A major new initiative for the Durrell Conservation Academy – measuring IMPACT!
My name is Rachael and I am an intern at Durrell working with both the Conservation Science team and Conservation Academy team to launch an exciting new framework that will measure the impact of the Durrell Conservation Academy.
Since graduating with degrees in both the natural and social sciences I have been seeking opportunities to combine my passion for both working with people and biodiversity conservation. This initially led me to spend 18 months working in the field, most recently in Madagascar where I worked on a small community-led conservation project. It was during this time where I came to appreciate first-hand the power of people in conservation, and I’m really looking forward to hearing more from the Durrell graduates and the inspiring work they do.
The Durrell Conservation Academy has provided training for over 5,000 conservationists from around the world, empowering them with the skills and knowledge they need to maximise their positive impact. Building this capacity is widely recognised as the missing link in achieving long-term conservation goals and it plays a crucial role in achieving Durrell’s mission of saving species from extinction. Previous graduates have gone onto set up their own conservation NGOs, designate new protected areas, and implement strategies to protect biodiversity worldwide.
Durrell is proudly an impact driven organisation and the evidence of this can be found in abundance on the Durrell Index. The new framework will bring people to the Durrell Index, demonstrating the impact training is having on graduates personal and professional development and on their conservation work. This task won’t be without its challenges as measuring the impact of training is notoriously difficult for a number of reasons: the skills and knowledge gained may not be used for many years, behavioural change can be difficult to measure and can be influenced by a huge range of factors outside of our control. To tackle this, I will be developing a variety of data collection methods that will measure not only the technical and practical skills graduates gain but provide a more meaningful insight into the personal and unique progress they make years after completing a training course.
Posted 23 December 2016