Peer learning resources for Community Conservation Wardens in Uganda

Here we share eight training modules designed and delivered for Community Conservation Wardens from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Designed to enhance skills for engaging local people living around protected areas, the modules can be used as stand-alone training units or together as part of a comprehensive learning package.

Article, 16 June 2020
A group of men and women outside a building

Community conservation wardens and participants of the peer-led training that took place at Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda, in 2019 (Photo: copyright Julia Baker)

The IIED-led project ‘Implementing park action plans for community engagement to tackle illegal wildlife trade (IWT)’ is developing and providing a skills development programme with the Community Conservation Unit of the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

Training has been designed and delivered by leading community conservation experts in Uganda. It aims to strengthen community conservation wardens’ skills for engaging local people living around Uganda’s protected areas in conservation activities, and improve coordination between UWA’s community conservation programmes and law enforcement. 

The training programme has eight modules and draws on insights from UWA’s frontline staff and management, as well as research conducted by IIED.

Specific data and case studies used in the modules are taken from examples in Uganda, though the learning objectives within the modules are relevant to those working on community conservation in other countries.

Benefits of working together

The project supported community conservation wardens to come together to receive the training so that the wardens could undertake exercises as a team and exchange experience and lessons learned. 

UWA community conservation staff found the second module on effective communication and seventh module on conflict resolution particularly useful to support their work. They also enjoyed the role play exercises and group work included throughout the training modules, as this allowed the wardens to share their personal experience and expert knowledge with each other. 

It is recommended that people are brought together to undertake the training – even if only small groups of 2-3 people are possible – as working together on these role plays and exercises, and exchanging ideas, is invaluable to engaging with the training materials and building understanding.

The training modules

The modules provided here to be downloaded can be used as stand-alone training units or used together as part of a comprehensive learning package.

  1. Introduction to community conservation (pptx): an introductory module that discusses the key aspects of community conservation and why it is important
  2. Effective communication (pptx)asks trainees to think about what effective communication means, including being a good listener 
  3. Community mobilisation (pptx)discusses what is meant by community mobilisation and how wardens can prepare for mobilising local people, as well as challenges to anticipate 
  4. Facilitating community meetings (pptx)considers the key skills a facilitator needs, and gives ideas on how to improve facilitation skills 
  5. Undertaking gender assessments for conservation (pptx)considers why gender is important, common misconceptions and integrating gender into project design 
  6. Planning a community conservation intervention (pptx)covers different approaches to planning and the key steps involved in planning a project or activity 
  7. Conflict management (pptx)asks trainees to think about different types of conflict, common causes of conflict and different conflict analysis tools available 
  8. Monitoring and evaluation reporting (pptx)covers why monitoring is important, the what, why and how of reporting, and the do’s and don’ts of reporting.

The presentations above are provided in pptx file format. Please contact Francesca Booker ([email protected]) if you have difficulty accessing the files. 

This training initiative with UWA’s community conservation wardens is part of a wider strategy for work on implementing park action plans for community engagement to tackle IWT.

IIED has also worked with UWA colleagues to develop a new community conservation policy. This policy advances Uganda’s approach to community engagement and outreach. The 2020 policy highlights the strategic role of UWA’s community conservation sub-directorate, alongside law enforcement, to respond to new and growing challenges to biodiversity conservation, such as wildlife crime. 

For more information about the project and links to further resources, see the project page: Implementing park action plans for community engagement

This training was designed and delivered by Ugandan colleagues Eunice Duli (former head of UWA’s Community Conservation Unit) and Agrippinah Narama (consultant, socio-economic research). The monitoring and evaluation module was designed and delivered by Susan Namuli (UWA monitoring and evaluation manager).

This training was supported by IIED with grant funding from the UK Government’s Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) Challenge Fund.