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Quantifying the value of civil society organisations

Civil society organisations (CSOs) that work on sustainable development issues measure project success on the basis of certain indicators. New values-based indicators, such as well-being, need to be developed and tested to accurately measure the impact of these organisations on society.
Quantifying the value of civil society organisations
The work of CSOs relies on quantifiable indicators as measures of success, particularly in the area of sustainable development. Often, however, the most important indicators are values-based and difficult to quantify. Now, researchers and CSOs have teamed up to identify and test a set of values-based indicators for use by CSOs and those in academia.

ESDINDS was funded by the EU and aimed to develop more useful indicators to measure project impact and success. A second aim was to improve the environmental impact of CSO projects through collaboration with academics.

To develop a values-based indicator toolkit, researchers engaged with CSOs in business, faith, education and community development to identify important values across the civil spectrum. Feedback on relevance, reliability, measurability and usability to CSOs was used to refine the set of indicators for a wide range of uses.

Project work resulted in a set of 166 useful and relevant values-based indicators with application for a broad range of CSOs. These indicators are already being applied and are freely available online as the 'WeValue' toolkit.

The development and implementation of this toolkit has already exceeded expectations of success. It is an important step forward for CSO monitoring and evaluation, and will continue to change the way that values are quantified in civil and academic life.

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