Scotland's Blue Economy: current status review

Describes our starting position in the transition to adopting a Blue Economy approach to marine sectors, communities, and the environment. It provides us with the foundation to consider how we can track our progress and determine if significant and lasting change is occurring.

3 Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring progress and evaluating whether actions are delivering the Blue Economy Vision is vital to ensure effective delivery. This will require identifying a suite of metrics and indicators across the six Blue Economy outcomes that can be used to measure progress, alongside studying the impacts of our specific actions to evaluate and improve.

As part of the status assessment in this document, we have reviewed existing data sources and routine reporting to understand the extent to which this data could be used to monitor progress towards the Blue Economy outcomes.

Data monitoring (over long, medium and short term) is an important basis for evaluation. The existing data sources set out below, along with potential new data collections and research (like the recently published Ocean Literacy Survey), can be used to establish the progress that has been made towards achieving the Blue Economy outcomes, and to help us improve policies and inform decisions.

The UK Government’s Magenta Book (2020) outlines key principles of effective monitoring and evaluation – namely that evaluations should be useful, credible, robust, and proportionate. We will use this status review as a basis to develop a ‘monitoring and evaluation framework’ suitable for the Blue Economy vision.

Box 1. Monitoring and evaluation framework

‘Monitoring’ is an ongoing and regular assessment of progression towards a set of objectives. Generally this requires data – either existing data, like the data outlined in this status review, or new data collection.

‘Evaluation’ typically refers to a rigorous and impartial assessment of the impacts, including any unintended impacts of a particular intervention, which can promote accountability, learning, and provide recommendations for future interventions.

A ‘monitoring and evaluation framework’ provides a plan and method for the delivery of these two processes. It maps indicators to outcomes, sets out what data to collect, and the methods to be used to collect that data, along with the sequence and timing of activities involved.



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