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Define and prioritize information needs for adaptive management.

Define mile­stones, spe­cif­ic key points in the results chain, and oth­er infor­ma­tion needs that are crit­i­cal to mak­ing man­age­ment deci­sions. Be explic­it with what infor­ma­tion is need­ed for these points. For each infor­ma­tion need, con­sid­er whether indi­ca­tors are need­ed. Note that activ­i­ties and out­puts are gen­er­al­ly more com­mon­ly mea­sured and report­ed to donors and in man­age­ment reviews, but inter­me­di­ate results and impacts are the results that are nec­es­sary to mea­sure to indi­cate con­ser­va­tion results.

Process­es or activ­i­ties describe project actions, such as engag­ing in meet­ings, work­ing with part­ners, con­duct­ing lob­by­ing activ­i­ties, etc. Indi­ca­tors for these track activ­i­ties and par­tic­i­pa­tion. They are gen­er­al­ly qual­i­ta­tive in describ­ing sta­tus, such as whether an activ­i­ty is com­plet­ed, ongo­ing and going well, has some issues, has major issues, or has not been started.

Out­puts describe the major prod­ucts that are com­plet­ed by the con­ser­va­tion activ­i­ty. These may be reports, or tools that were devel­oped. Indi­ca­tors for these are qual­i­ta­tive and gen­er­al­ly relat­ed to the com­ple­tion and deliv­ery of a prod­uct. Progress in com­plet­ing out­puts can be gen­er­at­ed sim­i­lar­ly to process or activ­i­ty indicators.

Inter­me­di­ate results describe what we intend to accom­plish that is a pre­req­ui­site for achiev­ing con­ser­va­tion goals or out­comes. Inter­me­di­ate results can be defined for sev­er­al major steps in a sequence with­in a strat­e­gy. Inter­me­di­ate results may relate to changes to or estab­lish­ment of pol­i­cy, gov­er­nance, sus­tain­able finance, part­ner­ship devel­op­ment, a social behav­ioral change, or imple­men­ta­tion of man­age­ment activ­i­ties. Inter­me­di­ate results are often referred to as “lead­ing indi­ca­tors” since their com­ple­tion sug­gests that impacts will occur in the future.

Impacts describe what changes to peo­ple and nature are ulti­mate­ly being achieved as a result of the con­ser­va­tion strat­e­gy. Impacts are relat­ed to goals; specif­i­cal­ly, our goals are to achieve a cer­tain lev­el of impact. Impacts can be described in terms of the scope of an impact (how many hectares and/or kilo­me­ters are pro­tect­ed, restored, improved, how many peo­ple ben­e­fit­ed, etc.) and/or the degree of impact (increase in pop­u­la­tion size, changes in species diver­si­ty, changes in water qual­i­ty, changes in income, life expectan­cy, etc.). Impacts are often referred to as “lag­ging indi­ca­tors” since they can take time to be real­ized and/or monitored.