Draft a roadmap to guide the EAF process and determine the level of agency, stakeholder and government support
Overview of the activity
Where there is sufficient interest to implement EAF for a specific fishery the first action is to develop an EAF planning team and choose a team (project) leader who will also be the ‘champion’ for the process. Given the number of activities involved in EAF Management Planning it is beneficial to develop a suitably detailed project plan or roadmap that documents the proposed set of tools and timetable to be used. This can be supported by initiating development of an EAF Baseline report that documents what is known about the fishery including what management and stakeholders want to achieve. A stakeholder analysis may be required if these groups are not already well known.
To determine what tools and participation levels are most appropriate, the available human resources, skills in facilitation, project management, stock assessment etc. plus any financial constraints should be identified. While higher levels of stakeholder and expert participation can increase ownership of the outcome, they also increase the logistics, expense and duration. A balance among political and stakeholder expectations, resources, complexity and urgency is usually required.
A roadmap can be generated using the relevant questions (outlined below) in combination with the rest of the EAF Toolbox to determine what tools/participants/scheduling will be used. These can be documented using the EAF roadmap template or by using project planning software.
Formal approval for the roadmap may be needed from the relevant management agency (or broader government) to ensure the necessary resources will be made available and the resultant EAF plan will be implemented. The approvals process may sometimes require the use of Cost Benefit or SWOT analyses if high levels of time and resources are being requested.
If approval is obtained, a communication strategy to inform all stakeholders about the EAF process and their role should be developed and implemented. If approval is not obtained, this decision should be communicated to stakeholders and the EAF process delayed until any missing critical elements become available (e.g. financial, political, stakeholder commitment) or the scope or proposed planning methods are revised to better meet available resourcing levels/expectations.
Roadmap Plan Development
- Who should be in the EAF planning team? Who should be the project leader?
- How complex is the fishery? This defines how complex the management system should be – but this must reflect the available management capacity.
- What stakeholder interactions have already occurred? The less well known the stakeholder groups and their connections, the more thorough the preliminary analysis.
- What time is available to get stakeholder input? Shorter time frames limit the types of stakeholder engagement that can be used, but too long a process may result in a loss of stakeholder commitment.
- Are there conflicts or potential conflicts between and within the different stakeholder groups including resources, power distribution, objectives and expectations? This can affect the consultation methods that may be best to use, and those to avoid.
- What planning resources are available? Limited resources imply that less can be spent on each of the steps, calling for less expensive methods, fewer meetings or the need to raise additional funds.
- What capacity, competencies and knowledge are available? This affects the types and complexity of the assessments that can be conducted and what preliminary engagement will be needed.
- What institutional capacity is available? This also affects what types of management measures could be used or if capacity-building is required where more complex management systems are anticipated for the future.
Roadmap Plan Review
- Are there are any major risks or potential blockages to the EAF planning process?
- Do you have all the resources and cooperation and endorsement you need at appropriate levels to undertake the activities outlined in the Roadmap?
- Do you have an oversight mechanism in place?
- Overall, is it currently worth proceeding with the EAF planning process?
- If it was delayed, what would be the likely reactions of stakeholder groups?
- Estimate if there is sufficient political, agency and stakeholder commitment to even begin consideration of undertaking the EAF planning process
- Form an EAF planning team, draft the initial terms of reference and identify the team leader (project champion).
- Draft a brief description of the fishery, its resources, and the relevant ecosystem.
- Identify the main reasons for, and potential benefits of, adopting an EAF Management Plan for this fishery.
- Draft the initial terms of reference for the internal planning team and identify the project champion.
- Undertake introductory consultation (e.g. with key stakeholders) to estimate requirements for effective stakeholder participation, the level of transparency needed and how future facilitation will best occur.
- Map the available financial and human resources, time, budget, capabilities, key participants/partners/decision makers, key intervening institutions.
- Given the available resources select which methods and tools are likely to be most appropriate for each of the steps in the EAF planning process and draft an initial roadmap of the different steps, including timing, places, participants, expected difficulties and outcomes, necessary human and financial resources, etc.
- Look for major risks and blockages and identify potential contingencies to ensure it meets the available resources and any other constraints (e.g. government commitment, election timelines etc.).
- Present the draft roadmap to the relevant authority(s) and seek formal endorsement and commitments for continuation and obtain any other guarantees necessary for support/resources/participation.
- Finalise the roadmap (e.g. adjusting budgets, methods if necessary).
- If there is agreement to continue, communicate the final roadmap outcome to stakeholders and likely participants.
An early brain-storming or SWOT session with the EAF planning team can identify concerns and issues among team members. This session could also assist determine what additional project management (or other) training is needed by team members before the project formally begins. Having some level of knowledge or experience in project management or planning within the EAF planning team, especially the team (project) leader, will be an asset for the entire process. Information on project planning can be found in dedicated project management manuals, online guides or by attending formal courses.
A roadmap template, which is a simple set of headings generated from the outputs from previous EAF case studies, can be used to help draft the roadmap document. Where more formal project plans are needed, the planning guides as outlined above can assist. For highly complex fisheries it may beneficial to use project management software to generate the roadmap plan and monitor its progress, but recognising that these can be complex to use.
The primary tool for generating the roadmap could be the EAF Toolbox, because this assists select the ‘personalised’ set of tools and actions that could be used to complete the EAF process. There are also a number of comprehensive EAF Based Guidelines that have been generated to assist with the entire EAF process some of which are targeted at certain types of fisheries (e.g. Tuna, Africa). Finally there are many books and reviews that provide further background on the EAF principles and concepts that can be used to improve overall understanding of EAF.
To assist compile background information on the fishery the EAF Baseline Report template can be used. If a fishery already has a formal management plan, a status report or even a stock assessment report, these should contain the majority of the information needed. Only generate a new document where none is currently available.
In terms of raising stakeholder awareness there is a large amount of EAF background material that can be used to assist get the initial buy-in by stakeholder groups and local communities. These materials include PowerPoint presentations, guides, books etc that have been written for a number of different audiences. These can be used in combination with dissemination tools that get the information out to the community.
There are many tools available to assist in getting appropriate stakeholder engagement and understand the likely issues that will be involved in maintaining this engagement. Stakeholder analyses will be useful to ensure proper representation and smooth running of the process.
There are also tools to formally review the EAF Roadmap plan where this is necessary. These include Institutional analysis that examines how ready an agency or group is to undertake a project, SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and Cost Benefit analysis techniques to assess the overall proposal. Finally, when the decision has been made to proceed, there are a number of communication templates that are available to assist get this information out to stakeholders.
The selection criteria for these tools are given in the table below.
L=Low or Long; H= High; M= Medium, S=Short
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