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Table 1 Typology and definitions of evaluation approaches

From: What is the nature and extent of evidence on methodologies for monitoring and evaluating marine spatial management measures in UK and similar coastal waters? A systematic map protocol

Evaluation typology Definition
Principal evaluation Basic description of effects. Describes a snapshot in time or identifies ecological, social and/or economic change over time associated with a spatial management measure through, for example, one-off data collection or monitoring (observations or measurement of changes to the state of the marine environment and surrounding communities and industries over time) to, for example, document case studies or undertake descriptive or narrative analysis
Causative evaluation Aims to understand causes. Determines causal attribution or contribution, i.e. did the spatial management measure cause or contribute to the identified impacts/outcomes? Are the results consistent with what would be expected? Causal attribution or contribution may be determined through, for example, theory of change or inferential analysis. Studies may also aim to identify trends across multiple sites subject to spatial management and the characteristics associated with positive or negative effects through, for example, meta-analytical techniques or narrative synthesis. Studies which aim to understand causes are also likely to include a description of effects (principal evaluation)
Benefit evaluation Considers an assessment of merit and/or worth. Assesses the return on investment through, for example, cost–benefit or cost-effectiveness analysis, social return on investment or multi-criteria analysis. Considers the broader effects (social, ecological and economic) against the cost or objectives of a spatial management measure to make a judgement on the value of the spatial management measure