Assessing the impact of fisheries co-management interventions in developing countries: a meta-analysis

Co-management is now established as a mainstream approach to small-scale fisheries management across the developing world. A comprehensive review of 204 potential cases reveals a lack of impact assessments of fisheries co-management. This study reports on a meta-analysis of the impact of fisheries co-management in developing countries in 90 sites across 29 case-studies. The top five most frequently measured process indicators are participation, influence, rule compliance, control over resources, and conflict. The top five most frequently measured outcome indicators are access to resources, resource well-being, fishery yield, household well-being, and household income. To deal with the diversity of the 52 indicators measured and the different ways these data are collected and analysed, we apply a coding system to capture change over time. The results of the meta-analysis suggest that, overall fisheries comanagement delivers benefits to end-users through improvements in key process and outcome indicators. However, the dataset as a whole is constituted primarily of data from the Philippines. When we exclude this body of work, few generalisations can be made about the impact of fisheries co-management. The lack of comparative data suitable for impact assessment and the difficulties in comparing data and generalising across countries and regions reiterates calls in other fields for more systematic approaches to understanding and evaluating governance frameworks.


Evans, L., Cherrett, N., Pemsl, D. (2011)
Journal of Environmental Management 92(8): 1938-1949