Newsletter Archive


Miistakis Institute Evaluation 2020: '...thoughtfully progressive'

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In the fall of 2019, the Miistakis Institute contracted The Praxis Group™ and Leger to undertake an evaluation to review our performance from the perspective of key stakeholders. The evaluation examined relationship development, levels of trust, efficacy of tools, potential new directions, and overall impressions of and benefits provided by Miistakis, and consisted of an online survey administered to landowners, partners, government agencies, academia, students, and others who have partnered with, or relied upon Miistakis in the recent past, and a telephone interviews with a subset of those. Read the full evaluation here.


Despite including people we expected to be critical (!) as well as supportive, we had an overall very positive assessment from the research. The evaluators summary included the following:

  • One of the strongest ratings in the survey is for the relevance of what Miistakis does
  • There is overwhelming support for Miistakis to stay the course in what they do
  • Miistakis' reputation to foster a better understanding of environmental conservation received a very high rating from respondents
  • Almost everyone surveyed and interviewed indicated Miistakis' information resulted in a positive impact on ecosystem conservation
  • From the perspective of the research team undertaking this evaluation, the results of this evaluation were more positive than is typically seen in this type of evaluation


At first, we were concerned this very-positive assessment suggested our ‘learnings’ would be limited (a wonderful problem to have), but digging deeper, we were able to draw context from ‘between the lines:

  • Though it initially seemed unhelpful, we came to realize how powerful the ‘stay the course’ message was
  • We have internally assessed and modified our research themes over the years, but this was a good confirmation that our instincts were accurate (also an important learning)
  • Regardless of how we felt about what were the ‘right’ things to focus on, it was incredibly important to know that our partners shared our views

Going Forward

The exact impact of this work would be difficult to assess at this early stage, but we can say how we intend to use it:

  • Planning – as we revisit our strategic plan, we will continue to mine the data, not just for overarching themes, but for smaller messages that may not be apparent on the surface
  • Our messaging to our funders, partners, and to the decision makers with whom we work will be greatly strengthened by the messages from the report
  • We revisit our research themes at each annual staff retreat, and this evaluation will be the centrepiece of the upcoming one