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 recognized the need to directly engage practitioners in the process of program development and implementation. Our first step was to complete a Practitioner  Needs Assessment in fall 2016/winter 2017. Using the findings from the needs assessment, we are moving forward with our partners to build a strategic action plan to close the gap in collaborative capacity in conservation practitioners.

Needs Assessment

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?

Building Capacity for Collaborative Conservation Findings from a Practitioner Needs Assessment of Critical Skills and Tools for Collaborative Conservation in the American West

Next Steps

The findings from the Practitioner Needs Assessment revealed critical gaps in collaborative capacity in conservation practitioners. We are taking action to address these gaps by working with partners on the following steps:

Collaborative Conservation Training Workshop, winter 2018. Building on the Needs Assessment, practitioners from across the Rocky Mountain West will gather to create an action plan to fill the collaborative capacity gap. The entire process will be designed by practitioner for practitioners. Bridging the collaborative capacity gap will require a long-term commitment and a diverse network of invested partners working together. Additional information regarding the workshop will be available in early fall 2017.

Practitioner Trainings, starting spring/summer 2018. Following the Practitioner Workshop, we will design and deliver trainings to conservation practitioners that will strengthen and build their collaboration skills. We will use different methods of delivery and evaluate them for their effectiveness. We will then expand successful trainings across the conservation community.

Practitioner Collaboration Training Network, starting fall 2018. Out of the Practitioner Workshop we expect a group of conservation practitioners and partners will commit to implementing the next phases of the training action plan. The CCC will convene and coordinate this group to ensure delivery to the conservation community.