Great Parks Network benchmark survey 2013. Report for the Parks Forum
Benchmarking has become an important element of park management, as park managers increasingly use the resultant information to guide their activities and assist in the strategic allocation of diminishing management resources. It is also important in providing accountability and transparency for stakeholders who continue to be interested in the management activities and outcomes from park agencies. Benchmarking, when undertaken over time, allows the performance of an organisation or suite of organisations to be evaluated and the information used to extend best practice and improve poorly performing areas. The strategic use of information is a critical part of the ‘solution’ for park management across the entire sector. Such solutions will underpin the considerations of the IUCN World Parks Congress in November 2014 with its theme of Parks, People, Planet: Inspiring Solutions.
This report outlines the performance of park agencies in Australia and New Zealand as part of the ongoing Great Parks Network Benchmark Survey, initially developed by Parks Forum in 2007. Of the 43 full members of Parks Forum, 25 local government, government department, park agencies and regional bodies completed the 2013 survey (58% of Parks Forum members). This is the third benchmark survey, and the second survey since the methodology was refined for the 2010 survey. Included in this report are results from the three surveys, allowing for the identification of general trends over the period 2007 to 2013. The sources of information agencies used to answer the benchmark questions expanded in the 2013 survey to encompass planning documents, research and specialist opinion as well as staff experience, which predominantly informed earlier surveys.
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