Please note that these pages relate to a research project that is now ended. Please follow this link to read more about more of our recent work.

About the ESDinds Project

ESDinds (Development of Indicators & Assessment Tools for CSO Projects Promoting Values-based Education for Sustainable Development) was a two year collaborative research project, running from January 2009 to January 2011, supported by the European Commission under its Seventh Framework Programme.

The goal of the ESDinds project was for Research Organisations (RTDs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to work together to develop useful value-based indicators to be used in Education for Sustainable Development projects.

In consultation with the CSOs, researchers developed indicators relevant to their projects, combining the on-the-ground knowledge of the CSOs with their knowledge of academic and national level indicators. The project was completed in several phases.

Project Outcomes

The primary expected outcome of the ESDinds initiative was the development of a replicable process, applicable in a wide range of national, cultural and organizational contexts, for CSOs to create indicators and assessment tools to measure the values dimensions of their sustainability projects.

Additionally, by linking the ESDinds findings about the significance of ethical values in sustainability to the academic and policy literature on sustainable development, the project contributed to a deeper conceptualization of the process of individual and social transformation towards sustainability.

Furthermore, by linking the value-based indicators and assessment tools developed through ESDinds to the academic literature on measuring values, it may be possible to project wider social, organizational and individual impacts linked to the values we will have examined.

Finally, the initiative contribute lessons about research design involving collaborative inquiry between CSOs and universities.

Project Achievements

The ESDinds project succeeded in developing indicators to measure trust, integrity, justice, empowerment, unity in diversity, and care and respect for the community of life in businesses and civil society organizations.

It has found processes to help organizations crystallize their understanding of their values, identify general indicators that express those values, define specific indicators or proxy measures that represent the implementation of those values, and measure those indicators quantitatively or qualitatively. This can be done in ways that are internally consistent, and produce useful results in evaluating the impact of projects on values.

The methodology has been used successfully with five projects: an Earth Charter project for indigenous school children in Mexico, a Red Cross project for former child soldiers in Sierra Leone, a Mexican university, the Lush cosmetics company in Italy and Peoples Theater in Germany. Visit the Resources page to view summaries of the field visits.

The methodology has since been tested  and developed with various organisations and there is now a considerable body of practical experience on values-based indicators to discuss. Please link through to the WeValue website to for more information.


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