Measuring and evaluating impact of conservation actions

Projects in this theme aim to employ unbiased, transparent, and reproducible methods (e.g. systematic evidence synthesis) to uncover knowledge gluts, gaps, and evaluate what works. Our group works with a number of interdisciplinary groups and conservation practitioners and organizations to co-produce knowledge syntheses for decision-making.
Conservation and human-well-being 
As part of a Science for Nature and People (SNAPP) working group on Evidence-Based Decision Making, we synthesized a systematic map of evidence of the links between nature conservation and human well-being (see Bottrill et al. 2014, McKinnon et al. 20152016). We are continuing now to investigate the patterns of evidence revealed in the map and conduct in-depth examinations into specific linkages in order to understand pathways to successful nature-people outcomes. See interactive portal here.
Effectiveness of international wildlife trade practices and policies                                   
In collaboration with Conservation International, we assessed the state of evidence on whether programs, practices, and policies regulating wildlife trade over national boundaries had impacts on species of interest, conservation behaviors, and socio-economic conditions. See project here.
Contribution of forest-based productive activities on poverty alleviation
Expert consultation with the Program for Forests (PROFOR) at the World Bank. Assessment of the state of evidence on how forest-based activities can contribute to changes in poverty status of forest-dependent and adjacent communities. See publication here and interactive portal here.
Designing effective community engagement approaches for biodiversity conservation
The Conservation Solutions Lab is a collaborative endeavour between a number of international conservation and development organizations and research institutions led by Dr. Cheng and Michael Brown (Chemonics, Intl.). In this partnership, we are utilizing synthesis approaches and interdisciplinary perspectives to craft an evidence-based approach to conceptualizing and implementing effective and equitable community engagement that leads to measurable biodiversity conservation outcomes.
Integrating natural resource management, conservation, and sustainable development
As part of the Integrated Natural Resource Management Activity with the U.S. Agency for International Development, Dr. Cheng and scientists from the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History worked with a multi-sector and cross-disciplinary team to scope, assess, and deliver research and evidence to inform USAID program design and evaluate their impacts. Projects include assess the evidence for links between participatory natural resource management and democracy, developing a toolkit for monitoring and evaluation across resilient agriculture and natural resource management projects globally, and developing research and learning agendas for complex resource management and governance contexts.