Need help with examples of planning in inclusion/considerations of diversity into conservation grant applications.

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Adam Barlow on May 07, 2020 • 5 answer
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I am helping to write a new best practice on grant writing. In the section on how to write the narrative one of the types of content I suggect people include is about supporting diversity. I am not an expert/experienced in this so would appreciate if anyone has any suggestions for a) how to improve the below text, b) examples of how someone could write in a proposal how they were going to support diversity through the conservation work, and c) any recent references. This is what I have got so far: "Supporting diversity: The project tam should describe how the work will involve, benefit, and be enriched by the pro-active involvement of people from different backgrounds, that differ based on such characteristics as ethnicity, religion, age, physical ability, gender, and age "

Answers

Hi Adam,

I am in no way an expert on diversity and inclusion, but I've been thinking about it this week following a talk from Sheree Atcheson, head of diversity and inclusion at Monzo bank. Here are a few ideas for what you could ask projects to demonstrate:
- What are they doing to create an open, inclusive and safe environment? This is one that recognises that all voices are equal and empowers everyone to contribute to the dialogue, and avoids language that marginalises people, e.g. use of cultural idioms or technical language that may not be understood by all, words that may exclude or belittle people e.g. 'guys', 'crazy',
- How do they talk about and embrace diversity? Including visible or invisible, in age, gender, race, disability, religion, physical & mental health, neurodiversity, socioeconomic background, education, geography etc. Are they allowing for lived experiences to differ between people, and recognising imbalances in power and privilege?
- How they are tackling unconscious bias? This could be in hiring processes, interpretation of interviews, selection of collaborators etc.
- How transparent are they in the above? For example, will they share (anonymised/aggregated) data on project participants, explain how they are tackling unconscious bias, or publish a 'tone of voice' document internally to support inclusive communication within the project?

You can help people become aware of their unconscious bias by taking a test e.g. Harvard University's Project Implicit: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/
Monzo Bank publish their 'tone of voice' doc here: https://monzo.com/tone-of-voice/

A few thoughts, I hope they're helpful even though they're not based on conservation examples. Lucy

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Lucy Tallents on May 11, 2020
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thanks very much Lucy - you are helping me learn more about this area and I may be able to weave in some of those points into the manual example. I also have to personally stop using "guys" and "crazy" which I normally do a lot!

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Adam Barlow on May 12, 2020
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Hi Adam, I support my colleagues to integrate gender into their conservation projects so my response is from that perspective. I am not sure what kind of grants your target audience will be applying for, but assuming it's a conservation project in the field, the key points to get across are: demonstrating an understanding that communities are diverse and that there will be groups within any community that are more marginalised / vulnerable; seeking to understand how different groups within a community use / interact with the natural resource/habitat/site of concern; seeking to understand how the project might impact on different groups within a community; understanding the barriers to participation (in a project) by different groups and taking steps to address those barriers and / or making extra effort to enable these groups to participate (for example through carrying out extra meetings with women); disaggregating project data so that it is clear who is participating and benefiting (or dis-benefiting) and in what ways.

FFI has a checkist that might be useful (https://cms.fauna-flora.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/FFI_2011_Gender-and-Conservation-Key-Questions.pdf), and for fuller guidance on integrating gender I recommend Conservation International's guidelines (https://www.conservation.org/docs/default-source/publication-pdfs/integrating-gender-and-social-equity-into-conservation-programming-2019.pdf). Note that whilst the focus of this guidance is on gender including increasing women's participation in conservation, it can be applied to any marginalised group.

Hope this helps.

Helen

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Helen Anthem on May 29, 2020
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Thanks Helen,

Very very helpful. Am using some of what you wrote to improve the manual. Best, Adam

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Adam Barlow on Jun 01, 2020
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Hi Helen,

Also - would you be able to share any policy guidance docs you have on this to help us/the community learn from your expertise on this?

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Adam Barlow on Jun 01, 2020
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