Table 2. Key variables and outcome indicators for collaborative monitoring. Each indicator was rated according to a 5 point scale (5 = strongly agree; 1 = strongly disagree) and an explanation was provided by participants (Key variables adapted from Lee 1993, Michael 1995, Wenger 2000, Pretty 2003, Olsson et al. 2004a, Armitage 2005, Brown et al. 2005, Kumler and Lemos 2008)

Key variables Indicators for monitoring Rating
1 - 5
Trust building Trust building is taking place between the groups involved in collaborative decision making - Decision making is perceived as open and fair. Information is shared and understood by all participants.
Groups with shared norms and a common interest who have a similar stake in ecosystem management There is a common interest and 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.
Economic or other incentives to participate Incentives: People who contribute more are rewarded, and people who loose ways of earning a living because of the project are compensated.
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/will be able to prevent outsiders from using the resources.
A perceived value in sharing information Participants recognize the value of sharing information between actors - 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 other's points of view.
A willingness to engage in collaborative learning and decision making All participants are willing to engage in collaborative learning and decision making - All actors, from outside and inside the community, listen to each other and are willing to change what they are doing in response. ‘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.
Sufficient funding to enable practical action and experimentation 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, and planning and decision making support is offered.
Social networks that allow effective information flow Networks are established that connect the local decision making body with other institutions- Outside partners, such as government officials, researchers and NGO’s are involved and are 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.
Information flow - There is good communication between everyone involved. People are informed about what is happening, and their views and opinions are listened to
Effective local leadership or an ‘honest broker’ to facilitate conflict resolution Leadership - The leaders of the initiative care about more than just their own interests. The leaders are trusted and acknowledged by all actors