WWF Programme Standards

The WWF Standards are a set of best practices to help practitioners deliver conservation results.
Developed in conjunction with major international environmental NGOs and endorsed by the WWF Network, the Standards lend consistency to planning, implementing and monitoring effective conservation projects and programmes worldwide.

Email PJStephenson@wwfint.org or wbeale@wwf.org.uk with any questions or to share outstanding examples.

Overview Software Thematic Guidance
View the Project Cycle diagram.

1. Define | Design | Implement | Analyze and Adapt | Share

Step Step Name Outputs Guidance & Tools Examples
1.1 Team Composition and Operations
  • Selection of project team and leadership

  • Informal or formal team agreement for project


Scope and Vision

  • Brief scope

  • Vision statement

  • Map and/or detailed spatial assessment if appropriate



  • Selection of a limited number of biodiversity or thematic targets

  • A brief explanation of why each target was chosen

  • Identification of Key Ecological Attributes for each target if appropriate


Context and Stakeholders

  • Stakeholder analysis

  • Identification of direct threats affecting each target

  • A ranking of the direct threats

  • Analysis of indirect threats and opportunities behind each direct threat


Define | 2. Design | Implement | Analyze and Adapt | Share

Step Step Name Outputs Guidance & Tools Examples

Action Plan: Goals, Objectives and Activities

  • Goals for all biodiversity targets

  • Objectives for threats and opportunities

  • Activities for all objectives

  • Results chains or other description of assumptions

  • Goals, objectives, and activities compiled in your action plan/logframe


Monitoring Plan

  • Indicators to track progress of each goal, objective, and activity

  • Brief descriptions of methods to collect data for each indicator

  • When, where, and by whom each kind of data will be collected

  • Description of how data will be stored and analyzed


Operational Plan

  • Estimates of capacity needs and gaps required to implement your project

  • Estimate and analysis of financial resources required to implement your project

  • An assessment of potential risks and specific mitigation strategies

  • An exit strategy, if appropriate


Define | Design | 3. Implement | Analyze and Adapt | Share

Step Step Name Outputs Guidance & Tools Examples

Workplans and Budgets

  • Detailed workplan for your project showing tasks, who will do them, and by when

  • Supporting management and tracking tool, such as a Gantt chart or calendar of project activities

  • Project budget


Fund Raising and Sustainable Financing

  • Potential funding sources identified and if needed, a sustainable funding plan developed

  • Funding proposals developed and submitted

  • Financial resources obtained

  • Contact Development, Government Aid Agency & Sustainable Finance Departments in WWF-I, WWF-US & WWF-UK


Capacity Building

  • Capacity assessments reviewed and completed

  • Strategies developed and implemented to address capacity shortfalls

Bering Sea Ecoregion (capacity assessment)



  • New partners identified and brought into programme as appropriate

  • Informal or formal arrangements with partners developed and implemented

  • A structure for work management, decision-making, accountability, communication, and monitoring among programme team members


Define | Design | Implement | 4. Analyze and Adapt | Share

Step Step Name Outputs Guidance & Tools Examples

Manage Incoming Data on an Ongoing Basis

  • Development and regular use of systems for collecting and storing data
  • Contact Science, Finance and Administration & Operations Departments in WWF-I, WWF-US & WWF-UK

Analyze Project Results and Assumptions

  • Regularly scheduled analysis of project results and assumptions

  • Documentation of analysis and decisions

  • Regular reports to project team members and key stakeholders

  • Contact Science, Finance & Administration, and Operations Departments in WWF-I, WWF-US & WWF-UK


Analyze Operational and Financial Functions/ Performance

  • Appropriate scheduled analyses of operational and financial data
  • Regular financial reports (including financial forecasts)

  • Contact Finance and Administration and Operations Departments in WWF-I, WWF-US and WWF-UK



Adapt Your Plans and Budgets

  • Revised workplans and budgets

  • Contact Science, Finance and Administration & Operations Departments in WWF-I, WWF-US & WWF-UK



Define | Design | Implement | Analyze and Adapt | 5. Share

Step Step Name Outputs Guidance & Tools Examples

Lessons and Good Practice

  • Documented lessons and good practice

  • See Sharing Lessons Guidance for short examples


Formal Communication Strategy and Products

  • Identification of key audiences

  • Development of communications strategy

  • Development and distribution of communications products


Feedback, Evaluations and Audits

  • Feedback

  • Evaluations and/or audits


Performance and Learning Culture

  • Demonstrated commitment from leaders to learning and innovation

  • See Performance and Learning Culture Guidance for short examples


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