Rare (www.rareconservation.org) in collaboration with the Kent Business School and MBA intern Namita Shete recently undertook a market viability study to understand the demand for a new 10-day social marketing (Campaigning for Conservation) workshop which would teach outreach techniques to conservation professionals. The results of the research conducted using inputs from protected area managers and park officials from around the world indicated a positive attitude towards the concept of social marketing for conservation in general, and the idea of a workshop teaching effective techniques of social marketing in the area of conservation in particular.
The findings showed that outreach was a component of most protected area work plans, and many had staff (or even entire units) dedicated to conservation education. But, these outreach activities are often being carried out haphazardly. In many cases respondents indicated that their outreach staff were either not formally or not adequately trained, (especially in concepts like social marketing) and were therefore unable to consistently create effective outreach campaigns for conservation. The study validated the fact that the park managers want and need a training/workshop that helps them better engage communities and reach out to people to create an enabling environment for conservation to take place. This has led Rare to develop a new training program to meet this need which is being piloted in China in collaboration with the State Forestry Administration.
“This was a fantastic opportunity for Namita to work with one of the top 100 best NGOs in the world looking at sustainable environmental issues. We are pleased that the results of her research have culminated in a new training programme developed and currently being piloted in China. It is wonderful that our MBA student has had a real opportunity to make a difference.” Commented Dr Pamela Yeow – Deputy Director of MBA
What is Campaigning for Conservation?
Campaigning for Conservation is a ten-day hands-on workshop run by Rare (www.rareconservation.org) that introduces participants to social marketing for behavior change and cover topics including creating a theory of change, diffusion theory, the behavior change continuum; as well as quantitative and qualitative research methods and material design. The workshop is structured to ensure that participants leave the course understanding, and having practiced, the application of the theories they have learned.
By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to design and implement a campaign that will increase local residents’ understanding and appreciation of nature. If successful, visitation to their wetland parks and protected areas will increase in line with a growing appreciation for the benefits that protecting nature offer; while threats impacting the area will decline as more sustainable resource behaviors are.
Taught in and around an existing wetland park or nature reserve, participants use real-life situations to design and test materials ranging from puppet shows and comic books for children; to posters and billboards targeting adult resource-users.
The course is residential and intense. Participants will spend the entire time in a retreat setting and be immersed in learning. Short theoretical sessions (primarily in days 1-3) are interspersed with lengthy practicums where participants learn how to create compelling materials for use in their own communities, as well as how to test these for efficacy.
For the second year in a row, The Global Journal’s ranking of the TOP 100 Best NGOs in the world features Rare. 450 organizations were judged on impact, innovation and sustainability. Rare ranked #22 of all nonprofits, clutching the coveted #2 spot in the environmental category and #3 in the sustainability criteria.