Evaluate and modify your wild dog plan

Measuring outcomes

To effectively evaluate the success of the plan, you will need to take measurements while the plan is implemented. This is so that  changes can be detected and quantified. For example:

Predation of  livestock (record stock losses)

  • stops
  • reduces
  • doesn’t change
  • increases

Wild dog abundance (record sightings and signs of activity)

  • decreases
  • doesn’t change
  • increases

Costs of managing the plan (draw a table of costs)

  • labour and time
  • other resources

Effective feedback

Feedback is an important part of this stage. Data need to be  promptly returned to stakeholders in an appropriate form and be  accessible to all parties involved in wild dog management in your  area. Suggested methods of feedback include:

  • regular newsletters, printed and/or electronic
  • a web site for group members
  • use of maps in conjunction with reported data

Looking at wild dog management plans developed by other groups  can help stakeholders decide upon what they need and how they would prefer to distribute it.

Evaluate the plan

Evaluating the plan using the monitoring results allows stakeholders  to make an informed decision about the plan’s success  and to identify any changes needed. Evaluation should involve all stakeholders to ensure their different perspectives are included. Some questions that need answers in order for the plan to be  evaluated are:

  • How well did the plan work? That is, were the objectives  achieved?
  • Which actions worked and why?
  • Which actions didn’t work and why?
  • Did the plan work within the timeframe? (consider extenuating circumstances)
  • Should the timeframe be changed?
  • What were the costs?
  • Were there cost overruns or savings?
  • Could money be better spent next time?
  • Could the fieldwork be allocated more fairly or more  appropriately?
  • What changes/modifications can be made to make the plan work better?

Stakeholders’ responses to these questions should be discussed constructively and recorded. Remember, in the future, other people might want to know why a particular decision was made. Evaluating  the plan forms the basis for improving the next one, so be thorough.

Modify the plan and continue to monitor it

Agreed changes arising from the stakeholders’ evaluation must be incorporated into the revised plan. Consultation with and  agreement by all stakeholders is still essential during this process. The results of cost monitoring can be used to prepare accurate  budgets for the revised plan.

If the plan didn’t work well, it is important to go back through the process to identify omissions (based on new knowledge/experience)  or parts that were not done as planned. Like a perfect plan  conducted poorly, a flawed plan conducted perfectly will not yield the results stakeholders wanted.

Ultimately it is important to resolve why particular objectives and  goals were not achieved. Was a perfect plan conducted poorly or a flawed plan conducted perfectly? In practice, reality is often  somewhere between the two.

By answering the following questions, stakeholders might be able to  decide why particular problems occurred:

  • Were you able to measure the outcomes?
  • Were your objectives not properly matched to your goals?
  • Did you have unrealistic expectations?

Continuing to cooperatively implement, review and refine plans ensures those plans remain relevant and also increases the chances  of ongoing success.