Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement (MERI)

Caring for our Country 2013-18 reporting

As part of the Australian Government's commitment to accountability, reporting on programme outcomes and adaptive management in natural resource management (NRM) and biodiversity conservation, a range of documents have been developed to support MERI over the next five years.

The purpose of these documents is to assist grant recipients with the monitoring, evaluation and reporting requirements of Australian Government NRM programmes. They will support the collection and reporting of data and information about the NRM and biodiversity conservation efforts that the NRM community delivers.

The following range of practical resources will help you contribute to building a better understanding of how Australia is managing its natural resources and conserving biodiversity.

Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement Strategy

This is essential reading for all Caring for our Country and Biodiversity Fund recipients prior to developing their project MERI plan. This document outlines the objectives, principles, and approach of MERI and outlines the roles and responsibilities of grant recipients and the Australian Government.

Programme MERI Plans -  Sustainable Environment, Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable Environment Program MERI Plan (PDF - 374.46 KB)
Sustainable Environment Program MERI Plan (DOCX - 330.91 KB)
this document includes Key Performance Indicators and Standard Project Measures

Project MERI Plan Templates

The following templates are provided for Caring for our Country and Biodiversity Fund recipients. As outlined in Funding Agreements, grant recipients are required to complete and submit a MERI plan for approval by the department. The following MERI plans are available to download.

Community Environment Grants

Community Environment Grants Project MERI Plan Template (PDF - 157.35 KB)
Community Environment Grants Project MERI Plan Template (DOCX - 58.64 KB)

Target Area Grants

Target Area Grants MERI Plan Template (PDF - 237.15 KB)
Target Area Grants MERI Plan Template (DOCX - 397.14 KB)

Regional Delivery

Regional Delivery program MERI Plan Template (PDF - 303.87 KB)
Regional Delivery program MERI Plan Template (DOCX - 686.16 KB)

Reef Rescue

Reef Rescue Water Quality Grants MERI Plan Template (PDF - 244.1 KB)
Reef Rescue Water Quality Grants MERI Plan Template (DOCX - 396.78 KB)

Reef Rescue Water Quality Partnerships MERI Plan Template (PDF - 248.51 KB)
Reef Rescue Water Quality Partnerships MERI Plan Template (DOCX - 397.32 KB)

Reef Rescue Systems Repair and Urban Water Quality On-ground grants MERI Plan Template (PDF - 250.05 KB)
Reef Rescue Systems Repair and Urban Water Quality On-ground grants MERI Plan Template (DOCX - 1.46 MB)

Reef Rescue Systems Repair and Urban Water Quality Planning grants MERI Plan Template (PDF - 232.28 KB)
Reef Rescue Systems Repair and Urban Water Quality Planning grants MERI Plan Template (DOCX - 393.95 KB)

Additional information

Guide to completing a Project MERI Plan (PDF - 181.01 KB)
Guide to completing a Project MERI Plan (DOCX - 1.26 MB)

A simple Project MERI plan example (PDF - 236.91 KB)
A simple Project MERI plan example (DOCX - 109.24 KB)

Condition Change Monitoring Field Guides

In addition to reporting on the activities undertaken and project outputs delivered, grant recipients are encouraged to undertake monitoring and evaluation to demonstrate project outcomes - i.e. the impacts of their activities. This may include for example, demonstrated change in condition of an environmental asset or increase in organisational capacity. The MERI budget component of Funding Agreements can be used to support such activities.

Data and information gathered through these monitoring activities can help grant recipients understand the success of their project, and will be used by the department to report progress of the programme, including against the key performance indicators (KPIs) set out in the program MERI plan (above). An Ecological Monitoring Guide was developed for the Biodiversity Fund and would also be useful for other Australian Government NRM funded projects. Further monitoring guidance documents are available here:

Other MERI Resources

MERI frequently asked questions (PDF - 36.76 KB)
MERI frequently asked questions (DOCX - 35.71 KB)