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Challenges in the impact evaluation of behaviour change interventions: The case of sea turtle meat and eggs in São Tomé

Thomas‐Walters, Laura, Vieira, Sara, Jiménez, Victor, Monteiro, Domingas, Ferreira, Betânia, Smith, Robert J., Veríssimo, Diogo (2020) Challenges in the impact evaluation of behaviour change interventions: The case of sea turtle meat and eggs in São Tomé. People and Nature, 2 (4). pp. 913-922. ISSN 2575-8314. (doi:10.1002/pan3.10162) (KAR id:85677)

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Robust impact evaluations are needed for conservation to learn and grow as a field. Currently we lack a large body of evidence on the effects of behaviour change interventions in social‐ecological systems. By uncovering mechanistic relationships and establishing causality we can refine future programmes to enhance likelihood of effectiveness. Although a range of sophisticated methodological approaches to evaluation have been developed, conceptually linking project outcomes with conservation impacts remains difficult in complex systems.

However, multiple unforeseen difficulties arose which complicated attempts at causal attribution. We were hampered by spatial spillovers, design effects from the sensitive questioning technique, concurring law enforcement and changes in biological monitoring effort. These challenges highlight the difficulties faced by practitioners seeking to apply impact evaluations in the field. We reflect on what this means for future impact evaluations of behaviour change interventions in conservation. Our recommendations include combining multiple outcome measures to triangulate hard‐to‐measure behaviours and theory‐based evaluation methods to explore causal impacts.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1002/pan3.10162
Uncontrolled keywords: aquatic behaviour, change, bushmeat, conservation, social science, consumer research, demand reduction, illegal behaviour, marketing, São Tomé and Príncipe, unmatched count technique, wildlife trade, wildmeat
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Bob Smith
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2021 17:27 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:17 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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