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Oceans and Fisheries Synthesis Review

Itad conducted a review of the Rockefeller Foundation's Oceans and Fisheries initiative to identify factors influencing the success and failure of ECM.


As part of its new model of operation, The Rockefeller Foundation was undertaking synthesis reviews to strengthen the Foundation’s knowledge and evidence base of what works and what does not work in key areas of interest to the Foundation.

The aim of the review

The primary purpose of synthesis reviews was to enable Foundation Initiative teams and their grantees to build on what is known, avoid the pitfalls of others, and add value to the area of endeavour by not duplicating efforts.

The Foundation’s Oceans and Fisheries initiative aimed to determine effective ways to integrate natural ecosystems into our economic and social systems. Research undertaken by the Foundation showed that oceans are in a state of crisis, due in large part to the rampant overfishing that has occurred for several decades. Millions of people, particularly the poor and vulnerable, depend on the productivity of marine resources for their food security and livelihoods, and are seeing these eroded because of declining ocean health.

The objective of the Review was to undertake a rapid review of key formal and informal knowledge sources that identified factors influencing the success and failure of ecosystem-based community management (ECM).

Our approach

The approach took into consideration current and past field experiences, key research areas and development institution funding strategies. The Review not only brought together current knowledge on ECM and the factors that drive success and failure, it also identified who is involved, where and under what conditions. Particular attention was paid to scale, impact and influence of different approaches and interventions. These were mapped to show linkages and relationships. The team would implement its formal and informal knowledge search strategies, maps initiatives, programmes, institutions and people. Broad findings would be agreed before the team followed up with key informants and produced a final report and summary.

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