Capacity Building to Tackle the Illegal Wildlife Trade

Research Overview

Building capacity to tackle the illegal wildlife trade (IWT) is critical to saving threatened species and sustaining local livelihoods around the world. The aim of this project is to build capacity among diverse stakeholders, by developing and delivering an IWT Masterclass, initially focusing on anglophone West Africa. The masterclass format will allow participants to gain valuable skills and knowledge that will enhance

their professional work. Beneficiary groups will include conservation practitioners, especially those with responsibilities around IWT; policymakers working on the wildlife trade, such as staff involved with the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES); government and other national agency officials with policy responsibilities; and academics in universities and colleges. In this way, we will build capability and capacity for evidence-based conservation approaches, to be applied directly in different sectors, including local and national governments, NGOs, and potentially the commercial private sector.


The objectives of this project are:

  1. Conduct research to understand capacity gaps among our target audiences in West Africa through a needs assessment and use this as a baseline to measure change in capacity among those who have taken the masterclass.
  2. Develop the course curriculum, structure and delivery modes, drawing on the latest research on online learning. This will be done together with African colleagues and in consultation with end-users to ensure that the learning outcomes, structure, content and materials are in line with their needs.
  3. Deliver the course in years 1-3 and evaluate delivery to inform future courses.