The strategies and objectives of conservation projects are varied. As well as positive impacts on biodiversity (reflected in the population size, trends or distribution of species, extent or quality of habitat, and/or reductions in threats), they may include changing attitudes and behaviours, influencing policy and decision-making, raising awareness, building capacity or improving livelihoods and wellbeing. Much conservation is undertaken through small- and medium-scale grants and projects.
Monitoring the impacts of such efforts creates particular challenges, and as a result it is often difficult to determine their impact, even though this is critical to an organisation’s ability to:
- Demonstrate effectiveness and so access continued funding
- Learn from experience and develop and apply good practice and approaches that work
- Share experiences to benefit the global community
- Carry out evidence-based conservation interventions, policy and advocacy
There exists considerable experience of methods for impact assessment among CCI and other conservation organisations. However, many CCI organisations are struggling to effectively monitor impacts of SMCPs in a simple, yet scientifically credible manner because of insufficient guidance for less resource-intensive approaches. Yet donors are increasingly looking for more evidence-based impacts of the projects they fund.
This project will bring together academics and conservation practitioners, working across a range of disciplines (social and natural sciences, policy, education and awareness), together with relevant donors to review and evaluate experience, identify good practice and develop guidance suited to the challenges. The purpose of this project is to develop tools and guidance to improve the way in which conservation practitioners assess the impacts of small-medium budget conservation projects (SMCPs), and so contribute to an improvement in evidence-based conservation delivery, efficiency and effectiveness in the long-term.
This project is funded by the CCI Collaborative Fund for Conservation