Making Intentional Connections

Module Introduction (1:51) This Module uses the Interested Parties Assessment Tool and Spectrum of Engagement to help teams include the right people in their strategies at the right time.

About This Module

imagePrep: 3 hr | Module: 6 hrimageTeam: 5-10

The Interested Parties module helps teams identify and develop a plan for learning about and engaging the relevant groups connected to their work, and improve their awareness of inequities in the socio-ecological systems they work in. This enables the development of more equitable and effective strategies, and supports a human rights-based approach to conservation. 

Teams should use this module very early in a planning process, and review the tool and their database of interested parties periodically. This is especially important when new members join a team, to ensure everyone has the opportunity to contribute their insights.

Learn More

    • A database with key information about identified interested parties.
    • A plan for learning more about relevant interested parties.
    • An entry point to TNC Human Rights Guide tools, including an engagement plan.
    • Who are the relevant groups connected to our work?
    • Reflecting on the current situation, who is benefiting and how? Conversely, who is being harmed and how?
    • How do inequities in the system affect the interests of different parties?
    • How might we best engage with different groups to advance the planning process?
  • The primary participants are the core planning team. The ideal group size is 5-10 people to incorporate multiple perspectives while also enabling all participants to fully engage. This may include only internal staff, or both internal and external participants. Teams will also need a facilitator—ideally, someone from outside the planning team—who has completed training on this module.

  • This module includes three 2-hour workshop sessions (6+ hours total). The strategy team lead and module facilitator should also expect to commit approximately 3 hours of prep and wrap-up time.

  • Before beginning this module, teams should have identified their strategy’s purpose and scope. A team’s experience will also be richer if all members complete the Integrating Equity module first, but this is not a requirement.

  • This module follows a five-step process.

    1. Identify and reflect on interested parties.

    2. Capture current knowledge.

    3. Create an initial research plan.

    4. Set goals for engagement.

    5. Begin learning and early discussions with interested parties. 


“Employing the Interested Parties [module] led to a 6-fold increase in the number of interested parties we identified [across seven strategies]. We identified 22 interested parties that several strategies had in common."

— McGowan, Doran, Pearsall,
Poloskey, and Verdeja

Enhancing consideration of Equity and
Inclusion in MIFO Conservation Strategies:
Final Project Report, 2023

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