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Effective Policy Evaluation: Refining Design Processes for Coastal Ecosystem Condition Indicators

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To achieve the desired outcomes of ecosystem-based or integrated coastal management, paradigm shifts must occur in all stages of the policy process. This article focuses on the evaluative stage following policy implementation, specifically on the use of coastal ecosystem condition indicators. A review of the recent literature suggests that coastal ecosystem condition indicators with too broad a scale or too narrow a scope lose utility and applicability. An analysis of these problems of scale and scope reveals that the process through which an index is designed and selected can hinder or heighten its validity. Local and diverse stakeholder input can help to ameliorate weaknesses, increasing the evaluative validity of coastal ecosystem condition indicators.

Keywords: EBM; adaptive management; coastal ecosystem indicators; integrated coastal management; stakeholder input

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Marine Affairs, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, USA

Publication date: 2010-11-01

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