The EAGLE Network consists of an agreement between EAGLE and national NGOs that are identified as being suitable to implement the project and the Law Enforcement model. In the membership agreement, the national NGO commits to implementing a ‘social franchise’ system, replicating the program model and operational procedures and systems, to maximize its likelihood to succeed in the project. In return, the Network member receives comprehensive support from the Network to deliver the agreed results. As such, each country project is run by a different NGO, under the social franchise system of the EAGLE Network.
This social franchise approach means that the EAGLE Network has avoided becoming a bloated large structure and operates in a more decentralized and inclusive country approach; strengthening and supporting national organizations. EAGLE’s vision is that by achieving results with an innovative approach, it will catalyze a change in the existing system and trigger a paradigm shift in the way NGOs tackle wildlife crime. The model essentially shifts the focus from targeting small-time poachers to the prosecution of major dealers, tackling head-on the major obstacles like the application of the wildlife law in Africa and corruption.
The countries covered by this initiative are key to combating the illegal wildlife trade, either by holding fragile populations of elephants, apes or other threatened species or, more importantly, by playing a central role in trafficking endangered populations beyond their borders. As the illegal trade is transnational in nature, these centers are often away from the source countries and consequently there is an urgent need to address the problem of wildlife law enforcement at multiple levels; national, regional and international, as many wildlife crimes are carried across international borders.