Non-surgical fertility control is one of many ways to make a difference in the lives of dogs and cats. We’re delighted to share another innovative and important resource to have greater impact in improving welfare—in this instance, focusing on dogs in the developing world. Read on to learn more about the free, downloadable guide developed by International Companion Animal Management (ICAM) Coalition Scientific Coordinator and ACC&D’s own Board Chai, Dr. Elly Hiby.
The ICAM Coalition is comprised of some of the largest international charities thatinvest donor’s money in humane Dog Population Management (DPM), in particular those interventions located in the developing world. The ICAM Coalition started as forum to share experiences and learn from each other. This was always a valuable opportunity, but participants also recognized that true evidence-based evaluation was needed to gain further insights into the field. From a desire to do better as a coalition, and also help others improve their monitoring and evaluation, came the ICAM Coalition’s newest guidance document; ‘Are we making a difference; a guide to monitoring and evaluating dog population management interventions’. This guidance aims to supports academics, practitioners and funders to track progress, learn and subsequently improve their DPM impact through the use of measurable indicators. The focus is on applying scientific solutions to real world problems and encouraging an increase in scientific research on DPM; the scope is international, with a particular interest in simple methods and meaningful indicators for communities searching for cost-effective impact assessment.
The guidance was researched and written over a year by ACC&D’s Board Chair, Dr. Elly Hiby. It started with a literature review and then branched out to gathering input from both scientific experts in specific indicators and implementers of DPM in the field. The document was written in phases with ongoing input from the ICAM Coalition members and a very generous group of collaborating partners at four Universities. The final 9 months of writing coincided with Elly’s pregnancy of her second child; “I often felt that I was gestating two babies”.
You can access the guidance from the downloads tab of the ICAM Coalition website. As the guidance was written to be applicable to all DPM interventions it is necessarily long to encompass a wide selection of indicators. However there is also an impact assessment tool available that helps you to navigate through the document by asking you a series of questions about your intervention. Based on your answers it then creates a pdf document with only those indicators and methods of measurement that appear suitable for your intervention.
At the launch of the guidance at the ICAM Coalition’s 2nd International Conference on Dog Population Management conference in March 2015, Elly emphasized that this document was not meant to set a gold standard or set of rules: “We hope that this document will inspire people to invest in evaluation, give some of these indicators a try but also provide a foundation from which to innovate”. The ICAM Coalition would very much like to hear your feedback on this new document and people’s experience of monitoring and evaluation, with the aim to evolve this guidance in future.