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How To

We’ve compiled these lists of resources to help you build your skills and knowledge for a variety of topics related to collaborative conservation. You can use the Table of Contents on the right to jump to a section that you are interested in learning more about, or scroll down to view them all.

You can also find CCC produced trainings and webinars here, or read our publications here to continue building your skills in collaborative conservation! 

Collaboration: The Basics

  • The Atlas of Collaborative Conservation in Colorado. 2019. C. Huayhuaca and R. Reid. For 220+ long-term collaborative and multi-stakeholder initiatives, how and why collaboratives get started, and what organizational models they adopt to achieve their shared objectives. (website and 44 pp. report )
  • Collaboration: What Makes It Work. Paul W. Mattessich and Kirsten M. Johnson (book)
  • Collaborating: Finding Common Ground for Multiparty Problems by Barbara Gray. A classic work on navigating conflict through collaboration. (book)
  • USFS Collaboration Primer: Getting Started. (4 pp. guide)
  • Building a solid foundation for collaborative efforts. 2019. Forest Service National Collaboration Cadre FS-1127. (10 pp. guide)
  • Understanding collaboration. Forest Service National Collaboration Cadre FS-1166. Includes a focus on USFS collaborations. (5 pp. guide)
  • Elegant Conservation: Reimagining Protected Area Stewardship in the 21st Century. 2023. Bobowski and Fiege. Describes a compelling and comprehensive “pragmatic, holistic, inclusive” approach to conservation. (open-source paper)

Sustaining Partnerships

  • Capacity Building for Collaboration: A Case Study on Building and Sustaining Landscape-Scale Stewardship Networks in the 21st Century. Leigh Goldberg Consulting. Includes Key Recommendations for How to Build Capacity Gleaned from Interviews. (report and key findings)
  • Maintaining the Foundation of Collaborative Groups. 2019 Forest Service National Collaboration Cadre FS-1128. (5 pp. paper)
  • The Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Guide. Wageningen University and Research. A comprehensive guide on multi-stakeholder partnerships, with embedded links tools and videos relevant to the content being discussed. (guide, in English, French, and Spanish)
  • Connecting for Conservation: Building Community Trust. Stephanie Malin and Robert Bonnie. (1 hr video)
  • Field guide to developing partnerships. North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (6 pp. guide)

Evaluating Collaborations

  • The Wilder Collaboration Factors Inventory. 2018. (worksheet)
  • Partnership Impact Evaluation Guide. A.E. Mickel and L. Goldberg. (34 pp. guide)
  • Assessing Collaborative Conservation: A Case Survey of Output, Outcome, and Impact Measures Used in the Empirical Literature. Tomas Koontz, Nicolas Jager, and Jens Newig. (journal article)
  • Evaluating the Process and Outcomes of Collaborative Conservation: Tools, Techniques, and Strategies. 2019. Rebecca Thomas and Arren Mendezona Allegretti. (Journal article; request from the author)
  • A Framework for Assessing Collaborative Capacity in Community-Based Public Forest Management. 2012. Anthony Cheng and Victoria Sturtevant. (journal article)
  • Collaboration as Pursuit of Progress. 2021. Forest Service National Collaboration Cadre FS-1164. How can you tell if a collaborative is working? (3 pp. guide)

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Conservation

  • Unsettling collaborative conservation through a decolonizing lens: Engagement and collaboration with Indigenous peoples and communities. 2019. Center for Collaborative Conservation. (10 pp. workshop report, plus appendices)
  • Toolkit for Meaningful Engagement with Indigenous Peoples in Conservation.  Gifford, Gemara and Allison J. Brody. 2023. (document)
  • Conservation and natural resource management: where are all the women? R. James et al. (journal article and blog)
  • Braiding Sweetgrass. 2014. Robin Wall Kimmerer. Relationship to each other and Earth, anchored in gratitude. (book)
  • Trust in the Land: New Directions in Tribal Conservation. 2011. Beth Rose Middleton. (book)
  • Black Faces, White Spaces. 2014. Carolyn Finney. (book)

Stakeholder Analysis

  • Stakeholder Analysis. CCC “How to” Series. A concise introduction to concepts and approaches, with additional references. (6 pp. guide)
  • Who’s in and why? A typology of stakeholder analysis methods for natural resource management. 2009. M.S. Reed and others. (journal article)
  • Stakeholder Analysis in Environmental and Conservation Planning. 2017. Vogler, Macey, and Sigouin.  A clear synthesis of determining who to include and how, including “hidden” stakeholders.  (13 pp. paper)
  • Stakeholder Analysis, Natural Resources Management and Governance – Comparing Approaches. Paul Vedeld. (47 pp. paper)
  • Branching Out: Engaging Forest Stakeholders through Collaborative Design. Brady Bender, Han Ding, and Michael Reiterman. Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program with National Forest Foundation. (35 pp. guide)
  • Interest-based problem solving. Forest Service National Collaboration Cadre FS-1165.   (6 pp. guide)
  • Aligning Expectations for effective collaborative work. Forest Service National Collaboration Cadre FS-1163. (7 pp. guide)

Facilitation tools and strategies

  • Facilitator resource book. Prepared for the Center for Public Deliberation for a CCC training (9 pp. guide)
  • Student Associate Training Workbook. 2013. Center for Public Deliberation. Best practices for deliberative processes and facilitation, for beginners and more advanced practitioners. (training workbook)
  • Facilitation at a glance! Your pocket guide to facilitation. I. Bens.(book)
  • Extreme facilitation: Guiding groups through controversy and complexity. S. Ghais (book
  • The art of facilitating participation: unlearning old habits and learning new ones. by L. Braakman. Short, helpful description of why facilitators need to remain neutral and focus on process. (6 pp. article)


  • UNCG Guide to Collaborative Competencies. K. Emerson and S. Smutko. Published by the University Network for Collaborative Governance. (32 pp. guidebook)
  • Mastering Leadership: An Integrated Framework for Breakthrough Performance and Extraordinary Business Results. 2015. B. Anderson and W. Adams. Excellent widely used and useful leadership framework grounded in adult development with a dual internal/external focus. (book)
  • Lead from the Outside. S. Abrams. Includes “practical exercises to help you realize your own ambition and hone your skills” emphasizing that “differences in race, gender, and class provide vital strength.” (book)
  • How to Conserve Conservationists. 2020. J. Panazzolo. Leadership can be feel isolating. These resources may help. (book and website)

Managing Differences

  • Turning contention into collaboration: engaging power, trust, and learning in collaborative networks. V.R. Levesque and others. (journal article)
  • Engaging Differences – Key Principles and Best Practices. National Institute for Civil Discourse. (website and pdf)
  • Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In. R. Fisher, W. Ury, and B. Patton. Classic ‘must read’ book on achieving better outcomes for more stakeholders. (book)
  • Empathic listening. R. Salem. (article)
  • Conservation’s Blind Spot: the Case for Conflict Transformation in Wildlife Conservation. Madden and McQuinn. The conflict we see is often rooted in conflict we don’t see. (journal article)
  • Understanding the influence of power and empathic perspective-taking on collaborative natural resource management. D.M. Wald and others. (2017). Journal of environmental management, 199, 201-210. (journal article)

Participatory Learning and Sharing

  • The Power of Maps: Bringing the third dimension to the negotiation table. Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation. Using participatory spatial data to empower and give a voice to the grass-roots communities. (74 pp. book)  
  • Social learning and building trust through a participatory design for natural resource planning. S. Selin and others. (journal article)
  • Participatory methods. Institute of Development Studies (IDS) Participation Resource Center. Introduction to Participatory Methods and resources to generate ideas and action for inclusive development and social change. (website)
  • The basics of collaborative learning. Walker and S. Daniels. (short intro

Finance and Fundraising

  • A  Field Guide to Conservation Finance. A comprehensive book on land conservation financing for community and regional conservation leaders. (408 pp. book)
  • Valuing Nature: A Handbook for Impact Investing. A set of nature-based investment areas to help conservationists and investors work together. (240 pp. book)
  • Enduring Arches: Building Conservation Finance Projects for Success. An  assessment of the experiences and outcomes of 25 Conservation Innovation Grant projects that offers insights and lessons for impact investors, funders, and project proponent. (61 pp. report)
  • Placing Fairness at the Root: Three Case Studies in Conservation Finance Justice. (blog) 

Conservation Planning

  • Conservation Standards. A widely adopted set of principles and practices that bring together common concepts, approaches, and terminology for conservation project design, management, and monitoring. (website)
  • Conservation Measures Partnership. A community of conservation-oriented NGOs, government agencies, funders, and private businesses that work collectively to guide conservation around the world. (website)

Situation Assessment

  • Using a Multidisciplinary Approach to Conduct a Situational Analysis. 2005. NRCS Social Sciences Team. (8 pp. guide)
  • Systems thinking toolkit. FSG consulting group. Includes a guide to “actor mapping.” (website)
  • Conducting a situation assessment. CCC ‘how-to’ series”. (4 pp. guide)


  • Seeing is Believing: A Guide to Visual Storytelling Best Practices. Resource Media. (20 pp. guide)
  • Communicating science in politicized environments. 2013. A. Lupia. (journal article).
  • AAAS Communication Toolkit. An online collection of resources for learning how to communicate science, including communication fundamentals, communicating science online, working with journalists, in-person engagement, using multimedia & visuals. (website)
  • The Language of Conservation: Updated Recommendations on How to Communicate Effectively to Build Support for Conservation. 2018. Lori Weigel and David Metz. (10 pp. memo)
  • Eleven Principles for Communicating Science to Get Results. 2019. R. Aines and A. Aines. From the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science that offers advice for how to communicate science with decisionmakers. (1 hr. video)

Meetings and Events

  • Best Practices: Running an Effective Collaborative Meeting. 2009. National Forest Foundation. (2 pp. guide)
  • The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters. 2018. Priya Parker. An easy read with lots of ideas about running meetings, events, and even parties with real purpose. (book)
  • Will There Be Donuts?: Better Business One Meeting at a Time. 2013. David Pearl. Another easy read with good ideas for getting more value from meetings. (book)
  • For more engaging virtual meetings, consider using tools like JamboardLimnu, or Miro that allow participants to collaborate to brainstorm ideas, create storymaps or affinity maps, do scenario planning, and more.

Co-production of Science

  • Linking model design and application for transdisciplinary approaches in social-ecological systems. C. Steger and others. Social-ecological models under-represent social datasets, exacerbating power imbalances. Higher stakeholder diversity in model design and application may improve collaboration.(journal article)
  • Science with society: Evidence-based guidance for best practices in environmental transdisciplinary work. 2021. Steger and others. Efforts to address increasingly complex challenges arising from global environmental change are enhanced by a “science with society” approach that values flexibility and collaborative spirit along with attributes like humility, trust, and patience.(journal article)
  • Using Research to Support Transformative Impacts on Complex, “Wicked Problems” With Pastoral Peoples in Rangelands. 2021. Reid and others. Collaborative partnerships are changing how we do science, creating new and transformative ways that science and society interact that could be called “transformative science with society.” (journal article)
  • Opportunities to integrate herders’ indicators into formal rangeland monitoring: an example from Mongolia. C. Jamsranjav and others. A new model for integrating herder knowledge and participation into formal monitoring in Mongolia highlights the importance of developing a common language shared between herders, government monitoring agencies, and researchers. (journal article)

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