Evaluating Partnerships in Conservation

Introduction, The Interplay and Logic Models highlight evaluation concepts including Wicked Problems and the Theory of Change as well as tools related to planning, implementing and assessing the conservation activities of partnerships.

Assessment reveals concepts that support an evaluator's toolkit including Random, Quasi and Natural Experiments. Learn more about qualitative and quantitative choices in data collection. Test the evaluation methodology selected with consideration of validity, usefulness, feasibility and distribution of the results. Learn more about what comprises a good evaluation.

Practical Tips provides useful insights on evaluation capacity building (ECB) through internal and/or third party evaluation expertise.

Introduction: Discussion Questions

1. What is an example of a wicked problem in conservation?

2. How is cause and effect related to the Theory of Change?

3. What is one example of how empirical evidence can be used to test a causal theory?

4. How do counterfactuals relate to conservation outcomes and impacts?


The Interplay: Discussion Questions

1. Interplay refers to what two areas of focus?

2. Which of the following best describes the role of your agency in partner communication? Inform, Consult, Cooperate, Collaborate

3.  Which of the following best describes the role of partners? Planning, Implementation, Assessment

4. What are the envisioned outcomes (short-term) and impacts (long-term) related to conservation and people of your work in partnership and/or community collaboration?

5. How are partnerships succeeding or failing in achieving conservation and/or human derived outcomes and impacts?

6. What are the important partnership factors contributing to such outcomes?


Logic Models: Discussion Questions

1. How do activities and outputs differ from outcomes and impacts?

2. What are two benefits of forward logic models?

3. What is a limiting factor of lineal logical models?

4. What does P.E.S.T. stand for?

5. How might forward and backward logic models aid a partnership in evaluation?


Assessment: Discussion Questions

1. How do Random Assessment, Quasi-Experiment and Natural Experiment differ?

2. When might you use qualitative and quantitative approaches as evaluation tools?

3. What four criteria are used to test the strengths and weaknesses of an evaluation?

Practical Tips: Discussion Questions

1. What are at least two criteria used to determine the need for a third-party evaluator?

2. What is a black-box design?

3. What different roles might an internal or external evaluator play in assessing conservation strategies and the role of partners? 

Matt Birnbaum, Ph.D.

Evaluation Planning and Assessment

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