As I went to bed that night, the dusty wind rattling my tent, I thought about how the invisible scorpions of GZT’s Samburu headquarters were a metaphor for the challenges of management. You can oftentimes ‘get by’ as a manager, but there are probably a lot of near-misses that could be avoided if management wasn’t so commonly done in the dark. With more care, thought, and preparation you can almost certainly avoid serious problems.Read More
In Brief: For centuries, the Maasai living in Kenya’s South Rift Valley have used and managed the land in a way that supports both livestock and wildlife. This approach provides the foundation of community conservation and today this area serves as an important model of co-existence and wildlife restoration in Kenya and beyond, where people, livestock and wildlife live together and benefit from each other.Read More
In Brief: Secure community land rights and new market opportunities from carbon credits have enabled the Hadza hunter-gatherers in northern Tanzania- one of East Africa’s most unique cultures- to develop an award-winning model for indigenous-led conservation, while protecting their territories and culture.Read More
A prominent new paper in the leading journal Science documents what all conservationists in East Africa already know: that growing human populations, settlements and infrastructure are increasing pressure on even the largest protected areas, and making it even more important to develop conservation approaches that reconcile the needs of people and wildlife.Read More
A good strategic plan should address a core set of questions – here are three simple and basic ones that we always push our partners to answer:
What does an organization do uniquely well?
What does an organization need to get better at?
What should an organization not be doing at all?
Enduimet is one of two community Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) in northern Tanzania that I’ve visited in the past couple of months. Both WMAs–Enduimet and Randilen–offer impressive landscapes and wildlife, and a unique tourism experience that goes beyond park boundaries. But while these places may seem wild, they actually require a huge amount of investment by people to make them work.Read More
“This is unlike anything I’ve experienced before in this field’ and ‘I wish I could have been part of something like the African Conservation Leadership Network (ACLN) ten years ago!”
Reported members of the 2018 ACLN cohort that met for the second time in Naivasha, Kenya in September 2018 for a week-long session to improve practical organizational leadership and management skills.Read More
The Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association (KWCA) and Maliasili, in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the World Resources Institute (WRI) with support from the Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group (ABCG) held a dialogue on Strengthening Partnerships within Kenya’s Wildlife Conservancies Movement, hosted by the African Wildlife Foundation in Nairobi on July 4, 2018. It explored partnerships between local actors and national as well as international partners.Read More
In May 2018, the second cohort began the programme at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya, where seventeen leaders from nine African organisations working in Tanzania, Kenya, Namibia and Zambia. Facilitated by the Maliasili team, the first week laid the foundations for personal learning and leadership - delving deeply into self-awareness and the impact of personality on leadership style.Read More
Recently I listened to a conservationist tell the story of how he had founded a very successful conservation organization, only to be eventually fired by the board he had himself built up over the years. What had occurred was that his organization had established a strong track record of achievement and impact, and resulting growth in its funding, staff, and board.Read More
Human resources (HR) plays a critical role in shaping organizational culture. African CSOs face a complex internal challenge: how to balance the passion and commitment of individuals with an entire organization whose achievements are greater than the sum of its parts.Read More
What’s needed to achieve conservation impact? In April, Maliasili brought together a unique group of leading African conservation organizations and funders to start talking about just that. Below provides the key recommendations coming out of the participants’ discussions at the Conservation Impact Forum (download the entire conference summary here).Read More
Organizations need money to run, which is why fundraising is one of the foremost challenges and priorities they face. While there isn’t a simple solution to fundraising – unfortunately, it’s always going to be a challenging part of the job – there are ways to approach it to be more effective, efficient, and successful.Read More
Here we lay out a simple set of five questions that provide the backbone of any strategy or strategic plan. If an organization can answer these five questions clearly, it has a sound underlying strategy, even if it is not written down anywhere.Read More
Communications units aren’t innocent in the information deficit dilemma. In fact, communications should play a major role in helping to shape, design, and evaluate an organization’s M&E system. This doesn’t often happen as the two are often considered distinct and separate functions of an organization.Read More
As we frequently find ourselves emphasizing at Maliasili Initiatives throughout all our work with our partners, the single most important question any organization needs to answer is: What do we want to achieve? The key to answering this question, and in building the systems and plans to help an organization achieve its core purpose and mission, lies in setting good goals.Read More
Few places have a more urgent need for vital and dynamic leadership on conservation issues than Africa. Across the continent societies and communities are undergoing a range of changes where locally rooted leadership is critical to solving a host of growing challenges.Read More
Organizations are both complex and simple. They are complex in that they are made up of different people, working together to solve difficult social problems that often operate at multiple scales and over long time horizons. Successful organizations tend to grow, which adds to the scope of work, level of resources, number of relationships that must be managed and so forth. Thus growth and success only increase an organization’s level of complexity.Read More