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Guidelines for Using the Landscape Performance Scorecard

The Landscape Performance Scorecard (LPS) is designed to help you keep track of the status of your landscape. The scorecard is based on the ‘twenty questions for assessing landscape performance’. A data capture form provides a means for analyzing data from the scoring exercise and presenting the information that is generated.

a-39.jpgThe performance scores highlight the dimensions of the landscape that are performing comparatively well, as well as those that are performing relatively poorly. Use these findings to facilitate discussion about the status of the landscape, and the forces and dynamics that may be contributing to the scores. This insight can be useful in helping a Landscape Measures Leadership Team and stakeholders decide which goals to pursue for improving the performance of the landscape, and to select indicators for tracking progress toward reaching the goals. Landscape performance scores can be useful also in selecting meaningful performance indicators for tracking change in the landscape over time.

The ‘twenty questions’ that comprise the items on the LPS are linked to descriptions of landscape performance criteria that derive from the Landscape Measures Framework document. The descriptions of the criteria help to clarify the meaning of each question on the Scorecard. The Framework document in turn can help to clarify the meaning of the criteria if this is needed in preparing for the LPS exercise.

A six-step process for using the LPS tool includes preparing for the exercise, conducting the survey, capturing the data, presenting the data, discussing the findings and outlining next steps. Instructions for facilitating the process are detailed below.

a-55.jpgA team of at least two people is needed to faciliate the landscape scoring exercise. The exercise should take about two and one half hours. You may want to extend it by half an hour depending on the number of participants, their willingness to devote more time and the level of discussion that the analysis provokes.

Below are a set of directions to guide you through the process of measuring your landscape with the Landscape Performance Scorecard and analyze the data obtained from the LPS. For a set of printable instructions, click here.

Preparing for the exercise

  1. Choose participants and invite them. The number of participants can range from about 12-30. Participants should include local stakeholders with a variety of interests, and a cross-section of expertise if technical service providers are included. All should have deep knowledge about the landscape.
  2. Plan to refer to a map of the landscape to ensure all participants have the same area in mind. If a map is not available be prepared to describe the landscape to participants using recognizable names of features and boundaries.
  3. Print and prepare enough copies of the Landscape Performance Scorecard for each participant and facilitator.
  4. Print and prepare copies for each participant and facilitator of the Landscape Performance Criteria. If you have a computer projector available plan to use this instead of preparing copies of the criteria.
  5. Load the Data Capture Form (Excel spreadsheet) on to your computer.
  6. Have pens or pencils available for all participants, and a flip chart and markers in the room.
  7. Have suitable refreshments available for participants to enjoy while you are entering and analyzing the data.

Conducting the survey

  1. Assemble participants. Explain the purpose of the exercise and the value of their participation.
  2. Distribute copies of the Landscape Performance Scorecard (LPS).
  3. Distribute copies the Landscape Performance Criteria or project them on a screen for all to view.
  4. Ask participants to think about how the landscape performs with respect to each question, in their best judgment. Make it clear that there is no right or wrong answer.
  5. Ask them to give each question a rating (score) between 1-5. A #1 means the landscape scores very poorly on that criterion, and 5 means it performs extremely well. If they would like to score an item in between one of two numbers, they may draw one circle around the two numbers. If they circle a 2 and a 3 together, for example, the score will be 2.5. (This gives the scorecard a 9-point scale.)
  6. Give participants about five minutes to look over the scorecard and criteria to get an idea of what it is about and what is expected, before they begin scoring.
  7. If you anticipate that there may be ambiguity in anyone’s mind about the wording and the meaning of any of the criteria (normally there will be) then read each criteria aloud to the group so all get the benefit of the facilitator’s interpretation. Ask them to score each item before you read the next criterion aloud.
  8. When they have finished scoring all 20 criteria, ask them to compute mean scores for each of the four sections of their scorecard. Demonstrate that this involves placing the score that they have given for each item in the right hand margin of the scorecard, next to that item. Then, add together the scores for the five items within each of the four sections to get a total for each section. Divide each by 5 to compute an average (mean) score for the Conservation, Production, Livelihoods and Institutions goals, respectively.
  9. Collect the forms.

Capturing the data

While participants are taking a break or engaged in another activity with one of the team leaders, the other team leader will take the following steps.

  1. Number the scorecards consecutively beginning with #1 by placing the number prominently at the top of each scorecard. If you have 20 participants the scorecards will be numbered from #1 through #20.
  2. Open the blank Landscape Performance Data Capture Form. Find the left column, labeled Stakeholder. If you have less than 20 participants, delete the remaining rows you will not need. For example, if you have 16 particpants, delete rows 17-20. If you have more than 20 participants, add rows somewhere in the middle of the form. If you add them at the end, the program will not be able to properly calculate the means/sd below.
  3. From each participant’s scorecard, take the average (mean) that they have computed for each section and insert it in under the heading that corresponds with each of the four landscape goals.
  4. As the mean scores for each scorecard are entered the Data Capture Tool will automatically compute the means and standard deviations for the group. It will also construct a Radar diagram from the data. The diagram depicts the mean scores for the four dimensions of the landscape to give viewers a visual image of comparative strengths and weaknesses across them.

An example of a completed Landscape Performance Data Capture Form for a landscape can be viewed by clicking the link.

Presenting the data

Present the radar diagram with the average scores computed at each of the four points on the diagram for all to see. Either project the diagram on the data capture form from a computer, or copy the diagram on to poster paper or a whiteboard. Let participants consider the information for a few minutes and ask them to think about what strikes them as most important or ‘telling’ about it without speaking to others. If they like, jot down their ideas.

Discussing the findings

Facilitate discussion about the findings for about 20-30 minutes. Ask participants what strikes them most about the findings based on the notes they jotted. Encourage everyone to speak even if there is repetition. Record comments.

During discussion, note points of ambiguity or confusion, convergence of opinion, and divergence of opinion concerning the meaning of the group’s scores. Note also any ‘hot issues’ that the data and the discussion seem to highlight concerning the performance of the landscape and factors that are affecting it. Probe whether certain areas or attributes of the landscape, or certain stakeholders, seem particularly vulnerable. This information will be useful later in choosing indicators to track over time.

Outlining next steps

Before dispersing make participants aware of next steps in the process of developing a measurement plan for the landscape. Outline potential roles for their involvement and encourage them to agree on a follow-up strategy, as appropriate. Encourage participants to discuss the exercise and the findings with colleagues, friends and neighbors. The point is to ensure they do not view the landscape performance scoring as an isolated exercise.

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