Dr. Rachel Eberhard has been an independent consultant since 2005. Rachel works with clients to improve environmental and natural resource management policy and programs, with a particular interest in collaboration, evaluation and adaptation. Rachel usually works with water and landscape programs at large scales (from catchments to cross-regional).
Rachel has over 25 years of experience in environmental and agricultural science, planning and policy. She combines a scientific approach to rigorous evidence, with a strong interest in the social and institutional processes of decision-making.
Clients include Commonwealth, State and Local Governments, regional natural resource management bodies, industry groups and the private sector. She is based in Queensland and Northern NSW, but works across Australia.
Planning and evaluation
Rachel offers technical synthesis, planning and design, brokerage and evaluation services. She was the lead author of the ‘management solutions’ chapter of the Great Barrier Reef Scientific Consensus Statement (2018). She has helped design, facilitate and evaluate the annual Great Barrier Reef synthesis forum over the last 3 years. She has written and reviewed regional natural resource management and water quality improvement plans.
Evaluation is currently a large part of Eberhard Consulting’s work. Rachel enjoys helping teams improve how they measure, assess and adapt what they do. Rachel is currently working with Natural Decisions to evaluate the $261 M Queensland Reef Water Quality Program (for the Office of the Great Barrier Reef). We’ve also teamed up to evaluate the Grazing Best Management Practice program in reef catchments for the Fitzroy Basin Association, and the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program in WA (for the Dept. of Water and Environmental Regulation).
Facilitation and brokerage
Rachel has had the privilege of helping many different stakeholder work together more effectively. Eberhard Consulting helped facilitate the establishment of several major cross-sectoral partnerships in the Great Barrier Reef (Reef Water Quality Partnership, Reef Alliance) and Central Queensland (Fitzroy Partnership for River Health), and has worked with the Queensland Natural Resource Management and agricultural industry network for many years. Rachel also facilitates planning, training or review workshops.
Rachel’s research interests are in the domain of environmental policy, including collaborative governance, metagovernance and policy coherence and impact. Her research interests have a strong applied flavour - to build and use knowledge to improve environmental and social outcomes.
Rachel recently finished a PhD on collaborative governance in the Great Barrier Reef and Murray Darling Basin, which received an Outstanding Dissertation Award (2018). You can read a short summary of her thesis findings here or download her thesis here.
Rachel iscurrently a casual Snr. Research Fellow role at the Queensland University of Queensland (looking at regional governance models for biosecurity) and holds an adjunct Research Fellow role at James Cook University.