Once reasonably satisfied that the resources needed to implement the plan are in place, implementation may proceed (Step 3).

  • A. Develop detailed Work plan and timeline
    • detailed work plans noting costs, responsibilities and tasks (including monitoring)
    • develop timelines
  • B. Develop & refine the project budget
    • Project budget
    • Potential funding sources identified
    • Funding proposals developed & submitted
    • Financial resources obtained
    • Review plan as needed depending on constraints
  • C. Implementation
    • carry out actions and monitoring
    • document and record activities and monitoring

Depending on capacity, implementation may start out small, just starting with ‘no regret’ actions as further information is garnered to bolster confidence in planned strategies.

Monitoring also begins immediately, helping to set teams up for the next step: analyzing outputs, outcomes and impacts to better aim action (Step 4) and share learnings (Step 5).

Evidence-Based Conservation: Journal Paper

This excellent journal paper seeks to integrate evidence-based conservation with the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation and is freely available online here from the new SCB journal Conservation Science and Practice. Being a journal paper rather than user…

PRISM: Toolkit for Evaluating Outcomes and Impacts

This toolkit focuses on improving the quality of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of projects when planning to evaluate outcomes and impacts. Whilst its stated focus is on small and medium sized projects, it could equally be applied to large projects.…

Reddish Egret Conservation Action Plan (2014)

This is a very good example of a plan developed to provide a framework for conservation of a species with a broad geographic range. The Reddish Egret is found along the coasts of the United States, Mexico and several countries…

Altai-Sayan Ecoregion Conservation Strategy

This is an excellent example of a large, multi country strategic plan in the Central Asian landscape, very effectively using the Open Standards. Altai-Sayan ecoregion in Central Asia is a vast wild region covering the region where Mongolia, Russia, China,…

Strategic Plan, Axios Delta, Greece

This plan set up the framework for a subsequent Management Plan for the then recently proclaimed Axios Delta National Park, the marine outfall of four rivers near Thessaloniki in Greece. Led by Ike Tilders (Foundations of Success), the plan was developed…

Strategic Plan for Painted Dog Conservation

Penned in 2011, the Painted Dog Conservation Strategic Plan uses the Open Standards to achieve species conservation in almost flawless detail. The document steps through targets, viability, threats and situation analysis to set the plan up. Goals and indicators are…

Measuring the Effectiveness of State Wildlife Grant Projects: Phase I Report

This report is a good example of how a national agency used results chains to develop common theories of change, objectives, and indicators in order to assess effectiveness at varying scales and do program-level adaptive management. It also provides questionnaires…

Healthy Country Planning

Healthy Country Planning is an adaptation of the Open Standards developed for use in participative and cross-cultural situations. The language of the OS have been translated into simpler terms, a colour coding system adopted and a flow chart of how all…

Climate-smart Open Standards

This series of 4 webinar recordings by Marcia Brown (FOS) and John Morrison (WWF) provides an overview of the Climate-Smart Open Standards.  Another good base resource is the National Wildlife Federation’s Climate-Smart Conservation. Briefly, several adjustments to the Open Standards…

Conservation Audit Tool and Guidance (CMP 2018)

Use this Conservation audit tool to analyze strengths and weaknesses in conservation programs against the Open Standards and define what changes are needed to adapt management for better outcomes. Developed and refined for CMP by Elizabeth O’Neill and Sheila O’Connor,…

USAID – Effectiveness of Enterprises as a Conservation Strategy

The USAID initiative – Learning Group Explores the Effectiveness of Enterprises as a Conservation Strategy, received an Honorable Mention in the 2018 Case Study competition. The team working within USAID developed a Conservation Enterprise Learning Agenda that defines a theory…

From Great Conversation to Great Conservation -Bat Conservation International

From Great Conversation to Great Conservation, the Bat Conservation International entry gained an Honorable Mention in the 2018 Case Study Competition. Key lessons learned by Bat Conservation International were that they benefited from the OS by: Providing a rapid transition…

Yourka Reserve: 3rd Place in 2018 Case Study Competition

Bush Heritage Australia, with their Yourka Reserve – A Unique Tropical Savanna Ecosystem came third in the 2018 Case Study Competition. Key lessons gleaned in this case study were: Don’t let lack of knowledge impede action – focus initially on threat…

Proyecto Titi: 2nd Place in 2018 Case Study Competition

Using an Adaptive Management Approach to Expand Efforts to Save Cotton-top Tamarins in Northwest Colombia, by Proycto Titi won second place in the 2018 Case Study Competition. Key lessons arising from the case study were: Good adaptive management was shown…

The Road Traveled in Chile: Winner Case Study Competition 2018

The inspiring Road Traveled in Chile:Lessons and Challenges in Strengthening Adaptive Management in a National System of Protected Areas won the 2018 Case Study Competition handsomely. Click here for the entry showing how the National Forestry Corporation (CONAF): Used the Open…

Promoting Change in Cause-Driven Organizations (Stewart 2017)

This document briefly describes the challenge of promoting change in cause-driven organizations.  It is written for practitioners who are working on broader adoption and institutionalization of the Open Standards in their organizations.  The document introduces interesting concepts and ideas but…

Open Standards Support for Business Performance and Reporting (Stewart 2017)

This is an excellent document that aims to show how the Open Standards supports improved performance in conservation organizations.  It describes the Performance Imperative and other frameworks designed to help non-profit organizations measure and improve their performance and it shows…

Summary of Practices: Summary of Key Findings from Fulbright Scholarship (Stewart 2017)

This is a good high-level reference document that helps staff in different roles (including management and support) determine where they can find more information to help them promote and/or understand the potential behind the Open Standards. It identifies several barriers…

Fundraiser’s Guide to the Open Standards (Stewart 2017)

This is a great resource for fundraisers who are looking to identify funds for specific projects. It helps them understand the key characteristics of projects developed with the Open Standards so that they can judge and then pitch the quality…

Conservation Capability Maturity Model (Stewart 2017)

The Conservation Capability Maturity model provides a very useful framework for assessing institutional capacity and effectiveness, especially regarding the key processes involved in the practice and management of conservation work. The model provides a scorecard format for identifying where an…

Conservation Business Process Model (Stewart 2017)

This is a great resource for M&E staff or other “integrators” in small to medium-sized organizations that are playing a support role to projects and programs. It provides them with an understanding of how to improve workflows across their organizations,…

Operationalizing the Open Standards (Stewart 2017)

This is an excellent guide that explains how to use Open Standards’ supporting systems, Miradi and Miradi Share, to manage project information. In particular, it provides guidance on using Miradi and Miradi Share for work planning, budgeting, and reporting across…

Improving the practice of conservation by improving the management of conservation

This report summarizes key findings from Annette Stewart’s Fulbright project: how organizations are using the Open Standards, and specifically how they manage their conservation work. The findings are focussed primarily on small-to-medium sized organizations, and how the tools Miradi and…

Developing High-Level Work Plans and Budgets Using the Open Standards (2017)

Description: This is a very good overview of high-level work planning. It is a bit repetitive in the prioritization – for some this will be useful, for others this will be redundant. For more detailed work planning, more guidance would…

2016 Adaptive Management Case Study Competition

Thank you to all those who shared your great stories about adaptive management in practice!  You have provided a great opportunity to learn from others around the world who are using the Open Standards! Judging Our judges narrowed down 5 cases…

Spinifex Healthy Country Plan Review

In the southeastern corner of Western Australia, the Spinifex Rangers have reviewed their progress and overall plan for the third time, adjusting of the objectives, indicators, and activities contained in the plan as needed. Developed in 2015, the Spinifex Healthy…

Using results chains to foster understanding

Ever wonder what happens in the intertidal zone – that area that is above water at low tide and under water at high tide? As it turns out, lots happens! And lots of people use and benefit directly or indirectly…

Gondwana Link: lessons learnt from a global biodiversity hotspot

Bush Heritage Australia has been involved in the Gondwana Link connectivity project in the south west Western Australian biodiversity hotspot for 14 years. Over this time the management plan has cycled through a major adaptation based on implementation results. This…

Adaptive management on Cascade Head Preserve and CAP for Salmon River Watershed

Rooted in the TNC’s Cascade Head Preserve, this case study features adaptive management using ground based research for the Oregon silverspot butterfly, that later grew to encompass diverse stakeholders for conservation management of the Salmon River watershed.  See the Miradi…

Full-cycle adaptive management in Australia’s arid rangelands

Boolcoomatta is a conservation reserve that has been managed by Bush Heritage Australia for 10 years, during which time the management plan has cycled through three major adaptations based on analysis of implementation and results. Highly commended in the Case…

20 Years and Counting: Adaptive Management of Chimpanzee Habitats in the Greater Gombe Ecosystem, Tanzania

This case study was winner of the 2016 Adaptive Management Case Study competition as it amply demonstrated the power of the Open Standards in refocusing effort according to evidence, the use of participatory spatial planning and for delivering results on…

Defining Outcomes and Indicators (USAID 2016)

Description: This how-to guide on defining outcomes and indicators for monitoring, evaluation, and learning uses the results chains developed in the USAID results chain guide. It provides help identifying key results for developing outcome statements and indicators. It is part…

WWF Standards of Conservation Project and Programme Management (PPMS) 2012

This document contains an overview of the WWF Network’s Standards of Conservation Project and Programme Management (PPMS). These standards are the product of many inputs, field tests, discussions, debates and subsequent revisions. This document has been approved by the WWF…

Mongolian guidance for the Open Standards (2.0)

For a Protected Area training in the Open Standards held in in Mongolia in 2015, a Mongolian guidance version of the Open Standards (v2.0) was developed. This guidance has been approved by the Mongolian Department of Protected Areas Management. Over…

Wunambal Gaambera Healthy Country Plan mid-term evaluation

In 2015 a mid-term evaluation of the Wunambal Gaambera Healthy Country Plan noted after only five years, measurable progress on several key strategies of the plan, including “right way fire”, which has carbon reduction, ecological and cultural benefits.  Equally impressive…

Basic Open Standards Presentations (CCNet 2012)

Description: These presentations are a “harmonized” set of presentations for Steps 1 and 2 of the Open Standards developed by staff from Foundations of Success, The Nature Conservancy, and WWF.  The complete set is in English, some with French translation.…

Project Management for Wildlife Conservation (WildTeam 2016)

Description This is a comprehensive, step-by-step manual for project management. It is accompanied by associated tools and support templates to implement each step of each process, which can be accessed here. It was developed by WildTeam, a Bangladeshi not for…

Open Standards for Nature Conservation (Paix 2015)

Description: This booklet was produced to facilitate the use of Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation (OS) in the preparation of the 6th Regional Nature Reserve Management Plan for Tour du Valat. It was designed to help the (French-speaking)…

Objectives, Indicators and Monitoring Plan (FOS 2013)

Description: Part of the FOS Adaptive Management course, this guide covers the development of a monitoring plan in detail, starting with results chains to develop objectives, allocation of indicators and then consideration of approaches to monitoring and monitoring methods. It…

Objectives, Indicators and Monitoring Plan (FOS 2014)

Description: Part of the FOS Adaptive Management course, this guide covers how to use results chains to develop objectives, allocate indicators to them and go on to develop a monitoring plan, with consideration of methods. Also included here are breakout…

Goals (FOS 2013)

Description: This guide covers the very first step in developing a formal action plan – defining goals, using the Sacramento River Basin as an example to illustrate points. It is vetted as excellent, but does contain some confusion about whether…

Integrating Human Wellbeing in the Open Standards (CMP 2015)

Description: Developed in response to concerns that the Open Standards do not address address the human concerns in many projects, this guidance gives examples of how to incorporate human wellbeing into project management planning. It uses many examples to illustrate…

Situation Analysis (WWF 2006)

Description: This guidance resource supports the implementation of the WWF Standards of Conservation Project and Programme Management. This guidance is very good, but it predates consideration of human wellbeing targets and climate change. Full citation: WWF. (2006). Resources for Implementing…

Conservation by Design 2.0 Guidance Document (V1.0)

TNC presents this guidance as an evolution in the conservation approach of the Conservancy and the Open Standards more generally. It is centered on four topics: 1) explicit consideration of linkages between people and nature, 2) design interventions focused on…

Online Open Standards Curriculum

Description: ConservationTraining is an open and free learning community that offers conservation-based training materials.  With over 25,000 users from over 200 countries enrolled, its mission is to share training with conservation colleagues across the world. Planning Conservation Projects & Programs…

WWF Programme Standards: Step 1 – Define

Description: . This module was developed as part of an online learning experience to help WWF partners and staff learn how to apply Step 1 – Define of WWF’s Standards for Conservation Project and Programme Management (WWF Programme Standards or…

Conservation Action Planning Handbook

Description: This handbook, tailored to The Nature Conservancy’s use, is one of the earliest manuals developed for implementing the Open Standards. The handbook is designed as a detailed “toolbox” to help you explore and apply the Open Standards step-by-step. It…

Incorporating Social Aspects and Human Wellbeing in Biodiversity Conservation Projects (CMP 2016)

Description: Conservation is inevitably a social undertaking. As such, many conservation teams feel compelled to address human wellbeing when developing their conservation projects. Prior to 2012, Open Standards users had little guidance on addressing social aspects and human wellbeing in…

Threats and Actions Classifications (v2.0)

Actions Classification (V 2.0) Threats Classification (V 2.0) A key foundation of any science is a common nomenclature that practitioners can use to describe—in a mutually intelligible way—the problems they are facing and the solutions they are using. For example, if a…