Planning Conservation Projects & Programs Using the Open Standards Curriculum
Key questions facing all conservation practitioners and organizations are: “What actions are needed to achieve our conservation goals?” and “Are our actions effective in achieving our conservation goals?” It is imperative to answer these questions to focus attention on the most important actions, to be able to adapt and change our actions over time, to learn about which actions work and do not work, and to convince our donors and society that conservation is a worthy investment.
This curriculum is a three-module (12 lesson), self-paced, online training program geared towards teaching the Conservation Open Standards. This curriculum is based on the Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP) Open Standards and covers Step 1 and Step 2 of the standards. These standards are the product of inputs, field tests, discussions, and debates among many CMP members and their partners.
You may choose to complete any of the lessons within each module; however, to receive a certificate of completion for either Step 1 or Step 2 you must complete the step assessment with a minimum score of 70%.
Click Enter to start a lesson; please note, in order to view the content within each lesson, please click Enroll when prompted.
Introduction to the Open Standards
The first module in the Open Standards curriculum is designed to give you an overview of adaptive management and a process for doing adaptive management for conservation projects.
Step 1: Conceptualize
The first step in the Open Standards involves specifying the basic parameters for your project in preparation for the design work that will come in Step 2. Step 1 encompasses the following 6 lessons:
1.1 Establishing the Project Team
Conservation does not happen on its own. Individuals and groups of individuals are the engines behind any conservation project or program. This lesson focuses on defining your project team.
1.2 Define Project Scope and Vision
Developing a clear scope and shared vision can be vital for your conservation project.
This lesson focuses on defining your project scope, vision and provides 6 steps to help you develop your scope and vision.
1.3 Identifying Conservation Targets
When planning and monitoring your conservation projects, it is useful to define your “targets.”
This lesson focuses on understanding and selecting conservation targets.
1.4 Viability Assessments
A viability assessment can help identify which of your targets are most in need of immediate attention.
This lesson provides 7 steps to help you conduct a viability assessment.
1.5 Identifying and Rating Critical Threats
Conservation takes place in the face of a wide variety of challenges or “threats.”
This lesson focuses on defining threats and provides 2 step-by-step methods for threat rating.
1.6 Situation Analysis
When considering your targets and threats, it is important to dive deeper into the root causes of the threats.
This lesson provides steps for conducting a situation analysis and building conceptual models.
Step 1: Conceptualize - Final Assessment and Survey
In order to receive your Step 1 certificate, you must complete a final assessment with a minimum grade of 70%.
Additionally, please complete a short survey to review the lessons in Step 1.
Step 2: Plan Actions and Monitoring
The second step in the Open Standards involves designing the specific strategies that you will undertake to achieve conservation. Step 2 encompasses the following 6 lessons:
A critical step in developing a good plan of action for your project is to set your ultimate goals.
This lesson provides 6 steps for developing goals and the criteria for good goals.
2.2 Determining Strategies
Next, you must brainstorm strategies that might change the situation.
This lesson focuses on evaluating your strategies and using rating and ranking tools to determine your final strategies.
2.3 Assumptions and Results Chains
Being explicit about what you expect will happen is important when evaluating how your strategies will work.
This lesson provides 5 steps for developing good results chains.
2.4 Developing Objectives
Objectives will help your team get an intermediate sense of its progress, before changes in the targets become clear.
This lesson provides 6 steps for developing a good set of objectives.
2.5 Identifying Actions
To implement your strategies and reach your objectives, you need specific activities (actions).
This lesson focuses on developing the activities that will contribute to your project’s conservation outcomes.
Monitoring is the periodic collection and evaluation of data relative to the project goals and objectives.
This lesson, focuses on using your planning work to develop a monitoring plan.
Step 2: Plan Actions and Monitoring - Final Assessment and Survey
In order to receive your Step 2 certificate, you must complete a final assessment with a minimum grade of 70%.
Additionally, please complete a short survey to review the lessons in Step 2.