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Guidance on developing impact measures for water funds

Goldman, Rebecca; Benitez, Silvia; Calvache, Alejandro; Montambault, Jensen

The purpose of this document is to bring together over a year of collaborative effort in designing scientific protocols for monitoring the impacts/outcomes of the water fund strategy which is rapidly replicating and proliferating throughout TNC priority sites. Water funds have a variety of subject-area goals related to hydrology, biodiversity, socioeconomic, governance, and financial themes. This document will:

  1. Briefly introduce the basic water fund model;
  2. Provide a framework for linking water goals and strategies to measures of actions and outcomes;
  3. Present an experimental design for measuring water fund impacts; and
  4. Develop a set of more detailed protocols with experimental questions and potential indicators (summarized in a series of look-up tables) that could be used to test water fund activities’ effectiveness. In some cases, example methodologies will be offered (in appendices).

We intend this document to be broad enough to apply beyond one water fund site. Specific scientific protocols were intentionally omitted or are referenced only in appendices as we expect local experts in each water fund site to select the most effective protocols and materials to document impacts.