!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Management Software for Conservation Projects

Monday, June 08, 2009

Management Software for Conservation Projects

As a follow-on to yesterday's post, I'd like to mention the Miradi software that the Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP) and Benetech have been jointly developing since 2007. ("Miradi" is a Swahili word that means "project" or "goal.")

As the developers put it at the Miradi website,
Miradi is designed to provide project teams with the essential features that they need to design, manage, monitor, and learn from their conservation projects, in other words, to practice good adaptive management. Currently, most conservation practitioners go through the adaptive management process either using pen and paper, or by cobbling together functions from a wide range of programs including flowcharting, mapping, project planning, spreadsheet, accounting, and other software packages. Miradi takes the right functions from each of these different kinds of programs and bundles them together in one easy-to-use integrated package.
To get a project set up in the software, the user works through a step-by-step process that matches the flow of the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation developed by the CMP. Those steps are:

1. Conceptualize project
1A. Define initial project team
1B. Define, scope, vision & targets
1C. Identify critical conservation threats
1D. Complete situation analysis

2. Plan actions & monitoring
2A. Develop strategic plan
2B. Develop monitoring plan
2C. Develop operational plan

3. Implement actions & monitoring
3A. Develop short-term work plan
3B. Develop & refine project budget
3C. Implement plans

4. Analyze, use, adapt
4A. Prepare data for analysis
4B. Analyze results
4C. Adapt project plan

5. Capture & share learning
5A. Document learning
5B. Share learning
5C. Create a learning environment

Close the loop

Once the conservation project is set up in Miradi, the project can be managed and tracked using the various data views the software provides.

The Diagram View shows the conceptual model underlying the project:
In a complete conceptual diagram, the overall project scope is linked to specific conservation targets that are each in turn linked to direct threats and the contributing factors that lead to these threats. The diagram also displays the strategies that the project team is taking to counter these threats, showing the key assumptions that the project team is making about how their actions will lead to their desired outcomes. The diagram also allows users to focus on the specific results chain that they predict will happen as a result of their interventions and to determine what indicators they need to measure to test these assumptions over time. [emphasis added]
Other views include the Threat Rating View, Viability Analysis (showing the status of each conservation target, e.g., "coral reefs"), Strategic Planning View, Monitoring View, Work Plan View, and Budget View.


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