Chapter 10

Monitor and Collect Data

Indigenous guardians and community members play an important role in observing and documenting what is occurring on the lands and waters. They are often the first people to observe environmental concerns, damage to cultural sites, or the cumulative impacts of resource use.

The value of these observations cannot be overstated. Monitoring can be understood as the process of documenting this information in a purposeful and consistent manner so that the data can be compiled and observations can be tracked over time.

Data are the concrete pieces of information that are produced by your monitoring activities. Data is collected, stored in some way, and analyzed so that the community can use it to make decisions or share it with external groups to inform and influence outcomes.
 

    Explore this chapter to learn:

    1. Why you should consider developing a monitoring plan.
    2. What you want to achieve with your monitoring efforts.
    3. How to identify your monitoring priorities.
    4. The types of monitoring you can do.
    5. How Indigenous knowledge can shape your monitoring work.
    6. What methods can be used to collect data.
    7. What tools you can use to collect data.
    8. How you can store and manage your data.
    9. How you can report on your data and monitoring results.
    Tipsheet

    Tips for Monitoring and Data Management

    1. Outline clear monitoring goals and priorities to guide your monitoring activities and efforts.
    2. Ensure the community drives the development of monitoring goals and priorities. Report monitoring activities and findings to the community in a meaningful way.
    3. Use both Indigenous and scientific knowledge to inform your monitoring program design.
    4. Know how you will use your data and what questions it can and can’t answer. Try not to collect data for data’s sake.
    5. Early on, consider how data will be managed, stored and analyzed. Without good systems in place, it will be difficult to make use of the information you collect.
    6. Identify and develop monitoring partnerships in your region or around key issues of concern to amplify the impact of your monitoring efforts and capture efficiencies that come from working together.
    7. Ensure adequate training and ongoing technical support for staff conducting monitoring work. Spend time in the field and office observing how guardians collect data, document observations, and input information into the data management system to ensure high quality data.
    8. Match the right staff to the right monitoring work. Not everyone will have the right personality for monitoring compliance of rules and regulations or community use policies.
    9. Regularly look at and report out on your data. This may help catch errors and spot trends.
    10. Assign clear responsibility to staff re: receiving, inputting, analyzing and reporting on the data. Translate this information into maps, graphs, and compelling images whenever possible.
    11. Provide opportunities for staff to present highlights of their monitoring and data collection efforts on a regular basis to managers, decision-makers, elected leaders, hereditary leaders, community members, etc.
    12. Regularly review and adapt the monitoring plan and data management system as needed.

     

    Tipsheet

    Tips for Monitoring and Data Management

    Worksheet

    Overview Worksheet - Monitor and Collect Data

    This worksheet provides a series of questions to help think through your monitoring priorities and how you might build a monitoring plan. Download it now

    Worksheet

    Overview Worksheet - Monitor and Collect Data