Key Definitions and Concepts

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Project and Programme Management Standards (PPMS)


The Project and Programme Management Standards (also known as the PPMS), represent the standards of practice for designing, implementing and monitoring conservation projects and programmes in the WWF Network. PPMS is derived from the Conservation Standards, a set of principles, practices and tools for planning and managing conservation projects  widely adopted by major environmental organizations and donors. As a WWF Network Standard, all WWF GEF projects are encouraged to apply these Standards in order to effectively meet the PIF and Prodoc needs and requirements, in particular the theory of change, project work plan and Results Framework. ..  

For details, please see this site. For planning teams that would like assistance from a “conservation coach,” a trained facilitator who can help your team apply the Standards, please ask the WWF GEF Agency program manager or consult the database here.


project cycle


  • Situation model – A diagram that illustrates the situation analysis, or process that will help a planning team create a common understanding of the project’s context and the conservation issue to be addressed by a project or strategy. The model should show the relationships among the social, economic, political and institutional systems and associated stakeholders that are believed to impact the species, ecosystems or more generally, the environmental problem at hand. The model should include the baseline, root causes, barriers, contributing factors, direct threats, conservation targets and human wellbeing targets. The purpose is to: 1. Provide a common understanding of the project’s context, 2. Provide a better framework for strategic planning and 3. Provide a basis for monitoring and evaluation.
  • Conservation coachA skilled facilitator who leads project teams through technical design using the Conservation Standards in order to develop effective strategies and a logical theory of change. 
  • Conservation targets - Elements of biodiversity that a project is ultimately aimed to influence: individual species, natural communities, habitats, or ecosystems.
  • Human well-being targets – Aspects of human wellbeing that the project chooses to focus on. In the context of a conservation project, these targets focus on human wellbeing affected by the status of conservation targets and the ecosystem services they provide.
  • PPMS – WWF Project and Program Management Standards or Conservation Standards are a set of best practices to help practitioners deliver conservation results from their planned strategies.  Developed in conjunction with major international environmental NGOs  and endorsed by the WWF Network, PPMS lend rigor and consistency to planning, implementing and monitoring effective conservation projects and programs worldwide. Two important outputs of this process are the situation model and results chains, however there are guidelines for all steps of the project cycle.
  • Results chains – a visual diagram showing how a project strategy will effect the resulting change desired. Download this diagram of causal statements that shows a “theory of change.”