Analysis of Results
If the monitoring program has been properly designed, the data analysis and development of results should be relatively straightforward, although not necessarily simple. The data collected should be analyzed using traditional statistical techniques. If the appropriate statistical software packages and knowledge of statistical methods are not readily available, help from local scientists or universities should be sought, to avoid outcomes leading to improper management. Ultimately, the monitoring protocol and sampling techniques should be designed with the specific use of the data in mind. Before monitoring is initiated, managers should have a good idea of how, and what, analyses are going to be needed. Proper planning from start to finish of any monitoring activities ensures that the process is efficient, and generates meaningful outcomes for management.
Distribution of Results
Ultimately, if the results of a monitoring study are to be of use, the results should be published in the appropriate places, and reported to the necessary management agencies. The following should be considered:
- Data collected from FSA studies should be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, to make them widely available to researchers and managers.
- It is important to provide feedback to all participants about the findings through appropriate means (e.g., various media, community meetings, workshops, etc.).
- Fishers should be specifically recognized in public forums and various media for their contribution to such programs.
- A number of publications tailored to specific audiences may need to be prepared. Fishers may not be familiar with statistical analysis and the interpretation of scientific data. To involve fishers in the management process, it is important to prepare publications, or distribute results so that these individuals are not excluded. Distributing results in the form of simple graphs and other easily understood visuals will be helpful, but be prepared to alter presentations as needed, to ensure a clear understanding by stakeholder groups. Additionally, presentations and meetings tailored specifically to these groups should be arranged, and presenters should frequently ask whether participants understand the meaning of monitoring results.
- It is extremely important to respect the confidentiality of FSAs. Maps and figures of the exact locations of FSAs, or GPS coordinates of their locations, should NEVER be published in places where they are accessible by the general public. These data should be made available only to those directly involved in FSA conservation and enforcement.
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A number of websites may be helpful for understanding data analysis and the process of statistical testing: