Developing a deliberative-Delphi method for informing national conservation capacity development strategies

Reece Alberts, Morgan Hauptfleisch, Francois Retief, Claudine Roos, Dirk Cilliers, J Atuyma, Jurie Moolman, L Liebenberg, G K Haingura, Alan Bond

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Conservation governance requires inter-disciplinary approaches aimed at bridging science, management, and policy divides, which introduces capacity development challenges in developing countries. In particular, there is a need to establish how best to direct capacity development efforts in order to achieve long-term conservation benefits. To help meet this challenge, a deliberative-Delphi method was developed and tested in Namibia based on an integrated Delphi and workshop-based approach. Deliberative-Delphi involves rapid responses to questions followed by consensus workshops to agree emerging themes. The method was applied to researchers in the fields of conservation ecology, conservation governance, and futures thinking (FT) identifying and prioritising ten conservation themes over a two-day period. These themes were then aligned with Namibian conservation policy, and explicated through literature review, providing a roadmap for capacity development interventions (through setting university curricula, research agendas, and future policy changes). The approach can be applied elsewhere to focus conservation capacity development interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages44
JournalJournal of Environment & Development
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 21 Jun 2024


  • deliberative-Delphi method
  • conservation
  • capacity development
  • research agenda
  • curricula
  • policy changes
  • Nmibia

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