Monitoring, evaluation and reporting prior to 2010

Environmental Trust outcomes monitoring - your project measures

In order to measure the effectiveness of the Environmental Trust programs, the NSW Government gathers information on every project from Grantee organisations. This information is obtained through the monitoring and evaluation of activities by funded organisations, who then report the results.

Information from individual Environmental Trust projects is aggregated to provide a state-wide picture of the Trust's achievements and to ensure the program is contributing to the goals of the NSW Government.

The information also helps the NSW Government to better understand the needs of community groups or organisations wishing to participate in Trust activities.

Regular monitoring and evaluation allows you to decide whether your project objectives are being met, and projected outcomes will be realised. It helps in adopting an adaptive management approach to the project. If this is done in a participatory way, your members will improve their understanding of the work being done and progress so far.

Under the Urban Sustainability Program, applicants will need to submit a Monitoring and Evaluation Plan with their application.

Each grant recipient under the Environmental Education, Restoration and Rehabilitation and Protecting Our Places (POP) grant programs must submit a Monitoring and Evaluation Plan within 30 working days of receiving the Grant Agreement.

Monitoring and evaluation

There are three important Trust documents you need to know about as you embark on a Trust Grant. These documents will assist your organisation to define a baseline, monitor the progress of your project, measure change and evaluate its successes.

1. Project measures

This is a standardised list of measures and units so that the NSW Environmental Trust has a common set of indicators across its programs.

Please use it when:

  • completing your Application - carefully chosen measures will help you set appropriate environmental outcomes;
  • completing Schedule C when predicting and measuring the baseline, and later, results of your activities.

Please note: You must use these measures for your Environmental Trust project. However, there may be only a few measures from this list that will apply to your project.

If your project has measures that are not included in this list, for example, you may have a project with unique environmental outcomes and measures, please contact the Environmental Trust to approve those measures before you put them in your planning documents.

Download Project measures (10206Projectmeasures.pdf, 66kb)

2. Schedule C - outcomes projection

Schedule C is an attachment to your Grant Agreement. Your project might only be measuring, for example, two, or six or ten of the measures, depending on the complexity of your project. A very simple project might only have one or two measures. You should be able to mark those measures that relate to your project, measure a baseline and then predict how this will change over the life of the project.

Your Grant Agreement asks successful applicants to complete and return Schedule C to the Environmental Trust within 30 working days of receiving the Agreement. Your response can be submitted by email to info@environmentaltrust.nsw.gov.au

Please keep a copy of the completed Schedule C (dated) as the outcomes prediction and baseline measures from which you can measure changes over the life of the project.

As the project progresses, you will be able to update Schedule C, and include it as an attachment to your progress and final reports.

Download Schedule C (09101ScheduleC.xls, 1.57mb)

3. Monitoring and evaluation plan

All Grantees are required to submit a Monitoring and Evaluation Plan. As the amount of grant provided increases, the level of detail provided also increases. These expectations are outlined below

Grants of under $35,000 are required to submit a simple monitoring and evaluation plan completed on the plan proforma. The completed plan needs to incorporate the Environmental Trust Project Measures that apply to your project. The Trust provides a sample Monitoring and Evaluation Plan to provide further guidance.

Download plan proforma (09100MandEproforma.doc, 127kb)
Download sample monitoring and evaluation plan (0999SampleMandEplan.doc, 121kb

Grants of between $35,000 and $100,000 need to submit a more detailed Monitoring and Evaluation Plan. This Plan will provide:

  • A Table linking outcomes, activities, measures and how/who and when these measurements will be taken during the project
    • This will include the Environmental Trust measures (quantitative) standardised across the Trust and outlined in Project Measures;
  • A list of appropriate monitoring techniques (ie, photopoints, quadrats, transects, surveys, records of event attendance, comparison of energy, water or gas bills, etc) and how you will measure a change from the baseline;
  • A schedule outlining when you will measure your progress and who is responsible for this;
  • Design of simple but appropriate qualitative measures (eg, improvement in skills achieved through training, measured by assessing participants skills levels before and after training, for example);
  • A plan to maintain project outcomes after project completion (sustainability of outcomes);
  • A reporting framework for your progress and final reports, as outlined in Schedule B of your Grant Agreement

Grants of more than $100,000 should consider, in the development of their application and project budget, terms of reference for the engagement of a contractor/ consultant to conduct an independent evaluation of the project. Projects falling in to this category still need to undertake the following:

  • submission of a detailed Monitoring and Evaluation Plan;
  • inclusion of relevant Environmental Trust project measures in the plan, as well as additional qualitative measures;
  • plans to maintain project outcomes after project completion;
  • use of monitoring techniques appropriate to project activities (ie, photopoints, quadrats, transects, surveys, records of event attendance, comparison of energy, water or gas bills, etc);
  • reflection of adaptive project management in progress reports (NOTE: In circumstances where changes to the nature and the purpose of the project may be implemented in response to monitoring and evaluation, prior approval for the variation to the approved application will need to be obtained from the Trust); and
  • for Urban Sustainability projects, results of regular monitoring and evaluation will need to be reflected in updated Project Business Plans on a yearly basis.

Are there any measures that we should incorporate into our Monitoring and Evaluation Plans?

Specific measures for inclusion in Monitoring and Evaluation Plans have been developed by the Environmental Trust (project measures). Providing updates on these measures through progress and final reports will allow the Trust to compile data from across all funded projects. Other measures specific to your project may also be included in your Monitoring and Evaluation Plan

When reporting on Trust measures, it is important to include a measure for each project objective and projected outcome (Schedule C to your Agreement).

What is the process after preparation of Schedule C and a Monitoring and Evaluation Plan

Under the Urban Sustainability Program (USP), applicants will have submitted a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework with their application. Grantees are then provided with a time period to develop a detailed business plan which integrates project planning, outcomes monitoring, evaluation and reporting and project evaluation. USP Grantees also must use the Trust Project Measures

Each grant recipient under the Environmental Education, Restoration and Rehabilitation and Protecting Our Places (POP) grant programs must submit a Monitoring and Evaluation Plan within 30 working days of receiving the Grant Agreement. Once the required documentation is received, the Trust proceeds with the first payment of the Grant

At regular intervals during project implementation, Grantees need to review progress (what has worked etc), measure progress (change) and evaluate according to the milestones in their Monitoring and Evaluation Plan. Information will form the basis of Progress and Annual Reporting, as outlined in Schedule B of the Environmental Trust Agreement.

What other references are available to help in preparing Monitoring and Evaluation Plans?

For further assistance about monitoring and evaluation of your Grant, please contact Trust Administration by email on info@environmentaltrust.nsw.gov.au or phone (02) 8837 6093.

Page last updated: 22 January 2015