Criteria for Assessing the Transformation Potential of Sustainability Initiatives

What exactly is the added value of sustainability initiatives and why are they worthy of political support? This assessment system developed by Ecologic Institute defines criteria for the first time with an integrated approach to assess sustainability and the transformative potential of civil society initiatives. The assessment system is available for download.

In many civil society initiatives, innovative and locally adapted ideas are implemented that are oriented towards the principle of sustainability and thus make a valuable contribution to society. However, capturing and communicating this added value is often still a challenge. The report "Criteria for Evaluating the Transformation Potential of Sustainability Initiatives" represents a novel system to understand the impact of these activities and is now available for download. Compared to other existing assessment systems, the novel and central element is the development and application of the assessment category "transformation potential". This category takes into account the necessity of deep and innovative solutions to solve the serious sustainability challenges affecting the globe.

The assessment system developed here is aimed at political decision makers who are in the position to support civil society initiatives and social innovations, whether politically, financially, or institutionally. Foundations can also work with this set of criteria, and civil society initiatives themselves can use it for a self-evaluation. For research projects, it can be used as a basis for a uniform assessment to evaluate sustainability initiatives.

The set is directed explicitly at actors without a thorough knowledge of sustainability evaluations. Easily understandable guiding questions, explanations of the assessment categories, and examples ensure the assessment system's easy application and a uniform starting point in different contexts.
The assessment system was optimized for the evaluation of sustainability initiatives in Germany, but is also applicable in other contexts.

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Contact: Stephanie Wunder (Ecologic Institute)