In 2014, the first internationally negotiated instrument dealing specifically with artisanal and small-scale fisheries known as the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines) was endorsed. The scope of the SSF Guidelines is to promote globally a human rights-based approach, covering every social and economic aspect of fisheries governance relevant to all activities undertaken by men and women, in marine and inland waters fisheries value chains. To support and promote the implementation of this important instrument, systematic monitoring is needed in accordance with the provisions in paragraph 13.4, calling for “participatory assessment methodologies that allow a better understanding and documentation of the true contribution of small-scale fisheries to sustainable resource management for food security and poverty eradication”.

This handbook aims to support such monitoring and contains a Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Framework for the SSF Guidelines implementation (MEL4SSF). It provides a clear and accessible guide and a step-by-step process, using the theory of change methodology. The aim is to help all those engaged in the monitoring of the SSF Guidelines at the local or national level, including governments and stakeholder organizations, and promote participatory processes in line with paragraph 13.5 of the SSF Guidelines