Center for Collaborative Conservation: How To

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Collaboration: The Basics

  • The Atlas of Collaborative Conservation in Colorado. 2019. C. Huayhuaca and R. Reid. For 220+ long-term collaborative and multi-stakeholder initiatives, how and why collaboratives get started, and what organizational models they adopt to achieve their shared objectives. (website and 44 pp. report )
  • Collaboration: What Makes It Work. Paul W. Mattessich and Kirsten M. Johnson (book)
  • Collaborating: Finding Common Ground for Multiparty Problems by Barbara Gray. A classic work on navigating conflict through collaboration. (book)
  • USFS Collaboration Primer: Getting Started. (4 pp. guide)
  • Building a solid foundation for collaborative efforts. 2019. Forest Service National Collaboration Cadre FS-1127. (10 pp. guide)
  • Understanding collaboration. Forest Service National Collaboration Cadre FS-1166. Includes a focus on USFS collaborations. (5 pp. guide)

Building and Sustaining Collaborations and Partnerships

  • Capacity Building for Collaboration: A Case Study on Building and Sustaining Landscape-Scale Stewardship Networks in the 21st Century. Leigh Goldberg Consulting. Includes Key Recommendations for How to Build Capacity Gleaned from Interviews. (report and key findings)
  • Maintaining the Foundation of Collaborative Groups. 2019 Forest Service National Collaboration Cadre FS-1128. (5 pp. paper)
  • The Multi-Stakeholder Partnership Guide. Wageningen University and Research. A comprehensive guide on multi-stakeholder partnerships, with embedded links tools and videos relevant to the content being discussed. (guide, in English, French, and Spanish)
  • Connecting for Conservation: Building Community Trust. Stephanie Malin and Robert Bonnie. (1 hr video)
  • Field guide to developing partnerships. North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (6 pp. guide)

Evaluating Collaborations and their Impact

  • The Wilder Collaboration Factors Inventory. 2018. (worksheet)
  • Partnership Impact Evaluation Guide. A.E. Mickel and L. Goldberg. (34 pp. guide)
  • Assessing Collaborative Conservation: A Case Survey of Output, Outcome, and Impact Measures Used in the Empirical Literature. Tomas Koontz, Nicolas Jager, and Jens Newig. (journal article)
  • Evaluating the Process and Outcomes of Collaborative Conservation: Tools, Techniques, and Strategies. 2019. Rebecca Thomas and Arren Mendezona Allegretti. (Journal article; request from the author)
  • A Framework for Assessing Collaborative Capacity in Community-Based Public Forest Management. 2012. Anthony Cheng and Victoria Sturtevant. (journal article)
  • Collaboration as Pursuit of Progress. 2021. Forest Service National Collaboration Cadre FS-1164. How can you tell if a collaborative is working? (3 pp. guide)

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Unsettling collaborative conservation through a decolonizing lens: Engagement and collaboration with Indigenous peoples and communities. 2020. Center for Collaborative Conservation. (2 pp. workshop summary)
  • Considerations for incorporating JEDI into conservation standards. 2021. Leander Lacy. (50 min video)
  • Conservation and natural resource management: where are all the women? R. James et al. (journal article and blog)
  • Braiding Sweetgrass. 2014. Robin Wall Kimmerer. Relationship to each other and Earth, anchored in gratitude. (book)
  • Trust in the Land: New Directions in Tribal Conservation. 2011. Beth Rose Middleton. (book)
  • Black Faces, White Spaces. 2014. Carolyn Finney. (book)

Stakeholder analysis and management

  • Stakeholder Analysis. CCC “How to” Series. (6 pp. guide)
  • Interest-based problem solving. Forest Service National Collaboration Cadre FS-1165.   (6 pp. guide)
  • Aligning Expectations for effective collaborative work. Forest Service National Collaboration Cadre FS-1163. (7 pp. guide)
  • Who’s in and why? A typology of stakeholder analysis methods for natural resource management. M.S. Reed and others. (journal article)
  • Stakeholder Analysis in Environmental and Conservation Planning. Papers and tools from AMNH Center for Biodiversity and Conservation. Papers, tools, and additional resources.  (13 pp. guide)
  • Stakeholder Analysis, Natural Resources Management and Governance – Comparing Approaches. Paul Vedeld. (47 pp. paper
  • Branching Out: Engaging Forest Stakeholders through Collaborative Design. Brady Bender, Han Ding, and Michael Reiterman. Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program with National Forest Foundation. (35 pp. guide)


  • Facilitator resource book. Prepared for the Center for Public Deliberation for a CCC training (9 pp. guide)
  • Student Associate Training Workbook. 2013. Center for Public Deliberation. Best practices for deliberative processes and facilitation, for beginners and more advanced practitioners. (training workbook)
  • Facilitation at a glance! Your pocket guide to facilitationI. Bens.(book)
  • Extreme facilitation: Guiding groups through controversy and complexityS. Ghais (book
  • The art of facilitating participation: unlearning old habits and learning new ones. by L. Braakman. Short, helpful description of why facilitators need to remain neutral and focus on process. (6 pp. article)

Leadership Core Competencies

  • UNCG Guide to Collaborative Competencies. K. Emerson and S. Smutko. Published by the University Network for Collaborative Governance. (32 pp. guidebook)
  • Mastering Leadership: An Integrated Framework for Breakthrough Performance and Extraordinary Business Results. 2015. B. Anderson and W. Adams. Excellent widely used and useful leadership framework grounded in adult development with a dual internal/external focus. (book)
  • Lead from the Outside. S. Abrams. Includes “practical exercises to help you realize your own ambition and hone your skills” emphasizing that “differences in race, gender, and class provide vital strength.” (book)
  • How to Conserve Conservationists. 2020. J. Panazzolo. Leadership can be feel isolating. These resources may help. (book and website)

Relationships, including conflict, listening, and power dynamics

  • Turning contention into collaboration: engaging power, trust, and learning in collaborative networks. V.R. Levesque and others. (journal article)
  • Engaging Differences – Key Principles and Best Practices. National Institute for Civil Discourse. (website and pdf)
  • Getting to Yes. W. Ury. Classic ‘must read’ book on achieving better outcomes for more parties. (book)
  • Emphatic listening. R. Salem. (article)
  • 10 Steps to Effective Listening. D. Schilling. The basics of listening we should all employ more often, in simple terms. (short article)
  • Understanding the influence of power and empathic perspective-taking on collaborative natural resource management. D.M. Wald and others. (2017). Journal of environmental management, 199, 201-210. (journal article)

Participatory Learning / Co-production

  • The power of maps: Bringing the third dimension to the negotiation table. Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation. Using participatory spatial data to empower and give a voice to the grass-roots communities(74 pp. book)  
  • Social learning and building trust through a participatory design for natural resource planning. S. Selin and others. (journal article)
  • Participatory methods. Institute of Development Studies (IDS) Participation Resource Center. Introduction to Participatory Methods and resources to generate ideas and action for inclusive development and social change. (website)
  • The basics of collaborative learning. Walker and S. Daniels. (short intro

Conservation Planning

  • Conservation Standards. A widely adopted set of principles and practices that bring together common concepts, approaches, and terminology for conservation project design, management, and monitoring. (website)
  • Conservation Measures Partnership. A community of conservation-oriented NGOs, government agencies, funders, and private businesses that work collectively to guide conservation around the world. (website)

Situation Assessment

  • Using a Multidisciplinary Approach to Conduct a Situational Analysis. 2005. NRCS Social Sciences Team. (8 pp. guide)
  • Systems thinking toolkitFSG consulting group. Includes a guide to “actor mapping.” (website)
  • Conducting a situation assessment. CCC ‘how-to’ series”. (4 pp. guide)


  • Seeing is Believing: A Guide to Visual Storytelling Best Practices. Resource Media. (20 pp. guide)
  • Communicating science in politicized environments. 2013. A. Lupia. (journal article).
  • AAAS Communication Toolkit. An online collection of resources for learning how to communicate science, including communication fundamentals, communicating science online, working with journalists, in-person engagement, using multimedia & visuals. (website)
  • The Language of Conservation: Updated Recommendations on How to Communicate Effectively to Build Support for Conservation. 2018. Lori Weigel and David Metz. (10 pp. memo)
  • Eleven Principles for Communicating Science to Get Results. 2019. R. Aines and A. Aines. From the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science that offers advice for how to communicate science with decisionmakers. (1 hr. video)
  • Storytelling for non-profits. Network for good. (19 pp. guide)

Meetings and events

  • Running effective meetings. 2005. NRCS Social Sciences Team; People, Partnerships, and Communities. (2 pp. guide)
  • Running and effective collaborative meeting. 2009. National Forest Foundation. (2 pp. guide)
  • Limnu. An online learning and sharing tool that allows many users to collaborate in unison on a whiteboard-type platform. (tool)
  • Miro. Participants can work together online to create story maps, problem, trees, do scenario planning, and idea organization, in general. (tool)

Co-production of Science (Working with Researchers, Practitioners, and Communities)

  • Linking model design and application for transdisciplinary approaches in social-ecological systems. C. Steger and others. Social-ecological models under-represent social datasets, exacerbating power imbalances. Higher stakeholder diversity in model design and application may improve collaboration.(journal article)
  • Science with society: Evidence-based guidance for best practices in environmental transdisciplinary work. 2021. Steger and others. Efforts to address increasingly complex challenges arising from global environmental change are enhanced by a “science with society” approach that values flexibility and collaborative spirit along with attributes like humility, trust, and patience.(journal article)
  • Using Research to Support Transformative Impacts on Complex, “Wicked Problems” With Pastoral Peoples in Rangelands. 2021. Reid and others. Collaborative partnerships are changing how we do science, creating new and transformative ways that science and society interact that could be called “transformative science with society.” (journal article)
  • Opportunities to integrate herders’ indicators into formal rangeland monitoring: an example from Mongolia. C. Jamsranjav and others. A new model for integrating herder knowledge and participation into formal monitoring in Mongolia highlights the importance of developing a common language shared between herders, government monitoring agencies, and researchers. (journal article)
Spectrum of engagement