• Description

The conservation community needs smarter and more successful actions to improve the impact of its work. For example, it is not always clear how to create training programmes that improve performance in a lasting way, or what the ingredients of a successful conservation partnership are, or how donors can set up funding so that grantees can work in a strategic and sustainable way.

One way of designing successful, effective actions is through using insights from evidence-based learning. Recent years have seen significant steps forward in developing concepts for defining and using evidence in conservation. In late 2021, the MAVA Foundation, Foundations of Success (FOS), and Conservation Evidence joined forces in an initiative to build further on this work.

Combining the strengths of their approaches with MAVA's treasure of nearly 30 years of conservation data, they set out to formulate assumptions and collect evidence to answer key learning questions. The results of this joint work are now available on the Conservation Learning Initiative website (https://conservation-learning.org/) and in a consolidated report.

The website and report present:

  • A practical 5-step approach for evidence-based learning in conservation, designed for combining different sources of evidence, dealing with differences in reliability and relevance, and drawing conclusions.
  • Valuable insights based on data regarding four widely used conservation strategies: capacity-building, forming partnerships and alliances, providing flexible funding, and research and monitoring.

The lessons learned will help conservationists fine-tune their work or investment to increase their conservation impact. By applying the approach on their own data, they can learn from evidence to make better decisions and improve strategies over time.