Walker, M, 2015 –– Inclusion of social indicators: A tool for improving catchment health monitoring
My project was a combination of a desktop study and critical review in which I analysed the methods taken by Healthy Waterways to develop social benefit indicators for waterway health against the key principles of integrated water management, which I determined to be holistic management, participatory management and adaptive management.
The aim of my study was to assist Healthy Waterways in the development of their social monitoring program and deliver recommendations as to how they might overcome the barriers the program was experiencing.
The major finding from my research was that the collection and analysis of social science data cannot be undertaken using a top-down environmental science methodological paradigm as it does not have the capacity to appropriately deal with the complexities associated with social research.
Looking back, the highlights of my final project experience were two things:
- The opportunity to be involved with an organisation and people who are motivated to make a positive difference in their community and are driven by their passion for the environment.
- Gaining experience in undertaking self-directed research and organising interviews with government and members of the community. This was a great opportunity for me to improve my interpersonal and time management skills and also has greatly improved my own confidence.
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