Why the Leverhulme trust? (250 words) This research is a pioneering governance assessment in Tanzania and is the first country-wide study to be conducted. Due to the complex nature of governance systems, the study uses an inter-disciplinary approach, encompassing geography, social, and conservation science. To date, there has been no research into the effectiveness of governance within community wildlife management areas. However, past case-study research and our partner NGOs (TNC, WCS & African People and Wildlife) have identified this as a key aspect to the failures experienced within the WMAs. Therefore, this assessment is key to the progress towards the ultimate goal of wildlife conservation in harmony with human existence. Imperial College London is a leading institute for innovative research that is regularly breaking down scientific boundaries and thus bridging the research-implementation gap. The team chosen to work on this project have been carefully chosen with a strong background in community-led conservation, and 80% Tanzanian so as to ensure the cultural sensitivity of the research. A complementary combination of the IUCN and USAID guidelines for assessing community managed resource governance will provide for the best development of research design. The triangulation of the methods is key to the robustness of the project, with an amalgamation of qualitative and quantitative research. Other research commitments (50 words)As the primary investigator and a senior lecturer at the Imperial College London my other research commitments involve a paper in press: ‘evaluating the effectiveness of community-led conservation initiatives in Tanzania’. However, I will be in continuous contact with the team leading this research in Tanzania, and will visit the project within the first year. Abstract (100 words)The hope of a sustainable co-existent future in which the communities are able to control, protect and benefit from their resources is unattainable in the absence of good governance. Are the indicators of good governance a direct influence on the conservation outcomes and community benefits within the Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) in Tanzania? We will assess the influence of governance on conservation outcomes and community satisfaction, through a country-wide institution-level survey and spatial analysis to identify management units. This first country-wide assessment of governance crucial for the future sustainability of the conservation efforts within the community protected areas. Summary (1000 words)BackgroundIn 1998 the Tanzanian wildlife policy was introduced in the form of Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), with the aim of a bottom-up participatory approach1. For a sustainable coexistent future, a shift in wildlife rights from the government to the community was proposed. This would result in previously non-existent tangible benefits for the community from tourism and hunting2. The 22 WMAs operating country-wide, and covering 7% of Tanzania arrived with the promise of increased local benefits and control of wildlife management3. However, in the case of many WMAs, the lack of tourism potential and high administrative costs have brought little to no benefits to the community4. The failure of WMAs has largely been attributed to the lack of good governance and low community support5. The classification of ‘good governance’ is somewhat controversial and debated, however, is often assessed with the indicators of the IUCN principles of good governance6. Recent research has shown that by following these principles, the management of protected areas will improve7,8,with outcomes for conservation and increased benefits to the community9. This will be the first country-wide study to assess the governance of the WMAs, a novel approach as previous research is limited to case-study based methodologies. The literature demonstrates there is limited knowledge on the governance of these protected areas, showing lack of transparency, accountability, and responsiveness within local governance3,2. The decentralisation of governance can result in the hierarchical and un-demographic institutions10, which can lead to reduced conservation outcomes and community dissatisfaction. The community managed areas with conservation outcomes such as the effect of management on the community, can be valued through an assessment of its governance9. GoalConduct the first country-wide assessment of governance within the WMAs through (1) focus groups with a representative sample of the intended population (2) an institutional level survey (3) and spatial analysis to map management units within the WMAs. ObjectivesLead focus groups to develop an understanding of the issues of governance with a non-probability quota sample to include members of the management, representative sample of the age range, and gender. Conduct institutional-level surveys at each of the 22 WMAs, using a random stratified sampling method to collect information from each level of the managerial structure. Gather spatial information about the land use of each WMA to plot the management units using handheld GPS devices. MethodologyIn this study, we will assess the WMAs as separate protected areas as opposed to a system due to the vast socio-economic diversity across the country11. The survey team will be hired with the condition of previous survey and spatial data collection experience and recommended by our local NGO partners (TNC, WCS, and African People and Wildlife). As a standardisation method to ensure consistency, the project’s Ph.D. student and Fieldwork coordinator will run a week-long workshop in Arusha where they will be trained on using the survey tablets, survey protocol, and GPS training. Objective 1Focus group discussions with the key stakeholders; including NGOs involved, institution members, village game scouts, and village residents. These will be conducted in Swahili to gain in-depth understanding of the social issues, they will last for two hours, ideally containing the optimal number of participants (n=10)12, with discussions guided by the survey team. Objective 2The survey questions will be developed from the data collected in the focus groups, modelling the questions on the IUCN framework to evaluate governance13. The survey will conducted at each WMA, using survey tablets to collect 10 responses from each headquarters (total n=220), a random stratified sampling method will be used to ensure gathering data from all institutional stakeholders. The survey team will begin with the Northern portion of the country, systematically covering all WMAs. Objective 3Spatial analysis can provide important baseline information about the condition of the habitat and its biodiversity, and the ability to quantify the degradation and recovery14. The systematic conservation planning method of conservation habitat maps will be used to map the management units within the WMAs15, which are user-friendly for local governance. The survey team will collect spatial information with handheld GPS devices, identifying the sub-units contained within the area that may have different management requirements9. Government AssessmentTo assess the qualitative data collected through surveys we will use a set of indicators and a scoring system to quantify the results. A situation of each of the indicators, e.g. the involvement of communities and stakeholders, will be scored from 0-3, with an ideal situation scoring 37. This method is developed from the Protected Area Management Effectiveness Assessments alongside the IUCN framework, which groups the 33 indicators into management effectiveness areas including (1) context, (2) planning, (3) inputs, (4) processes, (5) outputs, and (6) outcomes. The principles serve as a method to normalise the desirable characteristics of governance in order to identify and compare differing protected area governance10 SignificanceOver $23 million of international aid invested in the establishment of the WMAs and future financial support will be wasted without knowledge of the influence that the governance has over the reform conservation outcomes11. Thus the understanding, and therefore evolution of the management is crucial to the successful conservation of the key habitats. If we better understand the institutional structure and perceived management and responsibilities, then there will be increased conservation outcomes and community benefits3. Outcomes Qualitative comparative analysis of the survey data will identify the key indicators of successful governance. The quantitative spatial data will be analysed to identify and map management units. Forming the outcomes of a country-wide baseline institutional level survey, conservation management maps, and individual assessments of each WMA. This project’s findings will be published in Conservation Biology Journal with individual recommendations and plans to improve the WMA’s conservation outcomes, they will also be published in the open-access Tanzanian Swala Journal. The individual assessments disseminated through workshops and outreach programmes conducted by our partner NGOs (TNC, WCS and African People and Wildlife). This country-wide assessment gives an opportunity for the local government, community, and partners involved to learn from each other and adapt their strategies for better conservation outcomes.