Table 2. Key variables and outcome indicators for collaborative governance monitoring.

Attribute Key variable Outcome indicator
Social capital
(Pretty and Ward 2001, Pretty 2003)
Trust building Trust building takes place among the groups involved in collaborative decision making. - Decision making is perceived as open and fair; information is shared and understood by all participants
Common rules and norms See “Rule compliance” under Preconditions for adaptive governance
There are common-interest groups There is a common interest and a shared vision. - Participants jointly identify and agree on the problems to be solved and what the future should look like; it is clear to all participants why a decision-making body is needed; participants agree on what the major problems are and what the benefits might be of resolving these problems
Financial and capacity support from higher levels of organization A long-term investment has been made. - The state or its partners are committed to making a substantial and long-term financial investment in the project; long-term skills and leadership development programs are in place; planning and decision-making support is offered
Security of tenure over the resources of concern Security of access to resources. - There is long-term security of access to resources; the decision-making body is confident that they are or will be able to prevent outsiders from using the resources
Economic or other incentives for collective action Incentives exist. - People who contribute more are rewarded; people who lose ways of earning a living because of the project are compensated
Adaptive capacity
(Armitage 2005)
Willingness to learn from mistakes All actors, within and outside the community, listen to each other and are willing to change what they are doing in response. - The organization or committee involved in the initiative is made up of people from the community and from outside the community; these actors respect one another and listen to each others’ points of view
Willingness to engage in collaborative decision making All participants are willing to engage in collaborative learning and decision making. - Participants recognize the value of sharing information among actors; experts are willing to learn from resource users, and resource users are open to alternative ways of doing things; the project is viewed as a learning process by everyone involved
Willingness to accept a diversity of institutions Diversity of institutions. - Participants understand that it is unlikely that one institution will be able to manage the entire ecosystem; although a broad institution should be established to provide vision and overall coordination, members of the institution are aware that smaller groups may be formed to deal with specific issues
Maintaining options for adaptation (e.g., diversity of ecosystems, livelihoods, institutions) Maintaining options. - Projects can bring many benefits, but they cannot solve all the problems; for example, it should be understood that not everyone can be employed on the project; people understand this and continue to do their work as usual; over time, the projects provide some new opportunities
Self-organization
(Olsson et al. 2004a)
Enabling legislation is in place, is accessible, and is understood Enabling legislation. - Legislation is in place that allows people to form legal entities to manage natural resources; project participants have access to and an understanding of the legislation
Funds are available for adaptive management See “A long-term investment has been made” under Social capital
Information flow and social networks Networks are established that connect the local decision-making body with other institutions. - Outside partners such as government officials, researchers, and nongovernmental organizations are involved and willing to devolve decision-making powers. Other, relevant, local decision-making bodies are consulted and included in decision making; the roles of these different actors are clearly defined
Various sources of information are combined for sense making Information flow. - There is good communication among everyone involved; people are informed about what is happening, and their views and opinions are heard
Arenas of collaborative learning See “All actors, from within and outside the community, listen to each other and are willing to change what they are doing in response” and “All participants are willing to engage in collaborative learning and decision making” under Adaptive capacity
Leadership Leadership is effective and recognized. - The leaders of the initiative care about more than just their own interests; the leaders are trusted and acknowledged by all actors
Preconditions for adaptive governance
(Dietz et al. 2003)
Access to accurate and relevant knowledge and information Combination of “Enabling legislation” and “Networks are established that connect the local decision-making body with other institutions” under Self-organization
Conflict resolution mechanisms Conflict resolution mechanisms are in place. - Participants are aware that there will be conflict; the decision-making body is prepared for conflict and solves problems before they become serious; people are kept informed and their complaints and problems are heard
Compliance with rules and regulations Rule compliance. - There are a management plan and rules for the use of natural resources, especially those that people depend on for their livelihoods; resource users respect and adhere to the rules
Being prepared for change Being prepared for change. - A combination of “All actors, from within and outside the community, listen to each other and are willing to change what they are doing in response” under Adaptive capacity and “Conflict resolution mechanisms are in place” under Adaptive governance

Each outcome indicator was rated according to a five-point scale (5 = strongly agree; 1 = strongly disagree).