PUP Manual | The PUP Global Heritage Consortium

PUP Methodological Manual

Brief History

The PUP Manual has long been the backbone of PUP from its earliest forms in the late 1990s to its current form. Having been translated into Bahasa, Spanish, and Vietnamese, we have tested and retested the book in a variety of languages and cultures around the world in order to achieve a generic approach that can be modified for use anywhere in the world for any kind of heritage.

RARE Center for Tropical Conservation’s Vice President for Programs, Paul Butler, created a manual design unique in conservation. He says the manual should be a program participant’s best friend in helping to solve problems. Thus the manuals, such as PUP’s, have detailed step-by-step instructions, many examples, answer many how-to questions, include pre-made workshop materials, and can be used in a variety of cultures and situations.


David Bornstein’s book How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas describes this strategy: “In his book, Guns, Germs and Steel, the scientist Jared Diamond notes that knowledge can be transmitted from one society to another by a variety of means, some of which are highly efficient and some of which are not. The least efficient way to transmit knowledge is ‘idea diffusion’ — ‘when you receive little more than the basic idea and have to reinvent the details,’ he writes. The most efficient is ‘blueprint copying’ — ‘when you copy or modify an available detailed blueprint.’ Ancient civilizations enjoyed access to language ‘blueprints’ from other cultures developed and written thousands of years faster than those that had to invent them from scratch…

Social entrepreneurs who are obsessed with spreading their ideas are obliged over time to eliminate aspects of their work that depend on their personal involvement or are designed only for particular locations or situations. If an approach is too complicated to teach, too expensive to disseminate, too politically contentious, or too context-sensitive, it must be made simpler, cheaper, less partisan, and more generally applicable. Otherwise it will not change society. It is the entrepreneur’s need to achieve major impact that leads to the years of experimentation and adjustment that culminate in a blueprint.

But has RARE has shown and PUP has seen time and again, the manual is of little use without the intensive mentoring and training that come along with it:

  • Give a man a fish and he eats for a day.
  • Give a man a fishing rod and he starves.
  • Teach a man to fish with the rod and he eats for life.

The manual which has been under development for 15 years is a sophisticated fishing rod or perhaps an entire technical-social system for sustainable fishing that cannot be operated without technical assistance. For the PUP Consortium, this assistance is the PUP Process, a three-year relationship that accompanies a site core planning team as it facilitates its own planning process and then implements the plan, updating it continuously, all with extensive community participation.

Click here to request a free copy of the PUP manual.

Programmatic Context of the Manual

You will receive only the main PDF that describes the steps to produce a public use plan. It is not the complete manual as there are many accessory files. Also note that the manual alone without technical assistance and training will not result in an implementable document. Planning success emanates more from social process than technical tools.

Click here to read more about the manual´s programmatic context.

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