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Consider enabling conditions.

When we find evi­dence sup­port­ing a causal rela­tion­ship, we have learned that ‘it worked some­where.’ How­ev­er, this does not nec­es­sar­i­ly mean that it will work in your plan­ning con­text. Explic­it­ly con­sid­er and doc­u­ment what enabling con­di­tions are nec­es­sary for a causal rela­tion­ship to hold. For exam­ple, com­mu­ni­ty enforce­ment of marine pro­tect­ed areas may reduce ille­gal fish­ing only if finan­cial sup­port for boat fuel is pro­vid­ed. It will often be the case that there is no direct evi­dence as to what are the enabling con­di­tions. How­ev­er, it is still essen­tial to make an assess­ment of enabling con­di­tions, as absence of enabling con­di­tions is a major rea­son that projects fail. Ask your­self ‘why’ a causal rela­tion­ship holds. Explic­it­ly artic­u­lat­ing this hypoth­e­sized mech­a­nism can help you iden­ti­fy the con­di­tions under which this mech­a­nism holds.