Biodiversity conservation and natural resource management are integral to advancing human prosperity and enabling resilience in the world’s most vulnerable populations. Each year, substantial investments contribute to addressing natural resource, conservation, and human development challenges. Despite the importance of demonstrating the return on these investments, the conservation community has not had the tools and systems in place to define and effectively communicate the outcomes of program activities. This results in a lack of appreciation for the role of conservation in supporting development goals.
Measuring Impact (MI) aimed to increase USAID’s capacity to design, monitor, evaluate, and improve the impact of global biodiversity conservation and natural resource management programs. MI worked with programs to develop effective performance measures, enhance cross-project learning environments, foster effective communication, and build capacity for adaptive management.
Over six years (2012-2018), MI supported development of a robust suite of tools and evidence to improve programming at 20 missions; created USAID’s first biodiversity cross-mission learning groups; engaged with experts across sectors to improve evidence for and understanding of conservation’s critical role in development outcomes; and collaborated with USAID to ensure that adaptive management practices supported the Agency’s Program Cycle Operational Policy and emphasized theory of change programming and Collaborating, Learning and Adapting processes.
USAID continues to build on these successes with the Measuring Impact II (MI2) initiative.