The Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region’s interest and enthusiasm to participate in socio-economic monitoring has continued increasing since the WIOMSA/IUCN Human Dimensions of Coastal and Marine Environment workshop (April 2003) and the CORDIO Regional partnership workshop on socio-economics (June 2005).
The SocMon-WIO programme initiated at the partnership workshop has the goal to promote and expand regional socioeconomic monitoring.
There are currently 14 sites doing socioeconomic monitoring spread across Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles and Tanzania. The official SocMon website is hosted at WIOMSA.
SocMon WIO builds on local-level monitoring systems by promoting implementation by local projects such as marine protected area authorities, local area management authorities, fisheries officers or community groups and participation by community members.
SocMon WIO objectives include:
1. Establish socio-economic monitoring at a representative suite of sites in the region, managed by different partners under a single framework.
2. Facilitate coordination of monitoring activities in the Western Indian Ocean through a socio-economists network, promoting standardised monitoring throughout the region.
3. Establish a coordinated data archiving, reporting and sharing protocol for partners within the region and applicable to sites outside the region.
4. Establish reporting and educational guidelines for disseminating the information widely, targeting managers, government policy makers, resource users and schools.
Components of SocMon WIO
- A regional partnership workshop: to establish organizational commitment to socio-economic monitoring in the region,
- A Western Indian Ocean SocMon manual: to provide standardized guidelines for the region, the guidelines have been published in English, French, Swahili and soon in Portuguese.
- establishment of SocMon and expansion to new sites
- Database development: a site database to assist sites in data entry, management, analysis and reporting.
- Facilitation of reporting and awareness products for different target audiences including feedback to communities, project reporting site and national authorities.
- Integration of socio-economic information into coastal management: targeting site level for local management decision and national level for policy development.
- SocMon WIO National partnerships (Comoros and Madagascar and National workshops in Kenya and Tanzania) to increase national networking and information sharing
Capacity building in socioeconomics is a priority build partners and scientists in the region. Activities that have been conducted include:
- Site based trainings and refresher trainings for participating site teams,
- The SocMon WIO Training of Trainers workshop (ToT), January 2007 boosted the capacity for socio-economic monitoring in the region by increasing SocMon resource persons from 3 to 14 trainers spread across the WIO countries.
- SocMon WIO data analysis workshop, November 2008 provided data management skills for data managers from sites in the mainland countries: Kenya, Mozambique and Tanzania.