Published: 23 June 2021 Updated: 3 September 2021

Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Framework

The Community Engagement Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Framework provides a detailed overview of how to approach community engagement in the seafood industry.

On this page, you can explore:

  • Why monitoring and evaluating community engagement in the industry is important
  • The desired outcomes of community engagement (what it seeks to achieve)
  • Questions guiding an evaluation of your community engagement (what are known as 'Key Evaluation Questions')
  • The 'Digital Toolkit' developed to guide you through the entire process of monitoring and evaluating your community engagement.

Community Engagement

Community trust, acceptance and support are crucial to a thriving Australian seafood industry.

People within industry recognise that community values can and will affect their business either directly or indirectly. Recent research suggests that the community generally supports the Australian seafood industry. Increasingly, seafood industry associations and organisations are looking to community engagement to keep or improve this support for their seafood business, and the Australia seafood industry more broadly.

However, many seafood associations and organisations participate in community engagement activities such as festivals, cooking shows and social media without a clear understanding of their goals and whether their activities are having a positive impact.

Monitoring and evaluating community engagement work helps in planning engagement strategies to make best use of available resources and more effectively achieve desired outcomes.

The resources on this page are primarily designed to be used by seafood industry associations and seafood sector organisations who want to evaluate their community engagement.

What are the goals of community engagement?

Ultimately, industry community engagement seeks to gain and/or maintain social licence to operate where most of the community trust, accept, and support seafood industry's activities.

The seafood industry goals include:

  • Becoming an industry that benefits community through employment, food on the plate, and growth in regional communities
  • Gaining political support and acceptance of the Australian seafood industry
  • Becoming a resilient industry with improved profits and viability.

Community engagement will help to achieve these goals through four long-term outcomes:

  • The community valuing the seafood industry and activities
  • More people seeking employment in the seafood industry
  • Media and the community giving the industry a fair go (less vilification of the seafood industry)
  • Industry developing relationships that prevent, resolve, and minimise issues as they occur.

Using the M&E framework

There are two 'impact pathways' measured by the M&E framework that will see community engagement activities contribute to these long-term outcomes:

  • Engagement with the wider community. This includes face-to-face activities with the general community like festivals, targeted face-to-face activities like school visits or sponsoring hospitality events, and online engagement including social media, websites, and press media. These activities contribute to community hearing balanced messages about industry and moving them along the spectrum from being unsupportive to highly supportive of industry.
  • Building relationships. This includes relationships with key influencers such as teachers, politicians, and NGOs. Improved relationships and partnerships with these influencers will help to prevent, resolve, and minimise issues as they occur.

    Underlying all community engagement are the day-to-day operations of fishers and producers that "walk the talk" by showing respect for community values. For example, the work that industry does to operate sustainably and respect regulations. Where appropriate, this might include activities that bench-mark operations like gaining and maintaining accreditations or best-practice certifications.

Key Evaluation Questions

The M&E Framework is based on four higher-level learning and evaluation questions referred to as 'key evaluation questions', which are 'big picture' guiding questions that provide the scaffolding for monitoring and evaluation activities. These key evaluation questions are:

  1. What has our community engagement achieved? (Effectiveness)
  2. How were the community engagement activities designed and delivered? (Process)
  3. What are we learning about community engagement and what are we doing differently as a result? (Learning)
  4. How has community engagement contributed to our social licence to operate? (Impact)

The Digital Toolkit is designed to help seafood industry members and associations answer these four key evaluation questions.

Digital Toolkit 

This section contains a suite of tools to help industry associations and organisations monitor and evaluate their community engagement. The Digital Toolkit has three sections:

  • Getting started: tools to help you plan for your community engagement and evaluation.
  • Gathering evidence: tools to help you answer each of the key evaluation questions.

Bringing it all together: tools to help you review, learn, and improve based on your M&E results, as well as communicate your evaluation findings.

The tools to the relevant key evaluation questions and detail on each of these tools, including recordings on how to use each tool, is provided below:

Getting started

Gathering evidence against the KEQs

Bringing it all together

Community engagement planning tool

To help you plan your community engagement activities

Reference: Webinar | PDF





Reflection workshop

To help you run your own reflection workshops

Reference: PDF

Evaluation planning tool

To help you plan your monitoring and evaluation

Reference: PDF

Evaluating your face-to-face engagement  |

This tool includes two feedback forms and guidance on a voting jar activity for festivals.

Reference: PDF

Communicating evaluation findings

Guidelines for communicating your M&E results including reporting advice.

Reference: PDF


Evaluating your online engagement

Includes guidelines for monitoring online engagement across Facebook, Instagram, MailChimp, and Google Analytics.

Reference: Webinar | PDF


How to access online engagement metrics

This manual shows you step-by-step instructions how to access key metrics from Facebook, Instagram, and Mailchimp.

Reference: Video | PDF


Media monitoring guide

To help track how the industry is portrayed in print media

Reference: Video | PDF


Most significant change  | |

A participatory story-based tool for evaluating your impact and effectiveness.

Reference: PDF


Learning and impact log  | |

A tool to help you capture learnings and instances of impact from engaging with community as they occur

Reference: PDF


Self-assessment tool  |

A self-assessment to help you assess the core processes underpinning good community engagement

Reference: PDF