Project monitoring is now a standard requirement in natural resource management programs, bringing opportunities for greater accountability, adaptive management and social learning. While considerable effort has gone into designing appropriate monitoring frameworks and indicators for marine and coastal management, there has been less sharing of the mechanics of approaches that maximise collaboration and learning by multiple stakeholders. This paper outlines the project monitoring approach developed in the Pacific Islands International Waters Project (IWP), a project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) involving 14 Pacific Island Countries. We find that a monitoring approach based on indicators to assess supportive processes, behavioural change and human-environmental conditions is useful for monitoring the long- and short-term impacts associated with integrated coastal management programs. Giving project staff the lead in indicator development has supported more strategic project planning and improved the relevance and value of the indicators developed. However, successful implementation of monitoring programs calls for ongoing collaboration, technical support and capacity building amongst key stakeholders.