While the heart of the program is a set of actions to improve conditions for fish and wildlife, the program also recognizes that these efforts are based on scientific knowledge that is imperfect. Thus, the program directs funding toward improving scientific knowledge through research, monitoring and evaluation.
The program emphasizes monitoring and evaluation of project implementation to ensure that the effects of the actions are measured and analyzed. The results of this monitoring and evaluation will help the Council select the best projects to implement the program in the future.
Data management also is important. By investing in improved data management, the program supports the research, monitoring, and evaluation strategies by making the results readily available. Improved data management also will enhance public accountability of the program by making the results accessible not only to specialists, but also to the public at large.
Research and evaluation expenditures through the program since 1982 total more than $200 million.