CIAO is an acronym William Easterly came up with. His concern is development aid, but his comments readily apply to conservation. He criticizes top down Millennium Development Goals (MDG, link to article in The Economist) and Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) plans.
His recommendation, “Get rid of Utopian goals and plans: just say no to MDGs and and PRSPs”.
He calls for independent evaluations of what works, and he criticizes projects where nobody is individually responsible for doing anything for any one result. In conservation, Integrated Conservation and Development Projects usually suffer from these problems.
Next time you look at a project proposal, think CIAO.