Incorporating Industry-standard Evaluation Criteria to Assess Projects in Central Africa

Story from Elizabeth O’Neill or Matt Muir, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Over the past 18 months, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Africa Regional Program has been applying the Open Standards to evaluate USFWS-funded projects and programs across Central Africa, including its support of Cross River Gorilla conservation in Cameroon and Nigeria and use of SMART law enforcement monitoring in Republic of Congo, Cameroon, and Gabon.

Our approach is integrating the OS with six “industry-standard” evaluation criteria. For example, when evaluating a project’s “Relevance,” we look at whether the project follows the best practices laid out in the Define/Design steps of the OS. When evaluating “Effectiveness,” we look at attainment of planned outcomes/objectives. When considering a project’s “Impact,” we look at extent of attainment of planned Goals (i.e., statements of desired future changes in targeted biodiversity and, if relevant, human wellbeing).

This evaluation has been a partnership with Elizabeth O’Neill evaluation consulting and builds upon measures guidance that USFWS developed with Nick Salafsky and Caroline Stem of Foundations of Success for conservation projects applying for USFWS funds in Central Africa. In some cases, we look for CCNet coaches, particularly those from Africa, to join our evaluation teams. For more information on our approach or if you’re interested in joining an evaluation team, please contact Elizabeth O’Neill or Matt Muir.