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The Social Side of Conservation

Wongbusarakum, Supin; Arroyo, Paulina; Wong, Karen; Patterson, Kristen P. 5/23/2011

What does TNC staff say about the social side of their work and capacity building needs for social impact assessment?

Here are the results of an April 2011 survey on needs for capacity building on socioeconomic monitoring and working with local human communities and indigenous peoples.

To support efforts to improve the Conservancy’s conservation work and more effectively integrate the human dimension in our strategies, we recently asked Conservancy program and focal area directors and staff to participate in a brief exploratory survey. The objectives of the survey were to better understand: 1) the needs for capacity building on socioeconomic monitoring at the Conservancy, and 2) staff’s interests and needs regarding working with local human communities and indigenous peoples. This survey was available in English, Spanish, Bahasa and Portuguese on Survey Monkey from March 23 through April 11, 2011. Email messages were sent to directors of different programs and focal areas to ask for their participation and help in reaching out to their staff whose work may be related to local human communities and indigenous peoples. 

Profiles of Respondents

A total of 235 people participated in the survey. Of the respondents, 40.1 percent focus their work on North America and 59.9 percent all other regions (see Table 1). Nearly 60 percent of the respondents were program/project managers and project field staff/conservation practitioners (See Table 2). Eighty-one percent of the respondents said that at least half to most of their work required interaction with local human communities and stakeholders. Referring to integrating local communities and indigenous peoples into conservation work, the top three topics of greatest interest among the respondents are: 1) planning and land use management tools to work with local peoples, 2) capacity building for local people (most frequently chosen as most important), and 3) management of local land and other natural resources (see Table 3).

*Some respondents have more than one geographical focus.