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  1. Using SMART for adaptive management; tasks for the data collector

Using SMART for adaptive management; tasks for the data collector

As mentioned earlier, SMART is designed to help improve the protection of conservation areas through streamlining the conversion of field data collected by rangers into information on human activities and threats to wildlife that can be used for strategic planning. For this process to work, a SMART database should receive regular updates and be managed effectively. The data manager plays an important role in making sure that data and information flows happen. The key tasks are described below:

  1. Ensure data are collected - Patrols should be conducted on a regular basis to ensure protection and monitoring activities and associated data flows. Patrols can be scheduled for each team, station or planned by using the Planning Module in SMART (see: SMART Technical Training Manual: Module 6: Planning and Intelligence).

  2. Ensure data come in on time - There should be a directive for what happens to the data once patrol teams have brought in their devices from the field. A responsible person should be assigned to upload data to the SMART database. Patrol data should be entered as soon as possible after patrols are completed so as to ensure that events requiring action such as poaching, encroachment, harvest of wildlife or other resources or other illegal activities are quickly brought to the attention of the manager. This should be done as a part of the routine debrief process for patrols, so data can be reviewed, corrected and input together with the team who collected the data.

    • If data are being transferred manually or where SMART Connect is deployed but connectivity is limited or absent, a system should be set in place to ensure regular transfer of data from the field to the data manager. For example, waypoints, tracklogs and field forms may be submitted to the data manager within a set timeframe.
  3. Ensure data a correct - Data needs to be checked for quality and accuracy by the data manager before it gets incorporated in basic analysis (queries and summaries) and appears in reports. At the end of each patrol a debrief should be done with the team collecting data. The debrief should involve the following steps;

    • Verbal report from the patrol leader to his/her supervisor on the patrol including patrol objectives, patrol mandate, team composition, route of travel, major results (wildlife, threats encountered, actions taken)

    • Upload the data to SMART and run the quality assurance tool on the data. Further information on how and what to check for, as well as how to use the SMART Quality Assurance tool, can be found in the SMART Quality Assurance Module Handbook.

  4. Ensure feedback from the manager is followed up on - Further considerations for adaptive management under the SMART approach are discussed in the [SMART Adaptive Management Training Handbook.]