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The state of capacity development evaluation in biodiversity conservation and natural resource management

Sterling, Eleanor J., Sigouin, Amanda, Betley, Erin, Zavaleta Cheek, Jennifer, Solomon, Jennifer N., Landrigan, Kimberley, Porzecanski, Ana L., Bynum, Nora, Cadena, Bailey, Cheng, Samantha H., and others. (2022) The state of capacity development evaluation in biodiversity conservation and natural resource management. Oryx, 56 (5). pp. 728-739. ISSN 0030-6053. (doi:10.1017/S0030605321000570) (KAR id:96674)


Capacity development is critical to long-term conservation success, yet we lack a robust and rigorous understanding of how well its effects are being evaluated. A comprehensive summary of who is monitoring and evaluating capacity development interventions, what is being evaluated and how, would help in the development of evidence-based guidance to inform design and implementation decisions for future capacity development interventions and evaluations of their effectiveness. We built an evidence map by reviewing peer-reviewed and grey literature published since 2000, to identify case studies evaluating capacity development interventions in biodiversity conservation and natural resource management. We used inductive and deductive approaches to develop a coding strategy for studies that met our criteria, extracting data on the type of capacity development intervention, evaluation methods, data and analysis types, categories of outputs and outcomes assessed, and whether the study had a clear causal model and/or used a systems approach. We found that almost all studies assessed multiple outcome types: most frequent was change in knowledge, followed by behaviour, then attitude. Few studies evaluated conservation outcomes. Less than half included an explicit causal model linking interventions to expected outcomes. Half of the studies considered external factors that could influence the efficacy of the capacity development intervention, and few used an explicit systems approach. We used framework synthesis to situate our evidence map within the broader literature on capacity development evaluation. Our evidence map (including a visual heat map) highlights areas of low and high representation in investment in research on the evaluation of capacity development.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1017/S0030605321000570
Uncontrolled keywords: Biodiversity conservation; capacity development; conservation outcomes; evaluation; evidence map; literature review; systems approach; systematic map
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Thirza Loffeld
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2022 10:35 UTC
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2022 10:58 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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Loffeld, Thirza A.C..

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