Projects

Tackling wildlife poisoning in the northern plains of Cambodia

Wildlife poisoning is a significant threat to populations of endangered wildlife and to human health and wellbeing in Cambodia’s Northern Plains. This project used mixed methods and specialised questionnaire techniques to better understand wildlife poisoning practices. Together with the provincial department of environment and WCS Cambodia, we designed and implemented a pilot social marketing campaign, aiming to reduce poisoning and encourage reporting of pesticide contamination. See here for more details.

Information flows and the effectiveness of behaviour change interventions

My PhD project examines the role of information flows in conservation behaviour-change interventions. Communication and transfer of information are core components of all behavioural interventions, but little is known about how conservation messages reach their intended targets and how this influence their response to intervention. Using social network analysis and longitudinal survey data in the context of a field experiment implemented with WCS Cambodia, we aim to understand how local communities communicate about conservation interventions and how this information can be used to better target communications. See here for more detail.

Life in Conservation

This project, led by Thomas Pienkowski, explores the challenges and rewards that those working or conducting research in conservation face. The online survey aims to build a broad picture of these challenges and rewards. This will be accompanied by more in-depth surveys in selected conservation organisations. Some of the questions used in this survey are established psychological instruments. However, other questions were developed and piloted during this study. The results of this study will be published in peer-reviewed articles, alongside the anonymous data, and contribute to the Doctoral thesis of Thomas Pienkowski. We will also be providing a publically available summary of the results. See here for more details.

(Completed) Monitoring the impacts of a community-based ecotourism project

Evidence for the effectiveness of conservation interventions is often lacking, but is essential if we are to allocate scarce resources effectively, learn from past efforts, and solicit support from funders or other stakeholders. This project, completed for my MRes, set up a monitoring framework for the Jahoo gibbon camp ecotourism project in Mondulkiri, Cambodia, established by WCS Cambodia. We used a theory-based design, collecting indicator data to evaluate theorised causal mechanisms.

(Completed) Measuring complex outcomes of conservation & development interventions

Measuring the impacts of development projects is increasingly viewed as critical in order to assess their contribution to global development. Rigorous impact evaluation methodologies have been developed to effectively attribute changes to projects by comparing intervention sites to controls. However, these methods have tended to focus on standard economic measures of poverty such as income which may not capture outcomes considered relevant by local people, for example resource tenure, access to education, changes in governance, and autonomy. Some of these outcomes may be difficult or inappropriate to quantify lending themselves to qualitative analyses which are rarely used. Applying a multi-dimensional and more holistic concept of wellbeing incorporating qualitative elements may be more illuminating, and puts local people at the centre of decision-making. See here for more details.