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5. Carry out monitoring and learning

Evaluate the 4 Returns impact in the landscape, reflect on what you learn, and adjust the landscape plan if necessary. 

Impact measurement, collective learning, and adaptive management are especially important in the rapidly evolving contexts in which landscape plans are implemented — ensuring the plan stays aligned to the vision. Adaptive management, or learning by doing, is a systematic process for continually improving practices by learning from the outcomes of previously employed practices. The positive impact created can facilitate the replication and upscaling of impact within the landscape. And it can be a catalyst for other landscapes, supporting the movement and wider system that enables landscape restoration. Building up evidence and sharing learnings, inside and outside of the landscape, are critical for that. 

The purpose of this section is to evaluate the impact of 4 Returns interventions in the landscape, reflect on lessons learned, and adjust the landscape plan if necessary. Here, stakeholders assess the outcomes of landscape actions against agreed key performance indicators. The results and lessons can be shared widely to mobilise greater support and participation. 

In the chapter Monitoring the 4 Returns, you’ll learn about the importance of measuring the impact of your holistic landscape restoration initiative. The chapter guides you through the steps needed to create your own 4 Returns monitoring plan. We introduce the 4 Returns indicator menu which you can use to determine what indicators are relevant and feasible in your context.

The final chapter of this guidebook, Storytelling, highlights the transformative power of stories in the context of holistic landscape restoration. You’ll learn how storytelling is a powerful tool in all phases of the 4 Returns process, as well as the power of stories for gaining insight and for communicating your impact.

Envisaged outcomes

  • Monitoring plan developed for adaptive management and accountability that is based on an evaluation and analysis of indicators for holistic landscape restoration.
  • Impact communicated and lessons learned shared to inspire others and mobilise further support. The evidence created demonstrates the value of the 4 Returns restoration to others and may inspire adoption.

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