An adaptive learning process for developing and applying sustainability indicators with local communities

Mark Reed, Evan D. G. Fraser, Andrew J. Dougill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

361 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sustainability indicators based on local data provide a practical method to monitor progress towards sustainable development. However, since there are many conflicting frameworks proposed to develop indicators, it is unclear how best to collect these data. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the literature on developing and applying sustainability indicators at local scales to develop a methodological framework that summarises best practice. First, two ideological paradigms are outlined: one that is expert-led and top-down, and one that is community-based and bottom-up. Second, the paper assesses the methodological steps proposed in each paradigm to identify, select and measure indicators. Finally, the paper concludes by proposing a learning process that integrates best practice for stakeholder-led local sustainability assessments. By integrating approaches from different paradigms, the proposed process offers a holistic approach for measuring progress towards sustainable development. It emphasizes the importance of participatory approaches setting the context for sustainability assessment at local scales, but stresses the role of expert-led methods in indicator evaluation and dissemination. Research findings from around the world are used to show how the proposed process can be used to develop quantitative and qualitative indicators that are both scientifically rigorous and objective while remaining easy to collect and interpret for communities. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-418
Number of pages13
JournalEcological Economics
Volume59
Issue number4
Early online date19 Jan 2006
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2006

Keywords

  • sustainability indicators
  • community empowerment
  • stakeholders
  • local
  • participation
  • environmental-management
  • developing-countries
  • rangeland health
  • Kalahari
  • identification
  • performance
  • RESOURCES
  • KNOWLEDGE
  • FRAMEWORK

Cite this

An adaptive learning process for developing and applying sustainability indicators with local communities. / Reed, Mark; Fraser, Evan D. G.; Dougill, Andrew J.

In: Ecological Economics, Vol. 59, No. 4, 15.10.2006, p. 406-418.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Reed, Mark ; Fraser, Evan D. G. ; Dougill, Andrew J. / An adaptive learning process for developing and applying sustainability indicators with local communities. In: Ecological Economics. 2006 ; Vol. 59, No. 4. pp. 406-418.
@article{d0b656199ca14d14a9678c139012bd60,
title = "An adaptive learning process for developing and applying sustainability indicators with local communities",
abstract = "Sustainability indicators based on local data provide a practical method to monitor progress towards sustainable development. However, since there are many conflicting frameworks proposed to develop indicators, it is unclear how best to collect these data. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the literature on developing and applying sustainability indicators at local scales to develop a methodological framework that summarises best practice. First, two ideological paradigms are outlined: one that is expert-led and top-down, and one that is community-based and bottom-up. Second, the paper assesses the methodological steps proposed in each paradigm to identify, select and measure indicators. Finally, the paper concludes by proposing a learning process that integrates best practice for stakeholder-led local sustainability assessments. By integrating approaches from different paradigms, the proposed process offers a holistic approach for measuring progress towards sustainable development. It emphasizes the importance of participatory approaches setting the context for sustainability assessment at local scales, but stresses the role of expert-led methods in indicator evaluation and dissemination. Research findings from around the world are used to show how the proposed process can be used to develop quantitative and qualitative indicators that are both scientifically rigorous and objective while remaining easy to collect and interpret for communities. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.",
keywords = "sustainability indicators, community empowerment, stakeholders, local, participation, environmental-management, developing-countries, rangeland health, Kalahari, identification, performance, RESOURCES, KNOWLEDGE, FRAMEWORK",
author = "Mark Reed and Fraser, {Evan D. G.} and Dougill, {Andrew J.}",
year = "2006",
month = "10",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1016/j.ecolecon.2005.11.008",
language = "English",
volume = "59",
pages = "406--418",
journal = "Ecological Economics",
issn = "0921-8009",
publisher = "ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - An adaptive learning process for developing and applying sustainability indicators with local communities

AU - Reed, Mark

AU - Fraser, Evan D. G.

AU - Dougill, Andrew J.

PY - 2006/10/15

Y1 - 2006/10/15

N2 - Sustainability indicators based on local data provide a practical method to monitor progress towards sustainable development. However, since there are many conflicting frameworks proposed to develop indicators, it is unclear how best to collect these data. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the literature on developing and applying sustainability indicators at local scales to develop a methodological framework that summarises best practice. First, two ideological paradigms are outlined: one that is expert-led and top-down, and one that is community-based and bottom-up. Second, the paper assesses the methodological steps proposed in each paradigm to identify, select and measure indicators. Finally, the paper concludes by proposing a learning process that integrates best practice for stakeholder-led local sustainability assessments. By integrating approaches from different paradigms, the proposed process offers a holistic approach for measuring progress towards sustainable development. It emphasizes the importance of participatory approaches setting the context for sustainability assessment at local scales, but stresses the role of expert-led methods in indicator evaluation and dissemination. Research findings from around the world are used to show how the proposed process can be used to develop quantitative and qualitative indicators that are both scientifically rigorous and objective while remaining easy to collect and interpret for communities. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

AB - Sustainability indicators based on local data provide a practical method to monitor progress towards sustainable development. However, since there are many conflicting frameworks proposed to develop indicators, it is unclear how best to collect these data. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the literature on developing and applying sustainability indicators at local scales to develop a methodological framework that summarises best practice. First, two ideological paradigms are outlined: one that is expert-led and top-down, and one that is community-based and bottom-up. Second, the paper assesses the methodological steps proposed in each paradigm to identify, select and measure indicators. Finally, the paper concludes by proposing a learning process that integrates best practice for stakeholder-led local sustainability assessments. By integrating approaches from different paradigms, the proposed process offers a holistic approach for measuring progress towards sustainable development. It emphasizes the importance of participatory approaches setting the context for sustainability assessment at local scales, but stresses the role of expert-led methods in indicator evaluation and dissemination. Research findings from around the world are used to show how the proposed process can be used to develop quantitative and qualitative indicators that are both scientifically rigorous and objective while remaining easy to collect and interpret for communities. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

KW - sustainability indicators

KW - community empowerment

KW - stakeholders

KW - local

KW - participation

KW - environmental-management

KW - developing-countries

KW - rangeland health

KW - Kalahari

KW - identification

KW - performance

KW - RESOURCES

KW - KNOWLEDGE

KW - FRAMEWORK

U2 - 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2005.11.008

DO - 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2005.11.008

M3 - Article

VL - 59

SP - 406

EP - 418

JO - Ecological Economics

JF - Ecological Economics

SN - 0921-8009

IS - 4

ER -