Socioeconomic Monitoring Program Design

Wakatobi National Park, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photo © Marthen Welly/TNC-CTC
household survey

Household surveys are one way to gather valuable socioeconomic information from a community. Photo © Arielle Levine

Various methods can be used to gather social and economic data for use by coral reef managers, including: focus group interviews, household surveys, semi-structured key informant interviews, and oral histories. The technique used will depend on the objectives of the assessment, the social context, and the resources available.

There are several important phases in a socioeconomic assessment or monitoring program:

  1. Consult with stakeholders
  2. Define assessment objectives
  3. Develop draft methods and survey instrument
  4. Conduct pilot surveys
  5. Refine methods and survey instrument
  6. Collect data
  7. Analyze data and prepare report
  8. Communicate results

The most widely used socioeconomic monitoring protocol is the  opens in a new windowGlobal Socioeconomic Monitoring Initiative for Coastal Management (SocMon). SocMon works through regional and local partners to facilitate community-based socioeconomic monitoring. The protocol is designed for local managers, project staff and community facilitators to identify key indicators related to household demographics, income generating activities, resource use patterns, threats, stakeholders, and governance. The SocMon guidelines provide brief descriptions of the indicators, guidance on field data collection methods, data analysis and examples of how data can be used to inform management.

elder survey

Focus-group surveys, such as with elder fishermen above, can generate views of a particular stakeholder group. Photo © Arielle Levine

SocMon guidelines are available for different regions and in several languages:

Where social and economic information is being collected to inform vulnerability or resilience assessments, managers can find useful guidance in the IUCN Framework for Social Adaptation to Climate Change and the draft addendum to SocMon on Indicators to address community-level social vulnerability (see Resources, below).

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