic development: Toward a theoretical synthesis and policy framework. Theory and Society, 27(2), 151–208.
Woolcock, M. (2001). The place of social capital in understanding social and economic outcomes. Canadian Journal of Policy Research, 2(1), 11–17.