Story | 30 Jan, 2020

SAGE: a brand new tool for governance and equity assessment

A new tool, SAGE, is designed to be relatively low-cost, for rapid assessment over one to three days or as part of a longer progress. The methodology draws on the IUCN Good Governance principles and is being developed for Green List candidate sites, as well as other areas.

The results and experience from the first round of SAGE piloting from sites in eight countries were reviewed by partners and collaborators in January, at the University of East Anglia, UK.

SAGE, which stands for Site Assessment for Governance and Equity, has been in the making for the past number of years.  A group of international collaborators met in the UK, January 14 to 16, 2020, to listen to the results and experience from the first round of SAGE piloting. 

Governance assessment facilitators from sites in Cambodia, Cameroon, Greece, Northern Ireland, the Philippines, Tanzania, Viet Nam and Zambia, and Green List candidate sites in Peru and Colombia, all delivered presentations to stimulate review. 

Discussions included:

  • How to tweak the 2-day SAGE workshop process so it achieves its objectives of facilitating dialogue and co-learning, and sharing information on site-level strengths and challenges related to governance and equity with actors locally, nationally and internationally
  • Recommendations for analysing and sharing the information generated - locally, nationally and internationally. 

The IUCN Global Protected Areas Programme attended alongside colleagues from IUCN CEESP and WCPA.

SAGE is designed from experience, with a foundation built on previous tools

Designed to be a relatively low-cost and rapid assessment tool, the methodology draws on the IUCN Good Governance principles. SAGE has evolved from years of development and builds on existing tools for governance and social assessment (namely GAPA, SAPA and BPG No, 20).  

IIED is leading the design of SAGE alongside collaborators from IUCN, IUCN WCPA, IUCN CEESP, WCMC, Kings College London, the University of East Anglia and many field partners including GIZ, TNC, Copperbelt University, RECOFTC, and Bukidnon University, to name just a few!

SAGE is working, so where next?

Planning is currently ongoing for the next round of sites to use SAGE, including Green List candidate sites.

During the March to May 2020 period, it will be further rolled out at sites in Cambodia, Cameroon, Colombia, Greece, India, Northern Ireland, Peru, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia. 

The results from these sites will be showcased at the World Conservation Congress in Marseille in June, so watch out for us there. 

How to find more information

If you are interested in using SAGE at your protected area or conserved area or would like more information, please get in touch with