Construct Results Chains

  1. Describe how a strategy will lead to conservation success.
  2. Identify and articulate a team's assumptions about how strategies will change key drivers, leading to improvement in conservation challenges and linked human well-being challenges.
  3. Evaluate the strength of evidence for a strategy's assumptions.
  4. Evaluate which strategies to make strategy maps for.
  • Results chains describing the cause-and-effect logic of how strategies will result in desired changes for nature and people
  • Bibliography and documentation of evidence assessment process

A results chain is a diagram that depicts the assumed causal linkages between your actions and their desired impacts through a series of intermediate results. It is a graphic depiction of the way you expect your strategy to unfold. In developing and refining your results chain or chains, you will iteratively test and tighten your reasoning. Your completed results chain and its narrative will be important tools for conveying your strategy, and the thinking behind it, to important stakeholders including donors, partners, decision-makers and stakeholders.

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  • Construct an initial results chain for each strategy based on your conceptual model or situation analysis diagram.

    • Include both direct and indirect pathways from possible strategies to changes in conservation targets, and human well-being interests

    • Ensure that all connections and intermediate results from doing a strategy are directly captured in the results chain.

    • Results chains should capture both focal and additional outcomes from a proposed strategy.

    • Any risks to vulnerable people identified through a results chain should be addressed.

    • Results chains should be composed of assumptions that can be tested.

    • Assess the sufficiency of intermediate results.

    • Work ‘forwards’ and ‘backwards’ to identify steps.

  • Evaluate whether there is evidence for a strategy’s assumptions.

    • Evidence must meet minimum standards to be considered evidence.

    • Not all evidence is created equal.

    • Consider enabling conditions.

    • Determine the sufficiency of the evidence.

  • Verify that your results chain meets criteria of a good results chain.

  • Document your work.

    • Write a narrative summary of each results chain.

    • Consider alternative formats, tailored to your audience.

    • Create a bibliography and summary of assessed evidence.

  • Seek peer review of the results chain.

Minimum Standard Questions
  1. Do your results chains start with a key challenge and end with a desirable state?
  2. Are your intermediate results necessary and sufficient to achieve your desired outcomes?
  3. Does your results chain show the intended positive outcomes for conservation and any intended, linked positive outcomes for human well-being from the proposed conservation action?
  4. Did you explicitly consider additional (unintentional) outcomes, including both positive and negative outcomes from the strategies considered?
  5. Do all links in your chains reflect no more than one testable assumption (i.e. there are not “leaps of faith” or “then a miracle happens” gaps in logic)?
  6. Have you evaluated and recorded the strength of evidence for each of your assumptions and linkages?
  7. If your results chain outcomes are quantified, will they be sufficient to determine whether the strategy meets the minimum goal(s)?
FAQS Show All
What is the difference between a conceptual model or situation analysis diagram and a results chain?

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