For the Cheetah Outreach, I created both a mini documentary as well as carried out the qualitative research component of WSYC. The qualitative research relies on survey feedback and the Theory of Change Metrics to assess attitudes, behaviors, knowledge, and more.
“Overall, the WSYC research suggests that the Cheetah Outreach does a great job of increasing visitor knowledge of cheetah conservation as well as their desire and ability to share conservation information with others. However, the attitudes of visitors towards cheetah conservation were not as impacted as originally expected.
Project results also suggest that it may be beneficial for the Outreach to provide increased opportunities/suggestions on how visitors can make specific behavior changes for cheetah conservation. From project results, I also suggest that more emphasis be placed on the importance of cheetahs to local ecosystems – in addition to the threats they are facing within these ecosystems.
I also discovered that there needs to be some sort of method to draw those not already interested in cheetah conservation towards the activities of the organization. It is great to help those who are somewhat already interested in understanding why they should care – but targeting audiences outside of this group would prove valuable to the mission of most conservation organizations.
Lastly, results suggest that creating a sort of group discussion amongst visitors where they can interact and share ideas/thoughts of how they can take what they experienced at the Outreach and translate it into action back at home would be useful. Visitors shared they were excited to talk with others about their new gains in knowledge – so why not start before leaving for home?! Who knows what connections could be made within visitor groups and even more inspiration given and action taken.
On another note, while qualitatively analyzing survey responses it is worth sharing that I found the visitors’ feedback to showcase a range of emotion. Some answers were sad, others humorous, and many exciting. Regardless of their tone, I am thankful for those who did take the time to respond to my survey – as the project could not have been completed with them.”
“It would be absolutely useless for any of us to work to save wildlife without working to educate the next generation of conservationists.”Jane Goodall