Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation
Open Standards, created by a consortium of foundations, non-governmental organizations and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was designed for scientific staff working on range-country conservation projects but has application in other fields. The Standards focus on a five-step project management cycle as best practices for any type of project design. The five steps: 1) conceptualize the project vision and context, 2) plan actions and monitoring, 3) implement actions and monitoring, 4) analyze data, use the results and adapt, and 5) capture and share learning, incorporate evaluation at key points. The authors recognize these standards are ideal, and incorporating all elements may not be feasible for all projects and each has unique opportunities and challenges, which may change over time. Authors encourage flexibility in the standards – their use is not limited to site based conservation projects but apply to landscape scale conservation. The process may also be adapted for projects dealing with the human dimension of conservation. The authors provide several graphic representations of conceptual project design, with several showing the relationship between conservation and human well-being objectives. Steps for moving from a conceptual plan to an implementation and monitoring plan include the creation of work plans timelines, budgets and application of evaluation. Adaptive management is the last step of the standards. Users are encouraged to ‘close the loop’ and apply lessons learned in the next project cycle, in an ongoing iterative process. The Open Standards are complete, but require some adaptation for use as a guide to education evaluation programs. Experienced evaluators and those working in the human dimensions of field conservation could find these standards useful.
Format and Retrieval
Conservation Measures Partnership (2013). Open standards for the practice of conservation (version 3.0).