Management effectiveness evaluation is defined as the assessment of how well protected areas are being managed – primarily the extent to which management is protecting values and achieving goals and objectives. The term management effectiveness reflects three main ‘themes’ in protected area management: <ul class='square_dot_ul'> <li>design issues relating to both individual sites and protected area systems;</li> <li>adequacy and appropriateness of management systems and processes; and</li> <li>delivery of protected area objectives including conservation of values.</li> </ul> Evaluation of management effectiveness is recognised as a vital component of responsive, pro-active protected area management. As well as being an essential tool at local, regional and national level, evaluation also has an increasing international context. Nations are agreeing to report on progress in conservation to their peers through institutions such as the World Heritage Convention and the Convention on Biological Diversity. In the latter, nations have committed to develop systems of assessing management effectiveness and to report on 30 per cent of their protected areas by 2010. These and other external demands for information on status and trends in protected area management, combined with the need for more data to meet the practical challenges of managing protected areas, have led to a rapid increase in interest in monitoring and evaluation.