SCB’s Impact Evaluation Working Group Gains Official Status

The IEWG social event at a rooftop restaurant in Kigali, Rwanda during ICCB 2023. 

We are thrilled to announce that the SCB's Impact Evaluation Working Group (IEWG) has successfully transitioned from provisional to official status! The idea for a working group on impact evaluation in conservation science emerged at ICCB 2017 in Cartagena, Colombia, where a number of attendees identified a critical knowledge gap concerning impact evaluation methods in conservation. Since then, the group has received more than 100 members, formed a board, and organized several events and initiatives. This week, the SCB Programs Council approved IEWG’s petition to be recognized as a full-fledged SCB working group.

IEWG has been a dynamic force within SCB while actively contributing to the Society’s mission to advance the science and practice of conserving biodiversity. Notably, the group produces a virtual monthly seminar series on "Conservation Impact Evaluation and Implementation Science" and manages a mentorship program designed to support individuals in their efforts to learn and apply conservation impact evaluation methods.

IEWG also organizes programs at various SCB events, most recently at the Europe Region’s European Congress on Conservation Biology (ECCB) and at SCB’s International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB). The group organized several sessions at ICCB 2023 in Kigali, Rwanda, including a thought-provoking social event that brought together biologists, social scientists, practitioners, academics, and funders. This event provided a platform for creative discussion on the importance of integrating impact evaluation methods into conservation practice. IEWG also hosted a symposium at ICCB titled "Bridging the Impact Evaluation Research-Practice Gap in Conservation'' and convened a roundtable discussion to chart the next steps for the working group and to discuss a special issue on impact evaluation in conservation. 

The IEWG symposium at ICCB 2023. Photo credit for both photos: Rachel Neugarten

IEWG is excited to continue its impactful initiatives in the next stage of its development. The group is committed to its mentorship program and virtual seminar series, organizing sessions at SCB conferences, and fostering closer collaborations with other SCB working groups, with a particular emphasis on building connections with the Social Science Working Group.

Congratulations to IEWG’s dedicated volunteer leaders who continue to be the driving force behind the group's success. Current and former IEWG leaders like Johanna Eklund, Rachel Martin, Tanya O'Garra, Caterina Cosmopolis-del-Carpio, Sebastien Costedoat, Edwin Pynegar, and Claudia Polo have played a key role in the evolution and growth of the group. Their commitment not only adds value to SCB members but also plays a crucial role in promoting impact evaluation and implementation methods in conservation science and furthering SCB’s mission to advance the science and practice of conserving biodiversity. Here's to continued success and impactful contributions from the IEWG!

More on SCB’s Impact Evaluation Working Group
We’re grateful to everyone who has joined the Impact Evaluation Working Group and participated in its programs. SCB members can join the Impact Evaluation Working Group by logging in to their SCB member home page and adding the working group to their profile. Members and nonmembers may sign up to receive news from the working group by joining their listserv. Visit the IEWG Channel on SCB’s Vimeo page to watch #TuesdayswithTeamCounterFactual seminars and follow @idoimpact on X for updates and conversation from #TeamCounterFactual. Visit the IEWG website to learn more about its initiatives