Why Adoption of the Medical Model Would Cure Conservation Impact Evaluation

March 11, 2014

David Wilkie, WCS Director of Conservation Support, and Joshua Ginsberg, WCS SVP of Global Conservation, discuss an important cue conservationists can take from the medical community - measuring and evaluating success.

Ninety-six elephants are illegally killed for their tusks in Africa each day, and in the last decade central Africa lost 62 percent of its forests elephants from poaching. We know this because, when we can, conservation organizations, governments, and enlightened donors monitor and report the changing status of target wildlife populations as a way to evaluate the success, examine failures, and plot our future conservation actions.

Whether it is using scuba and snorkel surveys to track changes in coral reef health, systematic ranger and ecoguard patrolling to enforce wildlife laws and prevent crime, expert opinion interviews to assess strengths and weakness of natural resource governance, or household surveys to measure the livelihoods of families who share the landscapes in which we work, increasingly conservation organizations are committed to ensuring we measure what we manage.

Oddly, the deck is often stacked against us. Conservation practitioners are expected to use the funds they raise to devise strategies, implement actions and then evaluate their effectiveness. This model, where the practitioner is also evaluator, is imperfect for two reasons.

Continue reading the blog on NatGeo NewsWatch >>
~/media/Images/wcs org/forms/please donate to help conservation.png

Popular Tags