The evolution of Rare Pride: using evaluation to drive adaptive management in a biodiversity conservation organization

Eval Program Plann. 2010 May;33(2):186-90. doi: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2009.07.010. Epub 2009 Aug 3.


Rare Pride is a social marketing program that stimulates human behavior change in order to promote biodiversity conservation in critically threatened regions in developing countries. A series of formal evaluation studies, networking strategies, and evaluative inquiries have driven a 20-year process of adaptive management that has resulted in extensive programmatic changes within Pride. This paper describes the types of evaluation that Rare used to drive adaptive management and the changes it caused in Pride's theory-of-change and programmatic structure. We argue that (a) qualitative data gathered from partners and staff through structured interviews is most effective at identifying problems with current programs and procedures, (b) networking with other organizations is the most effective strategy for learning of new management strategies, and (c) quantitative data gathered through surveys is effective at measuring program impact and quality. Adaptive management has allowed Rare to increase its Pride program from implementing about two campaigns per year in 2001 to more than 40 per year in 2009 while improving program quality and maintaining program impact.

MeSH terms

  • Biodiversity*
  • Conservation of Natural Resources*
  • Ecology / education*
  • Humans
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation / methods*
  • Social Marketing*