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Meridian Institute

Workshop on Assessing the Environmental Outcomes of Community-Based Collaboratives

Related: Environment and Natural Resources

In September 2003, Meridian Institute, in cooperation with the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, conducted a workshop in Utah on assessing the environmental outcomes of community-based collaboratives (CBCs).


The objectives of this two-day workshop were to:

  • Identify and refine the research problem and related research questions regarding how to assess the environmental outcomes of CBCs.
  • Create a bridge between CBC researchers, CBC practitioners, scientists who are knowledgeable about environmental systems, and others.
  • Provide an opportunity for shared learning and discussion about conventional evaluation methods as well as recent advances in complex adaptive systems research.

Participants addressed questions relating to whether or not CBCs are producing positive environmental outcomes, how CBCs are seeking to assess environmental outcomes, and options for improving the assessment of these outcomes.


The product of the workshop was a clear framing of the research problem as well as documentation of the current body of knowledge, issues, and questions around this important topic. The outcomes were used to inform the sessions at the subsequent Community-Based Collaboratives Research Consortium (CBCRC) conference, as well as the future direction of the CBCRC. The workshop helped to shape the future direction of how the nation assesses, measures, and understands the environmental outcomes of CBCs.

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