Building Collaborative Capacity
Through Strategic Action

The mission of the Practice Program is to build capacity for collaborative conservation in current and future practitioners. Conservation practitioners today need to be highly competent technically and be able to engage effectively with diverse people to solve complex conservation challenges. Collaborative capacity refers to skills and tools that enable conservation practitioners to be better prepared for successfully addressing the complexity of emerging conservation issues. The CCC has been working with and through practitioners since 2008. We are now expanding and formalizing that work by developing a new conservation practitioner program, the Practice Program. In order to establish an effective collaborative capacity building program for conservation practitioners, the CCC has directly engaged practitioners in the process of program development and implementation. Learn more about the exciting progress and next steps for the Practice Program below!

Collaboration Resource Finder Tool (CRAFT)

Welcome to CRAFT, a tool to help you find resources and learning opportunities to build your collaborative capacity.

Registered CRAFT users can grow and improve the CRAFT database by updating current records, adding new records and rating the quality of resources and learning opportunities.

We believe that when people are well prepared with effective collaboration skills and tools, they will accelerate the pace and scale of conservation on the ground for the benefit of people and place.

Practice Program Impacts

Peaks to People: 1st voluntary watershed investment fund in Colorado

The Peaks to People Water Fund is comprised of businesses, organizations, individuals and landowners who recognize the need to protect the forested watersheds of Colorado’s Front Range from unprecedented threats that, left unchecked, will greatly damage ecosystems vital to our wellbeing and livelihood.

Needs Assessment of collaborative conservation skills and tools

We interviewed conservation practitioners across the American West to understand what the gaps are in collaborative capacity in the current workforce. Our goal was to answer three main questions:
  1. What existing collaborative skills and tools are already available for current and future conservation practitioners and who delivers them?
  2. What are the gaps in collaborative skills and tools that conservation practitioners feel are needed to further support their conservation efforts?
  3. What are the best methods to deliver these tools and skills?

Community Based Collaborative Conservation workshop and regional network

Febraury 28 – March 2, 2018, 60 practitioners from the American west came together to discuss how to improve access, delivery and development of critical skills training and tools for collaborative conservation. Through this workshop, the practitioners developed a Rocky Mountain community based collaborative conservation action plan.  Findings from the workshop have been compiled into a summary report.  In addition, an action plan has been written to outline the next steps in the developement of a regional CBCC practitioner network. Read more about the process, the seven key objectives of the action plan and how to get involved by clicking here!

Next Steps

Taking Action to Build Collaborative Capacity

The CCC and our regional partners are taking the next steps to put into action the seven key objectives identified as priorities during the CBCC Workshop and ongoing work of the Regional Leadership Team.

Action plan key objectives. Learn more by clicking the ‘+’ icon!

Increase awareness and support for CBCC

  • Create a clear, consistent, compelling message about the value and impact of CBCC
    (for example: a communication plan that uses success stories and strategic case
  • Reach-out to key agency and organization leaders, community decision-makers and
  • Communicate with individuals and groups that are opposed to collaboration
  • Build learning of collaboration skills and tools and problem-solving into all
    professional trainings
  • Provide incentives to increase support for participation in collaboration training
  • Continue to expand the collaborative culture of organizations and agencies through
    the hiring process
  • Develop more effective ways to measure impact of CBCC approach and tell that

Advance the practice of CBCC

  • Gather and share collaboration tools, learning opportunities and resources
    • Launch a web-based searchable data base of existing collaboration learning
      opportunities and resources
    • Share the data base with CBCCs throughout the Rocky Mountain region
    • Create an APP
  • Use a variety of methods to provide collaboration skills and tools to CBC groups in
    the region

    • Create a peer-to-peer exchange network
    • Create a mentoring/coaching program
    • Develop collaboration skills and tools trainings to fill gaps
    • Build on existing conferences, workshops, etc.
    • Build on existing networks, including statewide CBCC organizations,
      extension service, conservation districts, and the like
    • Use technology and social media to provide resources at lower costs, to more
      diverse audiences, at more places and to more remote locations
    • Tailor the message and method to the needs and interests of the particular
  • Create a CBCC toolbox
    • Gather existing curriculum materials, resources, tools together
    • Identify gaps and ways to fill gaps
    • Train a group of credible people (cadre/ strike team, others) to provide
      learning opportunities and resources as requested

Create a Rocky Mountain regional network

  • Connect CBCC efforts to exchange lessons, engage in peer-to-peer learning and
    problem-solving, and achieve some of the other objectives presented herein
  • Compile a more complete inventory of CBCC initiatives in the seven Rocky Mountain
  • Share the existing data base and workshop report with them (similar to option for
    Objective # 2)
  • Invite CBCC groups and resource people to join this emerging community of practice

Promote and support state level organizations

Connect the dots among CBCC groups and state level coordinating organizations

  • Help create state level networks where none exist
  • Increase coordination amongst existing state level organizations and train them to
    teach others
  • Encourage efforts across state boundaries; strategically leverage capacity, resources
    and learning opportunities

Inspire, engage and prepare future leaders

  • Build on existing graduate programs
    • Gather existing curriculum materials at universities in the region
    • Compare notes and look for opportunities to share resources
    • Identify gaps and ways to fill gaps
  • Provide imbedded and meaningful internships, practicum opportunities, and other
    hands-on learning opportunities; link students to CBCC practitioners
  • Market the region’s expertise in community-based collaboration; seek to attract
    students throughout the country (and around the world) to study CBCC in the Rocky
    Mountain region

Promote public policy that supports CBCC efforts

  • Harness the political power of CBCC in the Rocky Mountain region
  • Facilitate communication and marketing to key audiences, such as federal and state
    policymakers, philanthropic foundations, others
  • Build key relationships to advance the practice of CBCC
  • Collect and tell stories at different scales
  • Achieve policy outcomes
  • Rebuild power in local communities to support local economies and healthy

Create a regional funding strategy to support CBCC

  • Create a collective impact strategy to allocate financial resources more effectively
  • Grow and sustain dedicated funding to coordinate CBCC efforts and to facilitate
    cross learning
  • Explore and nurture new funding mechanisms and partnerships