This manual is intended to help reef managers understand the steps in a socioeconomic assessment, and provide practical guidelines on how to conduct baseline socioeconomic assessments of coral reef stakeholders. The step-by-step process in this manual can be used to assess the socioeconomic background of coral reef stakeholders. The social, cultural and economic issues are discussed as well as the organisation and resource governance of coral reef management. The socioeconomic information collected and the processes suggested here will help reef managers in management, development, research, monitoring and policy at a site. The baseline information may also contribute to national, regional and international comparisons of data, which are useful for science and policy-making. This manual will also be used to gather socioeconomic information in parallel with biophysical assessments and monitoring being conducted by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) and Reef Check. Both involve collecting data on corals, fishes, other biota and physical parameters using transect lines across the reef. Reef Check works with communities and volunteers who have limited experience and training (see methods in www.reefcheck.org). GCRMN monitoring (methods in English et al. 1997) gathers more data on more parameters along the transects, but requires more training and takes more time than Reef Check protocols. The goal of GCRMN and Reef Check is to gather biophysical and socioeconomic data at the same time, and often with the same team collecting both types of data. This combination of biophysical and socioeconomic information will assist reef managers in sustainable management of the resources.