How We Work – Community Collaboration

planning meeting in a host country

Quick Facts:

  • Appreciative Participatory Planning and Action empowers communities to focus on their assets successes and positive attributes instead of their problems and negatives.
  • Five conditions for collaboration:
    1. linkage with biodiversity conservation,
    2. reciprocal contribution,
    3. participation,
    4. responsibility,
    5. monitoring & evaluation

The Snow Leopard Conservancy engages villagers–from small children to great-grandmothers–using Appreciative Participatory Planning and Action. This process is relatively quick and easy for rural people to learn and implement, and has been applied to community-based conservation initiatives in Nepal, Sikkim, Tibet and India. Communities are enabled to focus on their assets and positive attributes and learn from their successes instead of dwelling on their problems and negatives. Handouts do little to build a community’s self esteem. But when people feel a sense of ownership in efforts to protect snow leopards, the chances of long-term success are greatly improved. Toward this end, we have established the five conditions below that must be met or satisfactorily addressed when we fund a community-based conservation program:

Design Criteria

Linkage with Biodiversity Conservation We invest in a community with the primary objective of conserving snow leopards and other mountain biodiversity. This linkage is constantly reinforced during village mobilization and planning meetings, so that it becomes associated with the project activities we support.
Reciprocal Contribution All stakeholders (villager, NGO, or government) must make a reciprocal contribution, within their means, to compliment that being made by the Conservancy. This may be in the form of in-kind services such as materials and labor, which are valued using existing market rates.
Participation Strong commitment to active and equitable participation is expected from each involved stakeholder through the life of the project, from planning to implementation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting. The project activities should benefit as many individuals and households as possible, and be sensitive to matters of ethnic or economic equity and gender.
Responsibility The beneficiary community must be willing to assume all or significant responsibility for repairing and maintaining any infrastructural improvements we provide.
Monitoring & Evaluation The stakeholders must be willing to employ simple but realistic indicators for measuring project performance and impact, according to a Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (part of the overall Action Plan).