Monitoring can help the community identify progress, as well as to take note of new challenges and opportunities, at different points in time. A monitoring component should be included in any specific process or initiative in support of an ICCA. Monitoring change is crucial for self-awareness, risk management, and learning from the results of any self-strengthening process. The collection and analysis of monitoring information is, in itself, a powerful element of a self-strengthening process.

Monitoring is based on indicators assessed through time and analysed at given intervals. Indicators should be, as much as possible, valid, relevant, specific, simple, and sensitive to the kind of change that the custodian community wishes to achieve. It is important that the indicators are perceived by the community as meaningful (valid), for instance, reflecting about whether the governance institution is or is not functioning well. It is also important that everyone have clarity about how the indicator will be assessed—this is known as monitoring protocol.

Assessing and monitoring complex phenomena related to ICCAs (e.g., the “connection between a community and its territory”) is a challenging exercise, as the ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ in indicators relate to multiple interacting ‘causes’ and need to be interpreted carefully as part of broad patterns of change in the environment and society.

Read more in the publication: ICCA Self-Strengthening ICCAs – Guidance on a process and resources for custodian indigenous peoples and local communities, Module 5.