How do we know what impacts MPAs and other coastal management tools are having on the lives of people who live nearby? This information is critical for management decisions, but often lacking. The Global Socioeconomic Monitoring Initiative for Coastal Management (SocMon) works through regional and local partners to conduct community-based socioeconomic monitoring. Partners collect household and community level data about dependence on coral reef resources, perceptions of resource conditions, threats to marine and coastal resources, and support for strategies such as marine protected areas. Take a look at some of these monitoring exercises and learn about findings, lessons learned and challenges facing effective use of human dimensions data as part of coastal resource management.