The term “Performance Indicators” refers to the quantitative or qualitative appraisals of environmental compliance and enforcement programs. Environmental agencies worldwide are developing and applying meaningful performance indicators to evaluate their programs’ effectiveness, even in the developing and transitioning countries that generally face more serious implementation and enforcement challenges of their environmental laws.
To measure progress and ensure commitment to reform, the AECEN Secretariat and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) work with members to develop indicators for tracking agency performance in environmental compliance and enforcement. These indicators are tailored to country programs and pilot activities, and can be aggregated regionally. Members also develop indicators as part of their participation in AECEN pilot projects.
Performance indicators are key tools for decision-makers in developing and implementing environmental compliance and enforcement programs. Indicators allow decision-makers to: (1) monitor and control program operations; (2) ensure accountability to legislative bodies, budget authorities, constituent groups, and the public; and (3) improve overall program performance.
Indicators are generally classified by type: input, output, intermediate-outcome, and end-outcome. Input indicators refer to personnel, funds and other resources that contribute to an activity while output indicators are measures of activities, work products, or actions by the environmental agency to achieve its goals. Intermediate outcomes refer to changes in knowledge, behavior of the regulated community, or conditions that result from project activities and are needed to achieve the end outcome. End or final outcomes pertain to the ultimate results a program is designed to achieve or the improvement in environmental conditions.
Performance indicators are intended to track agency performance and progress in implementing some AECEN supported pilot activities. The indicators developed by the concerned agencies in each country also serve as the basis for compiling regional common indicators to compare progress among members in the region. Based on the outcome of national consultations, the AECEN Secretariat works with the respective environmental agency and other key stakeholders to draft and implement national indicators, and promotes adoption in support of agency programs and AECEN pilot activities. Progress on implementing these identified indicators was presented at the 2006 AECEN Annual Forum.
In June 2006, in partnership with EPA, AECEN organized three national consultations for environmental agencies in the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam to identify and develop national-level environmental compliance and enforcement indicators. Key stakeholders in each country prepared and developed actual national compliance and enforcement indicators. The workshops trained the participants in developing the appropriate combination of indicators based on best practices in the United States and selected Asian countries.
The national consultations were held on
- June 15-16 in Manila, Philippines
- June 19-20 in Hanoi, Vietnam
- and June 22-23 in Bangkok, Thailand
The Philippines conducted additional workshops to futher develop their indicators. A summary of these workshop and the resultant indicators can be read here. Included in this document are four annexes:
- Annex A Initial List of Indicators (June 15-16, 2006)
- Annex B Indicators by Media (July 24-25, 2006)
- Annex C List of Indicators along Functional Lines (October 17-18, 2006)
- Annex D Final List of Indicators (October 18, 2006)