SGS was engaged by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to develop a monitoring and reporting framework for Plan Melbourne 2016. While public reporting on metropolitan strategy performance is relatively commonplace for some cities, Melbourne does not currently have such arrangements in place. The objectives for the revised monitoring and report framework were to:
- Provide quality information to the community, government and industry about the effectiveness of Plan Melbourne in achieving its objectives
- Increase transparency and accountability in decision-making by better defining the relationship between the evaluation of performance and the continuation of Plan Melbourne
- Build public confidence in the planning system and increase community ownership of Plan Melbourne
- Monitor progress of Plan Melbourne implementation.
The monitoring and reporting framework comprised both indicators and measures (relevant data sources) which aligned with the key policy directions outlined in Plan Melbourne. The development of the framework drew on SGS’ extensive knowledge of existing publicly released data sets, as well as engagement with data custodians across government, and a national and international review of monitoring and reporting frameworks. Ultimately, the framework identified 41 indicators and 41 measures to monitor the 31 policy directions.
The final monitoring and reporting framework acknowledged:
- The degrees to which government has influence over policy indicators (strong – weak)
- Variation in the link between indicators and policy directions (i.e. there is often not a ‘perfect’ indicator for a policy direction)
- The need to establish a ‘baseline’ of data for the indicators
- Targets for indicators can help establish if or when an objective has been delivered. Setting targets should be time bound and consider both recent trends in the indicator as well as the breadth of factors that impact each indicator.