2014 Initiatives Sessions

Photo Credit: Rachel Neugarten

A. Introducing the Mira App: Quick, Take a Picture!

Laura Geiger, Lydia Gaskell (WWF)

Abstract: Every conservationist has experienced this: the sudden discovery of something in the middle of nowhere. That discovery, that knowledge is part of a bigger picture that could make or break a conservation plan. The Mira App, which follows the mapping scheme of the Open Standards and the Miradi software, wants to help field workers – from advanced techies to newbies – efficiently record and monitor the threats, risks, and successes in an ecosystem for a more evidenced-based conservation planning. Because the App can be accessed on the smartphone even while offline, it makes systematic data collection possible even in the most distant and hostile places. Data stored in the App can be generated into reports and shared to other field workers, smoothing communication lines between people who are often thousands of miles apart.


B. How Can We Best Adapt OS Tools to Support Climate Adaptation?

Marcia Brown (FOS), Judy Boshoven (FOS), John Morrison (WWF)

Abstract: This session is intended to revive the CMP Climate Change Working Group. CMP members worked to incorporate climate change into Version 3.0 of the CMP Open Standards. Since the release of Version 3.0, several CMP member organizations have been testing different ways to adjust some of the tools in the Open Standards toolbox to help conservation teams develop strategies that incorporate climate adaptation. The purpose of this session is to give members a chance to share their experiences and discuss the pros and cons of different approaches to incorporating vulnerability of targets to climate changes into a situation analysis and threat rating, selecting strategies that help targets adapt to climate change, and incorporating climate-related results into results chains. The group will also discuss the possibility of working together to produce CMP-sponsored guidance to help conservation practitioners use the Open Standards to address climate change.


C. Improving Step 3 of the Open Standards: Implementation

Annette Stewart (BH)

Abstract: Lots of conservation projects get planned, and planned well thanks to the Open Standards. But anecdotally it seems that not all get implemented well, with many failing to proceed through all stages of the Open Standards cycle and prove that the project has had a measurable impact. Why is it that good project plans fail to be implemented, or implemented well? This session aims to focus in on Step 3 – the “Implementing” bit – to identify the key barriers to good implementation, and work on options for overcoming them. At the session we’d like to hear about projects that you’ve been involved in, or that you know of, that have not proceeded to implementation or that have failed during implementation. From this discussion we’ll try to distill some common themes, and then think about what additional types of tools, guidance or training would help more project teams move confidently through the implementation step and on around the Open Standards cycle. This should lead to a list of potential next steps that could be undertaken to build the supporting materials.


D. Funder Use and Promotion of the Open Standards

Alan Holt (MAC)

Abstract: One of CMP’s explicit strategies in the 2012 Strategic Plan was to engage with both private foundations and public sector funders to get them to a) use the Open Standards in developing their own program plans, and b) promote use of Open Standards by their applicants and grantees, ranging from gentle suggestions to specific mandates. Our assumption was that these uses of the Open Standards would lead to both more targeted and effective funding programs, as well as more efficient transactions between funders and their potential and current grantees. With several OS-inclined funders in attendance, this meeting presents a great chance to critically examine our collective experiences with this strategy to date. At this session, we will ask several funders to report on their experiences with the Open Standards as well as ask representatives of grantee organizations to share their perspective on this situation. We will then examine the theory of change behind this strategy and discuss if adaptations and modifications might be needed.


E. How to Ensure the Sustainability of Programme Exits and Transformations

Lydia Gaskell (WWF), Will Beale (WWF-UK), Christina Kakoyannis (NFWF),

Abstract: NFWF and WWF-UK have spent 18 months learning how exit responsibly out of programmes, countries of work, and funding of projects. We have drafted some guidance and tools and started to apply them. This session will take the case studies and recommendations and work through some of the practicalities of taking Exits and Sustainability to the next stage within the OS – ‘building exits into programme design. Click here for presentation.


F. Not Just What and How, But Also Where – Adding Spatial Analyses to the Open Standards

Nick Salafsky (FOS), Dan Salzer (TNC), Annette Stewart (BH), John Morrison (WWF)

Abstract: Imagine being able to put an Open Standards conservation project on a spatial map. You might have one polygon to represent the project boundary. Additional polygons to represent targets, threats, strategies, actions, and monitoring locations. Clicking on the polygon on the map would open up the same dialogue box that you might see clicking on a factor in Miradi. And with this basic information, you could then run spatial analyses, aggregating information and intersecting project elements with other map layers. The new CMP Spatial Open Standards Initiative is working to make this vision a reality. Come help us do it. Please review the Spatial Initiative Working Doc.


G. Developing CMP Evaluation Guidelines

Richard Margoluis (FOS), Amielle DeWan (IFAW), Sheila O’Connor (WWF)

Abstract: Over the years since the inception of the CMP Open Standards, there has been a lot of confusion in the conservation community on two things: 1) How to apply standard evaluation principles (from the professional field of Evaluation) to conservation actions; and 2) How the Open Standards relate to evaluation design and implementation. More recently, various individual CMP member orgs have produced some relevant publications on these subjects. The purpose of this CMP Initiative is to pull together all CMP members to come to consensus on good evaluation practice in conservation, incorporating, where appropriate, the Open Standards.


H. From Soup to Nuts: Building the Recipe for Institutional Adoption of the Open Standards

Amielle DeWan (IFAW), Nathan Herschler (IFAW), Jeff Hardesty (TNC)

Abstract: Getting our organizations to adopt and use the Open Standards at the project level is challenging enough, but operationalizing results based management at all organization levels presents a whole host of new issues and challenges. What kinds of strategic decisions do senior leaders need to make—or should be making if they aren’t? How are decisions actually made and who makes them? What information do they use—or need? How are decision-making and adaptive management operationalized and connected top to bottom? What supporting systems need to be in place? IFAW, TNC and others will share a few challenges and lessons learned but the primary focus will be to identify a few common challenges and see if there’s interest in working on them together. Please join us for what promises to be a lively and stimulating session!


I. Conservation Name-Calling 2.0: Proposed Revisions and Extensions to the CMP Threat and Action Standard Classifications

Matt Muir (FWS), Adam Barlow (WildTeam), Nick Salafsky (FOS), Shawn Peabody (EI)

Abstract: Published in 2008 in Conservation Biology, the IUCN-CMP Threat and Action Classifications have been used to classify tens of thousands of species, projects, and sites. A common language has never been more important to share between conservation organizations and natural resource agencies, and this presentation will unveil the proposed Version 2.0 of the first two levels of the classifications. It will also cover two brand new classifications in their “beta” version: (1) stresses, and (2) Level 3 & 4 classes of actions. Participants will gain the latest thinking on how to classify how threats act on conservation targets, and more specific labels for the existing types of threats and actions, and will be asked to identify any outstanding issues before publishing these new tools.


J. Human Wellbeing Guidance: What Have We Learned?

Caroline Stem (FOS), Ilke Tilders (FOS), Daniel Hayden (Rare), David Wilkie (WCS)

Abstract: Two years have passed since CMP produced guidance on addressing human wellbeing in the context of the Open Standards. This initial guidance was grounded in solid theoretical constructs but had limited practical experience upon which to draw. Practicing the principles of adaptive management, we want to know: how have teams used the guidance, has it been useful, under what conditions has it been useful, and how could we improve future iterations of the guidance. The session will include presentations sharing experiences, successes, and challenges – as a lead into a deeper conversation on improving the guidance. Click here for presentation.


K. Promoting the Open Standards

John Morrison (WWF), Amielle DeWan (CMP)

Abstract: The Open Standards are the flagship product of the Conservation Measures Partnership and the basis for much of the CCNet’s work. CMP has done a good job developing and maintaining the Open Standards. And with our new website, we now have a great web platform to promote the Open Standards and associated tools. But if we are to realize our collective vision, what else can we be doing to promote these tools both within our organizations and beyond? Come to this session to help us answer this question.


L. Miradi Software Feedback & Roadmap Session

Dan Salzer (TNC)

Abstract: Miradi adaptive management software is one of CMP’s flagship products. We are currently planning a number of new features and changes for Miradi 5.0 which is scheduled to be released in 2015. Come and see what we have in mind and provide feedback to the Miradi team about what you think the software does well and what could be improved. Summary notes from this session available here.


M. Selecting and Using Program and Other Organizational Level Data in Decision Making

Kevin Pierson (Audubon), Will Beale/Sheila O’Connor (WWF), Dan Salzer (TNC)

Abstract: Does your organization struggle with common rolled-up enterprise level data management? Have you decided what you need to know programmatically at an organization level? What other types of operational data are being used at an organizational level? Is there an opportunity to share lessons on common indicators, data management and uses? And links to external indicators sets such as CBD Aichi targets? WWF and Audubon will introduce ideas as well as issues, and look to group discussion and group marketing of their own ways of tackling enterprise level data management, join us! Click here for Audubon’s presentation. Click here for WWF’s presentation.


N. The CampaignTracker: Rare’s New Centralized Reporting Tool for Tracking the Progress and Quality of its Campaigns Around the World

Liz Tully (Rare), Daniel Hayden (Rare)

Abstract: This presentation is for professionals who are building brand new M&E or reporting systems or improving pre-existing M&E or reporting systems for measuring and tracking programmatic quality and results. The CampaignTracker is a tool built to house Rare’s reporting tools and processes that provide a consistent global language with which to measure and assess the progress and quality of Rare’s work around the world. Rare built this tool to capture the data we need from the field about the progress of our projects in a way that does not become a reporting burden or a barrier for our implementation staff to get done their ACTUAL work done on the ground. Not only does this tool allow us to centralize and standardize how we measure and track project quality and progress but it significantly reduces the work required to do so. Click here for presentation.


O. Measuring Our Impacts

David Wilkie (WCS)

Abstract: The Open Standards and Miradi have done much to improve project planning and promoting adaptive management. But what advice can we offer on how best to gather data on the status of our conservation and human wellbeing targets, the level of threats to conservation targets, and the strengths or weaknesses of the governance systems we put in place to abate threats and promote sustainable use? This break out session will offer a forum for CMP members to share how they are monitoring what they manage in an effort to begin to identify best practices. Background Materials: Overview of 5 measures; A pitch for an alternative model for conservation impact evaluation. Click here for presentation.


P. Measuring the Same Things: The Case for a Simple Standard Indicators System

Madeleine Bottrill, Rachel Neugarten (CI), David Wilkie (WCS), Louise Glew (WWF-US)

Abstract: Hundreds of indicators have been proposed to measure the performance of conservation and development projects. Each new initiative typically develops its own indicators, leading to duplication of effort and lack of consistency. Yet, many organizations and projects are often measuring similar trends with shared intentions of tracking international policy goals, such as the CBD Aichi targets. A multidisciplinary, accessible “library” of indicators, aligned to conceptual models linking actions to outcomes, is needed to promote efficiency and share knowledge. We propose a session that aims to: present examples of standard indicators already being used by CMP members; review similar efforts (e.g. Biodiversity Indicators Partnership); and discuss what an indicators library would look like, how it would be used, and what resources are needed. The Conservation Measures Partnership is uniquely positioned to support a global indicators library, given its role as a convener of multiple conservation organizations, donors, and government agencies.


Q. Using Standard Results Chains to Measure Effectiveness: Conservation Actions and Measures Library (CAML)

Nick Salafsky (FOS), Dan Salzer (TNC)

Abstract: CAML is an open source library housing standard theories of change for conservation actions. CAML contains Miradi files and generic results chains for over 20 conservation actions organized by the IUCN-CMP Standard Classification of Conservation Actions. CAML can help practitioners find theories of change that serve as templates for their project’s specific conservation actions. It can also help managers and funders develop standard objectives and performance indicators to report on similar actions across a portfolio of actions. It is our hope that CAML will provide the basis for systematic learning about the conditions under which different actions work. Click here for presentation.