In the Philippines, formation of MPA networks is seen as a means to improve management of existing MPAs by forging collaborative partnerships among local governments to coordinate initiatives and share information and resources. Although forging partnerships is widely advocated because of the beliefs of the benefits it brings, there is very little empirical evidence about the management performance of MPA networks, and the extent to which networks enhance the management of individual MPAs. In this paper, we present measures of the management performance of collaborative partnerships to coordinate management of MPA networks. To evaluate performance of MPA networks managed by multiple governance units, we used a combination of quantitative and qualitative survey tools (e.g. performance assessment tools, interviews, perception surveys), and synthesized the results using a scoring rubric and analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. We evaluated three MPA networks in the Philippines with different sizes, histories, and objectives to test our research methods. We found that our approach improved overall evaluation of the performance of MPA networks and individual MPAs. Moreover, our analysis for each MPA network showed different combinations of outcomes, highlighting the importance of using a suite of research methods and tools. We found that MPA networks furthered the development and effectiveness of spatial management in the Philippines. However, the objectives of the collaborative partnerships, their histories, and the diversity and complexity of governance (e.g. more diverse interests with increasing number of participating institutions) had a mixed effect on the management of networks and of individual MPAs. The outcomes of this research provide an approach to evaluating management performance that can facilitate the establishment and strengthening of MPA networks in areas similar to the Philippines with multiple governance units and complex social, economic, and political contexts.