PHVA Workshop Design and Facilitation

CBSG’s approach to designing and facilitating species conservation planning workshops is all about getting the right science – and getting the science right.

PHVA workshops combine the detailed quantitative analysis of PVA with diverse discussions among carefully selected stakeholders that focus on the many complexities of balancing endangered species viability with the cultural, economic, and social needs of local communities. To be effective, the person leading the workshop – known as the facilitator – must pay close attention to what tasks the participants should perform, in what order they should be performed, and how the product of one task will inform the discussions around the next.

CBSG’s PHVA workshop process typically includes the following task-based elements:

  • Issue identification and theme generation – Brainstorm sessions reveal primary issues around species endangerment and concerns about the varied consequences of proposed management alternatives. Working groups are formed around themes that emerge from the brainstorm.
  • Data assembly and analysis – Each working group identifies and categorizes information relevant to their topic. Information based on reliable data sources is distinguished from mere assumptions, and important data gaps are identified. It is in this context that additional PVA modeling can serve as a vital tool for evaluating the range of alternative management strategies proposed by the various groups.
  • Developing recommendations and reaching consensus – The working groups are once again asked to enter a divergent thinking phase and brainstorm alternative solutions (goals and actions) to the issues they have identified and analyzed. The facilitator works to keep the groups first thinking at a more strategic level, identifying and prioritizing longer-term goals, before moving to the detailed planning phase where specific tasks are named. Actions should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-oriented, and Timely – and must identify individuals responsible for moving the action forward after the workshop.

In our PHVA workshops, CBSG acts as a neutral facilitator, guiding the workshop participants through the process of defining their own issues and creating their own solutions. This distinction is vital, as it enhances the sense of ownership among participants of the workshop product. This ownership will serve to promote timely and committed implementation of workshop recommendations.

To learn more about PHVA workshop design and facilitation, we invite you to take a look at our PHVA Workshop Process Reference Packet.


Back to The PHVA Process.