Presenter/Author Information

Gabriel Mastico, Metro VancouverFollow

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Re-thinking Conservation Finance and Partnerships in Coastal Regions

Description

When researchers, communities, and/or environmental organizations propose new approaches to address ecological challenges, responsibility for implementing them often falls (in part) to practitioners working within government. Government employees face considerable challenges in synthesizing the available knowledge to support a recommendation for decision-makers to adopt a new approach. This presentation draws on an insider’s experience to help conservation researchers and practitioners understand the key challenges and opportunities that government employees face in navigating their organizations’ decision-making processes. It also suggests best practices to help proponents of new approaches frame conservation finance ideas in ways that resonate with local governments and their decision-makers.

The presentation provides an insider perspective on the key challenges that local government staff face, and proposes strategies that conservation researchers and practitioners can use to equip their government counterparts with the information they need to overcome these challenges. It also highlights how effective communication and partnerships can help persuade governments that new approaches will help them to achieve their environmental objectives. For example, it will discuss:

  1. Developing ‘user friendly’ research by providing guidance that helps staff understand and communicate when a newly-proposed approach would be appropriate;

  2. Designing approaches that can be adapted to local circumstances (i.e., passing the “values test”);

  3. Recognizing that tolerance for risk and uncertainty varies within and among government organizations (spoiler: the importance of pilots); and

  4. Linking proposed actions to outcomes (rather than outputs) to make them resonate with decision-makers; and

  5. Using “pay for success” approaches to minimize perceived financial risk and maximize the potential impact of scarce government resources.

These strategies are intended to help innovative ideas stand out amongst the information cluttering desks in government offices (e.g., technical studies, engineering reports). If nothing else, participants will improve their understanding of the local government decision context.

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From the Ivory Tower Through the Black Box: Engaging Effectively with Government to Turn Ideas into Action

2016SSEC

When researchers, communities, and/or environmental organizations propose new approaches to address ecological challenges, responsibility for implementing them often falls (in part) to practitioners working within government. Government employees face considerable challenges in synthesizing the available knowledge to support a recommendation for decision-makers to adopt a new approach. This presentation draws on an insider’s experience to help conservation researchers and practitioners understand the key challenges and opportunities that government employees face in navigating their organizations’ decision-making processes. It also suggests best practices to help proponents of new approaches frame conservation finance ideas in ways that resonate with local governments and their decision-makers.

The presentation provides an insider perspective on the key challenges that local government staff face, and proposes strategies that conservation researchers and practitioners can use to equip their government counterparts with the information they need to overcome these challenges. It also highlights how effective communication and partnerships can help persuade governments that new approaches will help them to achieve their environmental objectives. For example, it will discuss:

  1. Developing ‘user friendly’ research by providing guidance that helps staff understand and communicate when a newly-proposed approach would be appropriate;

  2. Designing approaches that can be adapted to local circumstances (i.e., passing the “values test”);

  3. Recognizing that tolerance for risk and uncertainty varies within and among government organizations (spoiler: the importance of pilots); and

  4. Linking proposed actions to outcomes (rather than outputs) to make them resonate with decision-makers; and

  5. Using “pay for success” approaches to minimize perceived financial risk and maximize the potential impact of scarce government resources.

These strategies are intended to help innovative ideas stand out amongst the information cluttering desks in government offices (e.g., technical studies, engineering reports). If nothing else, participants will improve their understanding of the local government decision context.