Achieving (more and better) practice change in NRM

Crawford School of Public Policy | Executive course
Policy Fundamentals


A deep understanding of Natural Resource Management (NRM) is crucial to the effective management of the system. Throughout the program participants will be guided by experts in the field to plan strategic policy interventions and broaden their knowledge of NRM to skilfully identify opportunities free from path dependence, ethical dimensions and manage NRM contracts and relationships.

Course overview


It is important to recognise that when we talk about ‘improved’ or ‘more’ environmental/natural resource management, we are essentially asking people to do something ‘different’ from what they have been doing to date (e.g. using fewer resources, etc). Getting people to do something ‘different’ is about changing behaviour. People do not necessarily change their behaviour simply in response to someone suggesting that they need to do so. Natural resource management frameworks on drivers and constraints to farmers’ uptake and adoption of more sustainable land management approaches (or innovations) can lend critically important insights into why and to what extent people choose to engage with such practices. When people decide to change their behaviour (or not, or only a little) and take up different or new practices – it is because they are being influenced by a range of factors (personal, social, structural) that can encourage or discourage them from doing so. Failure to recognise and address those factors results in little or no progress towards improved natural resource outcomes.


This module will examine Australian cases where attention to the above factors resulted in demonstrable improvements in farmers’ practices and therefore better resource sustainability.

Learning outcomes:

  • Understand and identify key factors influencing the uptake and adoption of recommended natural resource management practices;
  • Analyze and evaluate how these factors are at play in their particular field of interest; and
  • Improve their capacity to contribute to increased likelihood of more widespread and enduring practice-change in their field of interest.

Updated:  26 October 2021/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team