Community conservation programs: best practices & challenges

Have you ever faced a behaviour change challenge when working with communities in conservation? Engaged people with new practices, and found that awareness and training sessions were not sufficient? Are you interested in exploring new, innovative approaches to community programs?
Community conservation programs: best practices & challenges

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A practice-based research project: 

I am carrying out a qualitative research project to better understand the challenges and best practices when designing and implementing community conservation programs. I am particularly interested in case studies and field experience with programs involving communities in: sustainable agriculture/ agroforestry, sustainable fishing, biodiversity monitoring and wildlife protection. In this context,  I am searching for professionals who could share their experiences and reflections on community-driven conservation programs, through an online interview / conversation (45 min). 

Your benefits in participating:

Although I am not able to provide financial compensation for these interviews, I do hope to inspire, bring ideas, reflections and suggestions to the table - based on my experience leading design innovation in other contexts. Most notably, in co-creating a program with agricultural communities - in a particularly challenging geo-political context - that followed an unconventional approach to encourage collaboration, experimentation & knowledge exchange. I am happy to tell you more about this case study & other projects that might connect to your work. I aspire these interviews to be more of a conversation, an exchange of ideas on what works and what not, on strategies for overcoming known challenges. The insights from this round of interviews will be published as an online article on WildHub, open and accessible to anyone working in conservation and interested in improving community programming. 

Who am I:

I am a practitioner, an independent design researcher - helping social and environmental impact organisations to design innovative solutions that address complex challenges, focusing on human behaviour. If interested, here are some brief project examples

Why am I doing this?:

I believe that understanding the drivers and barriers of human behaviour in relation to environmental challenges is essential in order to design sustainable and transformative community programs. I am also a firm believer in design innovation, prototyping and exploration as a process for finding better, more impactful solutions to complex problems.

I am privileged to have co-designed innovative farmer programs that went beyond established implementation models, leveraging intrinsic motivation and community bonds. My hypothesis is that similar approaches could potentially be applied to drive systemic change for conservation. But first, I would like to:

  • Establish what is considered "best practice" in designing and implementing community programs
  • Map out the challenges in engaging community members to adopt new behaviours in relation to fishing or agricultural practices, alternative livelihoods and wildlife protection. 

The details

If interested, please contact me directly, via email at with "Community conservation research" as the subject line. Please include:

  • Your name, role/ area of expertise
  • Type of community program(s) that you would like to talk about
  • Your timezone and any preferences you might have for our call (channel, dates or times etc)

Our online session is expected to last about 45 minutes. We will start with a walkthrough of your experiences and address arising questions, reflections and new ideas. I will then share relevant examples from other fields. After our session, I will share with you a summary of notes and any follow-up ideas. Please let me know if you have any questions about this session. 

Thank you so much for reading! I am looking forward to meeting some of you online.

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Go to the profile of Thirza Loffeld
about 2 months ago

Thanks for sharing this opportunity with us, Yana! Sounds interesting and it would be amazing if you could share some of the insights that were shared with you with our community as you continue on this exploration.

It also reminds me of a recent conversation we had during one of our WildHub Socials so looping in some people who I think may be interested in this topic too @Vimbainashe Eunick , @Grace Alawa , @Eberechi Cecilia Osuagwu, Wildhub Advocate , @MuKasa Emmanuel , @Aiita Joshua Apamaku , @Muthoni Njuguna , @Ruth Jepkemoi and @Collins Busuru : hi all, please see Yana's request above. I thought you may be willing to share your insights and help us all learn from your experiences. 

Go to the profile of Yanna Vogiazou
about 2 months ago

Thank you so much @Thirza Loffeld for sharing this with people working on this topic in the community! I am now responding to each person commenting below directly, to set up a call. 

Go to the profile of Thirza Loffeld
about 2 months ago

You're most welcome Yanna - happy to help. Thank you also for doing this important bit of research, much needed! 

Go to the profile of MuKasa Emmanuel
about 2 months ago

I will be glad to attend 

Go to the profile of Vimbainashe Eunick
about 2 months ago

Thank you so much Yana. I would love to be part of this. Thanks @ThirzaLoffeld for tagging me. 

Go to the profile of Thirza Loffeld
about 2 months ago

You're welcome Nicky! I think your insights will be very valuable! 

Go to the profile of Reshu Bashyal
about 2 months ago

Hi Yanna, this is such an important work. I would be happy to be a part of this!