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A Note on Results-Based Conservation Dear Senior Managers, Implementing measures across the Conservancy involves far more than just getting the science.

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Presentation on theme: "A Note on Results-Based Conservation Dear Senior Managers, Implementing measures across the Conservancy involves far more than just getting the science."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Note on Results-Based Conservation Dear Senior Managers, Implementing measures across the Conservancy involves far more than just getting the science right. Fundamentally, its about becoming a more result-based organization and evolving the way we manage our portfolio of strategies and projects. This current plan addresses the measures component of Results-Based Conservation, which is an essential part of the picture. With the endorsement of this plan by the Conservation Leadership Team (CLT), responsibility for overseeing and implementing measures shifts from Central Science to Conservation Programsand especially to you, the Seniors Managers at all levels of the Organization. For the next couple of years, well be focusing measures investments on the strategies and projects defined by the CLT as priorities. While it wont include everything you are doing, it will reach down into most if not all of TNCs 80+ Operating Units. To become a results-based organization will take all of us doing our parts, and in truth we are well on our way toward that goal. Many thanks go to Craig Groves and Jeff Hardesty and their team of Senior Managers for leading the development of this current roadmap of next steps. I look forward to working with you in the coming months to implement this plan. Bill Ginn, Chief Conservation Officer Karen Poiani, Chief Conservation Strategy Officer I

2 Mainstreaming Strategy Effectiveness Measures Conservation Measures Business Plan Summary November 10, 2010 Senior Manager Measures Advisory Team Jeff Hardesty and Craig Groves (co-coordinators), Lise Hanners, Helen Taylor, Michael Cameron, Michael Looker, John Beavers, Chrissy Schwinn, Brian Richter, Technical Advisors – Jensen Montambault, Doria Gordon, Mauricio Castro Schmitz, Dan Salzer & Kirsten Evans FY

3 Conservation Measures Business Plan Summary 3 TABLE OF CONTENTS Important Background4 Audience & Scope5 5-Year Vision & 2-Year Goal6-7 Problems We Are Trying To Solve, Core Assumptions & Theory of Change 8-10 Key Measures Concepts11-13 Strategy Effectiveness Measures Level of Investment14 Major Components of Business Plan Implementation15-18 Evaluation of Costs19-22

4 Please Read: Important Context and Background Over the past 24 months, the Executive Team has initiated a number of related efforts to improve conservation management: 1.Refined organization-wide priorities (including approximately 14 global strategies and 70+ related field strategies and projects across all regions) 2.Developed and tested project and strategy-scale strategy effectiveness measures (including two Measures Summits) 3.Established semi-annual Chief Conservation Officer (CCO) management review of each Global Team and each Regions priority strategies and projects (including a CCO reporting dashboard and 2x/year discussion of high-level conservation results) 4.Strengthened strategies via improved business planning (including evaluating a new business planning approach and business plan summaries; implementing a pilot project with Bridgespan; and chartering a Central Science-led team to update conservation planning methods) This plan is closely related to and dependent on these key efforts 4

5 Audience & Scope of This Plan Primary AudienceTNC Senior Managers and Senior Conservation Leaders including: Executive Team members Conservation Leadership Team members Senior Managers of Field Programs and Global Teams Senior Conservation Leaders in Field Programs and Global Teams In addition, this plan will be relevant to many TNC scientists and field practitioners, plus selected foundation and government donors interested in results-based performance measures. Primary ScopeOrganization-Wide Priorities This plan encompasses the strategies and projects that are defined as directly supporting organization-wide priorities, whether implemented by Global Teams, Regions, individual Country or State programs, or other TNC management units* *Contact Karen Poiani, Chief Conservation Strategy Officer, your regional director or global team leader for a list of the priority strategies and projects covered by this plan. Once this list is finalized, it will be available and posted on the intranet. 5

6 Five Year Vision - Conservation Measures Business Plan Strategy evaluation and adaptive management are business as usual in all TNC Field Programs and Global Teams. Evaluating the effectiveness of TNCs most important strategies results in: Demonstrated progress towards intended conservation results Improved management decision-making Increased return on investment 1 Better understanding and management of risks 1 See Key Measures Terms, pages

7 Two Year Goals for Conservation Measures Business Plan (FY-11 and FY-12) 1.By June 2012, all Organization-Wide Priority Strategies and Projects have credible conservation business plans 2.75% of Priorities can report on progress on near-term actions, and are actively using results in an adaptive management fashion % of Priorities can report on progress toward achieving longer-term conservation outcomes (e.g., biodiversity, threats) 1 See Key Measures Terms, pages Contact Karen Poiani, Chief Conservation Strategy Officer, your regional director or global team leader for a list of the priority strategies and projects covered by this plan. Once this list is finalized, it will be available and posted on the intranet. 7

8 What Are the Problems We Are Trying to Solve With This Plan? TNC strategies are more ambitious than everbut expected results are sometimes unclear and evaluation of strategy effectiveness is spotty. Despite pockets of excellence, we are still challenged to answer basic management questions across much of our strategy portfolio: What results are we holding ourselves accountable for and are we making progress? Which strategies/actions 1 are working and which arent? What are important social and economic impacts of our strategies? Are we receiving an acceptable conservation return on our investments (ROI)? Donors are increasingly focused on results and validating the ROI of their investments and measures could become a TNC competitive advantage. A recent survey 2 of large conservation foundations and NGOs commissioned by the foundations estimated that for every conservation dollar spent, only about one dimes- worth was guided by results-based management (i.e., only one in ten projects could evaluate whether results were achieved) Perception that evaluating TNC strategies/actions is complicated and costly. TNCs conservation-related management and planning approaches need updating and we can be more efficient in the delivery of support. 1 Including cross-cutting strategies that are being implemented concurrently in multiple projects across TNC. 2 Muir, MJ (Draft 2010) Are we measuring conservation effectiveness? A survey of current results-based management practices in the conservation community. Unpublished report. 8

9 Core Assumptions of Conservation Measures Business Plan Measures only make sense as a component of ongoing planning and evaluation of strategy effectiveness and results Ongoing planning and strategy evaluation are costs of doing business Evaluating the effectiveness of strategies will lead to improved conservation ROI for both individual projects/strategies as well as the strategy portfolio of a Global Team, TNC region or Operating Unit Sufficient capacity and funding exists now within Global Teams, Central Science, the Chief Conservation Officer, and Field Programs to markedly advance measures around Priorities but realignment of capacity and funding will be needed in some field programs for some projects and strategies Focusing on strategy effectiveness will give us a competitive advantage with an increasing number of major individual and foundation donors 9

10 Theory of Change for Mainstreaming Strategy Effectiveness Measures 10 If the TNC Board, CEO and senior managers all agree on organization-wide strategy/project priorities – then senior managers will have much needed certainty and continuity about where and how to invest resources, including in measuring results; If the Chief Conservation Officer (CCO) focuses on accountability for conservation results based on effective strategies – then senior managers will invest in measuring results and more rigorously evaluating strategy effectiveness, especially for strategies and projects deemed priorities; If early adopting senior managers can demonstrate that systematic application of best practices improves their management decisions and is cost effective – then other senior managers will learn from these examples and will adopt what works; If the CCO and senior conservation leaders agree on a set of flexible, stable, and achievable best practices for conservation business planning, measures, and peer review – then managers will make smart and appropriate investments in capacity; If senior managers are themselves engaged in regular evaluation of their project and strategy portfolios and if evaluation focuses on strategy robustness and progress against intended results – then strategies, results, learning, and ROI will rapidly improve over time.

11 Key Measures Concepts (1) Return on investment (or ROI). ROI as used in this business plan refers to the staff and financial resources invested in a set of strategies and actions and the conservation gains or return made as a result of these investments. The assumption is that by routinely evaluating the effectiveness of our strategies and actions and making course corrections where necessary, we will improve ROI, whether qualitatively or quantitatively. Adaptive management (or Results-Based Management). Adaptive management refers to a typical project management cycle of Plan-Do-Check-Adapt. Outside TNC the phrase results-based management is gaining traction in the conservation and foundation community as synonymous but preferable terminology to adaptive management because it focuses on the ultimate purpose of adaptive management--conservation impact. 11

12 Key Measures Concepts (2) Strategy Effectiveness Measures (SEM): SEM refers to measurable objectives and indicators of a strategy. By repeated monitoring of indicators over time, we analyze progress towards these measurable objectives. Using the results of monitoring to make course corrections in strategies allows us to practice adaptive management. Outside TNC, the application of SEM and monitoring is often referred to as monitoring & evaluation or as part of results-based management. Monitoring: Monitoring can be cheap and easy such as when we are simply checking to see if we accomplished intermediate steps in a longer-term strategy (e.g., writing a protected area management plan, setting up a trust fund, purchasing land). In other situations, we need to make more substantial investments in monitoring to determine whether we are achieving longer-term conservation outcomes (e.g., improving the viability of a species or ecosystem). A critical point is that only a small percentage (< 10%) of organization-wide priority strategies and projects should require a substantial investment in sophisticated monitoring, perhaps an additional quarter to a third will require modest investments, while the remaining projects should need only relatively small investments. 12

13 Key Measures Concepts (3) Cross-cutting Strategies: These are strategies that are being implemented concurrently at multiple projects across the Conservancy (e.g., MPAs). To evaluate these strategies, managers need to be clear on what questions should be asked, who wants the answers to the questions, and how the answers would be used. Syntheses of Commonly-used Strategies (Meta-analyses): TNC deploys some conservation strategies that are widely used internally and externally. Previously published syntheses or meta-analyses of the effectiveness of these strategies could benefit field staff (made available on the Conservation Gateway web site) by saving time and money in evaluating effectiveness. New syntheses produced by TNC staff could accomplish the same. Social and economic Measures and Impacts: Most evaluations of effectiveness in TNC have been focused on biodiversity or threat-related measures. In the future, we intend to place more emphasis on evaluating social and economic impacts of some strategies. A new social scientist has been hired in Central Science to help with this effort. 13

14 Level of Investment in Strategy Evaluation Level and rigor of investment in strategy evaluation should be commensurate with the risk, uncertainty, and cost involved in implementing a project or strategy. Risk can take several forms- legal, ecological, and institutional. Legal refers to risk related to various laws and policies. Ecological refers to strategies that may result in the extirpation or significant loss of a conservation target. Institutional risk involves situations where TNCs reputation may be at stake if a strategy or project is unsuccessful. Uncertainty refers to the uncertainty inherent in successfully implementing a particular strategy or actions. Cost refers to the capital and operating funds and staff time involved in implementing a strategy or action and/or to the costs born by partners or donors. Relatively greater risk, uncertainty, and cost implies a proportionally greater investment in evaluation to demonstrate a connection of cause and effect between the actions TNC takes and the response of conservation targets or threats, or to justify costs. 14

15 Major Implementation Components 1.Managing for Results: Mainstreaming Strategy Evaluation in TNC Management 2.Evaluating Effectiveness in Organization-Wide Priority Strategies and Projects 3.Advancing New Concepts in Conservation Measures 15

16 1: Managing for Results: Mainstreaming Strategy Evaluation in TNC Management Expected June 2012 Result: Senior managers in the field and global teams are actively applying a set of basic conservation management best practices* that have been tested and proven useful and effective by a group of early adopters. Objective 1: Relatively simple and flexible best practices* for project &strategy management, conservation business planning, peer review, and measures will be established in consultation with senior managers. Objective 2: A group of senior manager early adopters applies and evaluates the management impacts, benefits and costs of implementing best practices. Objective 3: Expected conservation results and progress for global priority projects and strategies will be systematically discussed during CCO semi-annual management review process. Objective 4: Best practices will be modified to reflect lessons learned. Objective 5: By Feb/Mar 2012 CCO management review, the priority strategies & projects of each TNC Region and Global Team will begin reporting on progress toward adoption of best practices. *Examples of potential best practices: Every organization-wide priority strategy and project has developed a conservation business plan that meets basic content requirements; plan and progress are peer-reviewed at least annually by the accountable senior managers and team, with periodic peer review by experts external to team. 16

17 2: Evaluating Effectiveness in Organization- Wide Priority Strategies and Projects Expected June 2012 Results: All organization-wide priority strategies and projects have developed business plans, including strategy effectiveness measures, designed monitoring programs as appropriate, and are able to report on progress towards results. Objective 1: ET/CLT, Senior Managers, Priority Project/Strategy Directors & Teams, and Conservation Coaches have the appropriate level of skills, knowledge, and tools needed for developing strategy effectiveness measures and understand best practices and their respective roles and responsibilities. Actions: Online orientation-training, written guidance materials Objective 2: All organization-wide priorities have support and training needed to develop strategy effectiveness measures, design appropriate monitoring programs, and start implementing adaptive management. Actions: Online measures training courses and guidance; conservation coaches and Coda fellows provide direct support in business planning and measures; peer review workshops Objective 3: The majority of organization-wide priorities are using ConPro to track and report strategy effectiveness measures and monitoring information as well as prepare summaries of conservation business plans and progress dashboards. Actions: Online tutorial, WebEx training, & tech support for ConPro; automated measures reports available via ConPro 17

18 3: Advancing New Concepts in Conservation Measures Expected June 2012 Results: Senior Managers and Project Directors recognize benefits and costs of evaluating cross-cutting strategies; project teams are applying lessons-learned from published syntheses on effectiveness of commonly applied strategies; pilot projects have evaluated socio- economic measures; and global data on status of terrestrial, freshwater, and marine systems are updated and publicly available. Objective 1: The usefulness and practicality of multi-project analyses of the effectiveness of cross- cutting strategies has been tested and evaluated. Actions: Implement standard monitoring protocol for Sustainable Rivers Partnership demo sites Objective 2: Published syntheses of the effectiveness of strategies that are commonly used by Priority Projects/Strategies have been made available to field programs to help determine investment in SEM-monitoring. Actions: Published syntheses available to project teams, additional syntheses developed Objective 3: The effectiveness of socio-economic strategies has been tested and evaluated in 5 Priority Projects/Strategies across TNC. Actions: Direct support to project teams, socio-economic needs assessment, online resources Objective 4: Global data on the status of freshwater, marine, and terrestrial major habitats made publicly available via Google Maps with ongoing updating of data for re-analysis of global conservation opportunities and needs. 18

19 Evaluating Costs of Measures Business Plan Implementation: Background –Costs per project/strategy vary widely depending on a number of factors; thus, estimates of total costs to TNC are not particularly meaningful See slide 20 for an estimated range of average costs to field programs and slides 21 and 22 for an estimate of central costs –Sources of measures funding also vary widely, from small pots of internal funding to multi-million dollar grants, and defy easy analysis or summary Major assumption: Sufficient capacity and funding exists now within Central Science, the CCO Office, Global Teams and Field Programs to implement this plan--but realignment of capacity and funding may be needed in some Field Programs for some projects and strategies –Uses of funding encompass the full cycle of strategy/project adaptive management, including: Initial and on-going conservation business planning and measures development; monitoring; on-going evaluation and peer review 19

20 Estimated Average Field Program Costs per Organization-Wide Priority Project/Strategy PERSONNEL COSTS OVER 2 YEARS* Average Low Investment Average Medium Investment Average High Investment Business Planning & Measures Training15-person -days (=$6K) Business Planning including Measures 24 person-days or.05 FTEs/yr (=$10k) 65 person-days or.14 FTEs/yr (=$26k) 120 person-days or.26 FTEs/yr (=$48k) Initial Monitoring Design 4 person-days or.01 FTEs/yr (=$2k) 10 person-days or.02 FTEs/yr (=$4k) 20 person-days or.04 FTEs/yr (=$8k) Implementing Monitoring 10 person-days or.02 FTEs/yr (=$4k) 100 person-days or.22 FTEs/yr (=$40k) 500 person-days or 1.1 FTEs/yr (=$200k) Evaluation (incl. external peer review)12 person-days or.03 FTEs/yr (=$5k) 20 person-days or.04 FTEs/yr (=$8k) 30 person-days or.07 FTEs/yr (=$12k) Complexity, Uncertainty, Risk & Strategy Cost *Cost based on $400/person-day (USD $75K annual salary + benefits); FTEs based on US 228 work days/yr 20

21 Estimated Central Programs Costs – Components 1 & 2 *Cost based on $400/person-day (USD $75K annual salary + benefits); FTEs based on US 228 work days/yr **Coaches and Fellows are generally paid for by combination of Field and Central programs 2-Year Estimated Support Costs* Best practices development and evaluation 120 person-days (= $48,000) Online training & guidance materials 160 person-days (= $64,000 ) Coaches and Fellows** working with Global Teams & Field Project/Strategy teams 15 Coach-days/project (= $6,000) x 40 projects = 600 Coach-days (=$240,000) 20 fellow-days/project (=$8,000) $200,000 travel and workshop costs for 20 monitoring fellows Business plan/measures peer review workshops 560 person-days ( 14 p-days x 40 projects) (=$224,000) $400, 000 travel-workshop costs ( 40 projects) 21

22 Estimated 2-Year Central Science Costs – Component 3 *Cost based on $400/person-day (USD $75K annual salary + benefits); FTEs based on US 228 work days/yr **Coaches and Fellows are generally paid for by combination of Regional and Central programs. Estimated 2-Year Central Science Costs* Evaluation of Multi-Site and Cross-Cutting Strategies $600,000 Evaluation of commonly used strategies Two interns ($20,000 total) Evaluation of socioeconomic strategies 1.25 FTEs 2 Coda Fellows ($30K) Global major habitat data availability and reanalysis 540 person-days (Moore Foundation) 22


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