Construct Results Chains

Purpose
  1. Describe how a strat­e­gy will lead to con­ser­va­tion success.
  2. Iden­ti­fy and artic­u­late a team’s assump­tions about how strate­gies will change key dri­vers, lead­ing to improve­ment in con­ser­va­tion chal­lenges and linked human well-being challenges.
  3. Eval­u­ate the strength of evi­dence for a strat­e­gy’s assumptions.
  4. Eval­u­ate which strate­gies to make strat­e­gy maps for.
Products
  • Results chains describ­ing the cause-and-effect log­ic of how strate­gies will result in desired changes for nature and people
  • Bib­li­og­ra­phy and doc­u­men­ta­tion of evi­dence assess­ment process
 

A results chain is a dia­gram that depicts the assumed causal link­ages between your actions and their desired impacts through a series of inter­me­di­ate results. It is a graph­ic depic­tion of the way you expect your strat­e­gy to unfold. In devel­op­ing and refin­ing your results chain or chains, you will iter­a­tive­ly test and tight­en your rea­son­ing. Your com­plet­ed results chain and its nar­ra­tive will be impor­tant tools for con­vey­ing your strat­e­gy, and the think­ing behind it, to impor­tant stake­hold­ers includ­ing donors, part­ners, deci­sion-mak­ers and stakeholders.

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  • Construct an initial results chain for each strategy based on your conceptual model or situation analysis diagram.

    • Include both direct and indirect pathways from possible strategies to changes in conservation targets, and human well-being interests

    • Ensure that all connections and intermediate results from doing a strategy are directly captured in the results chain.

    • Results chains should capture both focal and additional outcomes from a proposed strategy.

    • Any risks to vulnerable people identified through a results chain should be addressed.

    • Results chains should be composed of assumptions that can be tested.

    • Assess the sufficiency of intermediate results.

    • Work ‘forwards’ and ‘backwards’ to identify steps.

  • Evaluate whether there is evidence for a strategy’s assumptions.

    • Evidence must meet minimum standards to be considered evidence.

    • Not all evidence is created equal.

    • Consider enabling conditions.

    • Determine the sufficiency of the evidence.

  • Verify that your results chain meets criteria of a good results chain.

  • Document your work.

    • Write a narrative summary of each results chain.

    • Consider alternative formats, tailored to your audience.

    • Create a bibliography and summary of assessed evidence.

  • Seek peer review of the results chain.

Minimum Standard Questions
  1. Do your results chains start with a key challenge and end with a desirable state?
  2. Are your intermediate results necessary and sufficient to achieve your desired outcomes?
  3. Does your results chain show the intended positive outcomes for conservation and any intended, linked positive outcomes for human well-being from the proposed conservation action?
  4. Did you explicitly consider additional (unintentional) outcomes, including both positive and negative outcomes from the strategies considered?
  5. Do all links in your chains reflect no more than one testable assumption (i.e. there are not “leaps of faith” or “then a miracle happens” gaps in logic)?
  6. Have you evaluated and recorded the strength of evidence for each of your assumptions and linkages?
  7. If your results chain outcomes are quantified, will they be sufficient to determine whether the strategy meets the minimum goal(s)?
FAQS Show All
What is the difference between a conceptual model or situation analysis diagram and a results chain?

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