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The Evaluation Sourcebook

Schueller, S.K., S.L. Yaffee, S. J. Higgs, K. Mogelgaard, and E. A. DeMattia. 2006. Evaluation Sourcebook: Measures of Progress for Ecosystem- and Community-based Projects. Ecosystem Management Initiative, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. 215 pp.


This publication provides sample evaluation questions, indicators and data sources to help projects track improvements in ecosystem health, economic vitality, quality of life, sustainability, or trust and collaboration.


Who can use the Sourcebook and what's in it?

Download the Sourcebook


Who can use the Evaluation Sourcebook and what's in it?

Are we making progress? What are we accomplishing? How do we know? Whether you are part of a small volunteer group doing community-based conservation on a single forest preserve, or are in an interagency collaborative applying ecosystem management to a whole watershed, you are likely faced with these questions. Tracking progress can allow you to document and celebrate successes, gain support and understanding for what you do, make informed decisions, and be more effective.


What’s in the Sourcebook?

In addition to general information on evaluation, adaptive management and indicator selection, the Sourcebook contains tips and resources organized by topic to help you evaluate specific ecosystem and community issues.


The topics and indicators in the Sourcebook are based on extensive reviews of on-the-ground projects and the rich literature on ecological, social and organizational evaluation. Topics include:

  • Ecological objectives, such as landscape diversity, habitat quality, species viability and water, air and soil quality
  • Social objectives, such as economic health and sustainability; community character, engagement and services
  • Organizational objectives, such as effective participation, collaboration and planning, adequate resources and good leadership
  • Threats to project progress, such as habitat degradation and pollution, overexploitation of resources, sprawl, economic decline, conflict and lack of trust
  • Assets or opportunities, such as high quality habitat, available expertise and information, political support and strong partnerships
  • Strategies, such as land acquisition, habitat restoration, community-building, policy reform, education and outreach, and strategic planning

The Evaluation Sourcebook can be used together with Measuring Progress: An Evaluation Guide for Ecosystem and Community-Based Projects, which is a step-by-step workbook that takes you through the process of evaluation. It can also be used on its own, as a ready reference of metrics and other evaluation tools to assist you in project planning and adaptive management.


Download the Sourcebook

Evaluation Sourcebook 3.84 MB


This pdf contains bookmarks and active links so that you can easily navigate within in it and to related websites. You can also print the Sourcebook.



Please let us know what you think! The Evaluation Sourcebook is an ongoing collaborative multi-disciplinary effort, and we welcome your feedback to improve its contents and usability. Please email: or call: (734) 763-5451

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