FRDC Community Engagement Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Framework and Toolkit​


Welcome to the seafood industry Community Engagement Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Framework and Toolkit page.

The M&E Framework provides a detailed overview of how to approach community engagement in the industry. On this page, you will find an ‘Introduction’ discussing why M&E of community engagement in the industry is important, of what the ‘Desired outcomes of community engagement’ are (what it seeks to achieve), and what the questions guiding an evaluation of your community engagement (what are known as ‘Key Evaluation Questions’ or ‘KEQs’) are.

You can also access the suite of 10 tools in the ‘Digital Toolkit’ developed to guide you through the entire process of monitoring and evaluating your community engagement, from getting started, gathering evidence, and bringing it all together to learn and improve. 


Monitoring and Evaluation 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 directly or indirectly. Recent research suggests that the community generally supports the Australian seafood industry.Increasingly, seafood industry associations and organisationsare looking at different community engagement approaches as a way of keeping or improving societal support for their seafood business, and the Australia seafood industry more broadly. 

FRDC has already developed guiding material like the License to engage handbook to help industry operators do best-practice community engagement. Industry associations, sector organisations and seafood operators are already out communicating and engaging with the public about Australian seafood.

However, many seafood associations and organisations have been participating 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. This is where evaluating your community engagement work can help. Monitoring and evaluating your community engagement work can help you to plan your engagement strategy in a targeted way that makes the best use of available resources and more effectively achieves specific outcomes.

On this page, you will find diverse resources to help you successfully monitor and evaluate your community engagement. These resources are primarily designed to be used internally by seafood industry associations and seafood sector organisations who want to evaluate their community engagementThis page draws from the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for Community engagement. 


What are the goals of community engagement?

Ultimately, industry community engagement seeks to achieve the following high-level goal:

  • Gain and/or maintain social licence to operate where most of the community trust, accept, and support seafood industry’s activities. This includes:
  • 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 seafood industry with improved profits and viability



Industry community engagement activities will contribute towards to the achievement of this goal through four key, long-term outcomes: 

  • The community valuing your seafood industry or activity 
  • More people are seeking employment in the seafood industry
  • The press and community give industry a fair go (there is less vilification of the seafood industry)
  • Industry developing relationships that prevent, resolve, and minimise issues as they occur (credits up our sleeve)


Industry community engagement activities will contribute towards these long-term outcomes and broader goals through two impact pathways measured by this M&E Framework: 

The first pathway focuses on 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 will contribute to community hearing balanced messages about industry and moving them along the spectrum from being unsupportive to highly supportive of industry. 

The second pathway focuses on building 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’). Key evaluation questions are ‘big picture’ guiding questions that provide the scaffolding for monitoring and evaluation activities. Ultimately, these are questions that we want to answer, and to do this we need to collect various forms of information and make a judgement call on what it all means. 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 license to operate? (Impact)


Below are a series of tools designed to help seafood industry members and associations answer the questions outlined above.


Digital Toolkit

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

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

Tools to help you plan for your community engagement and evaluation.

Tools to help you answer each of the key evaluation questions (KEQs)


Tools to help you (review, learn and improve based on your M&E results, as well as communicate your evaluation findings.

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