Making Better Decisions

Making Better Decisions

Identifying and implementing effective conservation is often argued to require the best available evidence. However, making evidence-informed decisions in conservation is not without challenges. In this series co-hosted by the Fuller Science for Nature program and the Alliance for Conservation Evidence and Sustainability, we will discuss the factors that shape how individuals and organizations make decisions in conservation and explore pathways for creating both the structures and culture that enable evidence-informed decision-making.

This five-part seminar series will invite participants to explore the diversity of thought within conservation and beyond for insights and ideas for how we can improve the science/knowledge/practice interface. Each seminar is designed to be a dialogue, inviting the speakers and listeners on a journey where we collectively explore how we can make more equitable and impactful decisions in service of a better future for all people and nature.

Session 4

Dancing with Evidence

May 19, 2022 | 9:00am – 10:00am EDT

Many of the decisions made by conservationists or policymakers can provide unique windows of opportunity to bring different knowledge holders and types of evidence to the places and contexts where big decisions get made. Sometimes these opportunities are obvious, sometimes less so. This seminar will explore the different ways in which we can create the enabling conditions for decision-makers to engage with different forms of knowledge at the right time and in the right ways.

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Speakers:
Dr. Paul Cairney, Professor of Politics and Public Policy, Division of History, Heritage, and Politics, University of Stirling

Provocateur:
Dr. Gretchen Goldman, Asst. Director for Environmental Science, Engineering, Policy & Justice, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President

Session 3

Challenge Assumptions, Reckon With Failure

April 26, 2022 | 2:00pm – 3:00pm EDT

Evidence-informed decision-making is the process of combining individual professional judgment with research and other sources of information. Yet even experts make regular errors of judgment, which can lead to so-called failure. This seminar will dive into the individual factors that can help or hinder evidence-informed decision-making, and explore how creating the regular time and space to challenge our own biases and reckon with our past mistakes can help us become more mindful, engaged, and strategic about where and how we make conservation decisions.

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Speakers:
Dr. Allison Catalano, Evaluation & Learning Manager, Sequoia Climate Fund
Dr. Yuta Masuda, Senior Sustainable Development and Behavioral Scientist, The Nature Conservancy

Provocateur:
Dr. Madeleine McKinnon, Senior Officer for Learning and Impact, Philanthropic Services Hillspire

Session 2

What counts as evidence in conservation?

April 5, 2022 | 8:00am – 9:00am EDT/14:00 – 15:00 CEST

The conservation community is diverse; comprised of individuals and communities who come from different cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and scientific backgrounds. As a result, evidence is often valued and defined in different ways. These different values are often rooted in systemic legacies like colonialism that shape the power dynamics surrounding how we use and value evidence today. This seminar will explore this diversity and the opportunities that exist for fostering a more inclusive approach to defining and using evidence in conservation.

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Speakers:
Dr. Morena Mills, Senior Lecturer In Conservation Science In The Department Of Life Sciences, Imperial College London
Dr. Darren Ranco, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Chair of Native American Programs, University of Maine

Provocateur:
Dr. Chris Sandbrook, Associate Professor in Geography, University of Cambridge

Session 1

Advancing evidence-informed decision-making: Lessons from health, education, and development

March 1, 2022 | 1:00pm-2:15pm EST

This seminar introduces the concept of evidence-informed decision-making and explores how decisions are made in other sectors like education, development, and health. Facilitated by Dr. Angela Bednarek, this seminar encourages listeners to think beyond conservation about the broader individual, organizational, and systemic factors that can enhance or inhibit our capacity to make evidence-informed decisions.

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Speakers:
Prof. Ruth Stewart, Director, Africa Center for Evidence
Dr. K. Vish Viswanath, Lee Kum Kee Professor of Health Communication, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Dr. Lauren Supplee, Senior Program Officer, William T. Grant Foundation

Provocateur:
Dr. Angela Bednarek, Project Director, Evidence Project, Pew Charitable Trusts