In 2001 I secured a major commission from a newly formed charity elephant family to conduct an audit of the state of Asian elephant conservation. The charity’s founders were disillusioned wight he impact of the big conservation NGOs and wanted to invest directly into initiative with the potential for impact.
I developed a scorecard rating system for countries and for individual elephant conservation projects drawing on ideas from consumer guides and the balanced scorecard approach. Then followed three fascinating journeys with my colleague Susan Canney visiting the various projects, meeting elephant conservationists and seeing the challenges they faced.
I am still proud of the scorecard system I devised and our assessment of the state of elephant conservation. Unfortunately, the report received a hostile response from the big NGOs: the idea that their potential for impact could be independently benchmarked was a new and difficult concept and it didn’t help that PR company elephant family engaged to publicise the report foregrounded the finding that local NGOs performed as well or better then the branded conservation NGOs.Audit of Asian Elephant Conservation