Skip to main content


Go Search
About us
Network Activities
Join Us
Contact Us

Powerful SD Tools 

Share Your SD Tool

Latest Sustainable Development Tool:


The process of raising the world’s food has not always been kind to the environment. Many of the adverse environmental impacts caused by agriculture are results of either the loss of natural habitat that occurs when land is converted to agricultural purposes and use (or misuse) of pesticides and fertilizers.

›› Adaptation Policy Frameworks (APFs) exploits existing synergies and intersecting themes to formulate and implement adaptation strategies, policies and measures to ensure human development in the face of climate variability and change. The APF is built around four major principles.
›› Adaptive Governance A sustainable development strategy is not simply a document. It is a continuing, adaptive process of strategic and coordinated action. It has been described as...
›› Alternative to GDP Frustrated with the shortfalls of GDP as an indicator of wellbeing, the world’s statisticians are attempting to find alternative methods to measure quality of people's lives…
›› BellagioSTAMP: SusTainability Assessment and Measurement Principles is a new set of guiding principles used to measure and assess progress towards sustainability.
›› Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) Initially developed as a marketing tool for green office buildings, BREEAM is an environmental rating scheme that raised awareness of environmental sustainability, rapidly expanding into sectors such as healthcare, eco-homes and retail. It awards credits based on sustainability considerations of environmental, comfort or health benefits.
›› Community-based Eco-Tourism Community-based eco-tourism enables the tourists to have a genuine and rich experience by discovering unspoilt local eco-systems and wildlife see, and get to know and involved in local cultures, rituals and wisdom. The community will be aware of the commercial and social value placed on their natural and cultural heritage through tourism, and this will foster community based conservation of these resources..
›› Community-Based Social Marketing (CBSM) Initiatives to promote behavior change are often most effective when they are carried out at the community level and involve direct contact with people. Key community-based social marketing tools include…
›› Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) ISO 26000:2010 is intended to promote common understanding in the field of social responsibility, and to complement other instruments and initiatives for social responsibility, not to replace them.
›› Corporate Sustainability Leadership Despite positive developments and shifting trends in the corporate world today, corporate sustainability as practised today is insufficient – a quantum leap is needed. To reach full scale, economic incentive structures must be realigned so that sustainability is valued and profitable.
›› Designing public sector interventions to mobilise private participation in low carbon development: 20 questions toolkit This ‘20 Questions Toolkit’ is for those in the public sector who are involved in designing interventions at the project and programme level, to assist them in effectively engaging the private sector in LCD.
›› Ecological Footprint compares actual throughput of renewable resources relative to what is annually renewed...
›› Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) provides a cost-effective means of adaptation; it is especially effective at local levels with community involvement and is readily available to the rural poor.
›› Ecosystems and Human Well-being: A Framework for Assessment is the first product of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment which focuses on how humans have altered ecosystems, and how changes in ecosystem services have affected human well-being.
›› Food Security Assessment The general objective of a food security assessment is to understand how severe the food insecurity is, and why this is the case. Then the objective is to determine if there is a need to intervene to return people to a normal food security situation in the short term and/or long term.
›› Full Cost Accounting (FCA) refers to the process of collecting and presenting information to decision makers on the tradeoffs inherent in each proposed alternative. The fundamental economic concept in FCA is opportunity cost.
›› Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) To give consent requires that the people involved in a project allow communities to give or withhold their consent to the project and at each stage of the project through customary or other community-defined decision-making processes using their own freely chosen representatives...
›› Gross National Happiness (GNH) was developed in an attempt to define an indicator that measures quality of life or social progress in more holistic and psychological terms than gross domestic product (GDP).
›› How climate change has changed the way economists treat sustainable development issues Mitigation must be viewed as an investment. Adaptation is the only response available for the impacts that will occur over the next several decades before mitigation measures can have an effect. However, the models and assumptions of climate economics often lag far behind the latest developments in this fast-moving field.
›› Integrated Sustainability Assessment (ISA) is a pro-active, strategic and potentially transformative process that can be used to support the development of policy proposals and other undertakings that have a specific sustainability orientation.
›› Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool for the systematic evaluation of the environmental aspects of a product or service system through all stages of its life cycle. Find out more about the Life-Cycle Cost formula…
›› Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) is a method for evaluating all relevant costs over time of a project, product, or measure…
›› The Natural Step Dr Karl-Henrik Robert, one of Sweden's leading oncologists, developed the 'Natural Step' programme as a method of reaching consensus about sustainable futures.
›› Participatory Development & Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) Participatory development promotes equity and accepts that the exercise of decision-making power at the local level is as legitimate as it is at the national level. PRA is a short-cut method of data collection for action research, utilizing a range of techniques…
›› Payment of Ecosystem Services (PES) The core principles of PES are that those who provide ecosystem services should be compensated or rewarded for doing so, and those who use the services should pay for their provision…
›› Planetary Boundaries Trustworthy? The framework is an attempt to look holistically at how humanity is stressing the entire Earth system. But the experts issue cautions in choosing upper limits on environmental degradation and that boundaries don't always apply on a global scale…
›› Policy Analysis for Sustainable Development Policy analysts often need to produce knowledge that is scientifically valid, relevant to the policy debate, and accepted by stakeholders.
›› Political Economy Analysis Political economy analysis is a powerful tool for improving the effectiveness of aid. Concerning with the interaction of political and economic processes in a society, it is particularly useful for development practitioners since it helps us to understand how power and resources are distributed and contested between different groups and individuals in different contexts, and the processes that create, sustain and transform these relationships over time. It is equally concerned with the economic processes that generate wealth, and that influence how political choices are made.
›› Public Environmental Expenditure Reviews (PEERs) In recent years there has been interest in applying Public Expenditure Reviews (PER)-style analysis to gain a better understanding of environmental governance in developing countries. This body of work exhibits some parallels with the present exercise, as environmental concerns are cross-cutting in nature rather than being limited to any one sector...
›› Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) There has been considerable work over the past 15 years or so by pioneers in business, government and civil society on how consumption and production can be made more sustainable…
›› Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Find out more about the 17 proposed SDGs and their benefits…
›› Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA) is a way of thinking about the objectives, scope, and priorities for development activities...
›› Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) can improve and structure the knowledge base for the three basic (or more) dimensions of sustainable development and make trade-offs transparent, while it remains in the political sphere to weigh up and decide for an alternative presented. Find a useful table on the sequence of steps in sustainability impact assessments
›› Sustainability Impact Assessment: Tools for Environmental, Social and Economic Effects of Multifunctional Land Use in European Regions (SENSOR) Tools for Environmental, Social and Economic Effects of Multifunctional Land Use in European Regions. Implementation of European policies designed to promote and protect multifunctional land use requires the urgent development of robust tools for the assessment of different scenarios' impacts on environmental and socio-economic sustainability…
›› System for Environmental and Agricultural Modeling; Linking European Science and Society (SEAMLESS) project is developing a computerized integrated framework (SEAMLESS-IF) to compare alternative agricultural and environmental policy options…
›› Technology Transfer in Support of Sustainable Development Technology transfer must be recognised as a broad and complex process if it is to avoid creating and maintaining the dependency of the recipient, and if it is to contribute to sustained and equitable development.
›› Transition Management focuses on “system innovations,” which are defined as fundamental changes of technical, social, regulatory and cultural regimes. What are the 4 phrases?
›› Urban Green Space Strategy A strategy to effectively plan, implement and manage urban green spaces.
›› Water Footprint The WF concept is primarily rooted in the desire to illustrate the hidden links between human consumption and water use and between global trade and water resources management (Hoekstra and Chapagain, 2007, 2008).
›› Well-being Surveys: Income Indicator Most of the evidence suggests that at any given time income and well-being are correlated, both at the level of the country (i.e. richer countries tend to have higher average well-being levels) and of the individual (i.e. richer individuals tend to have higher well-being)...
›› Well-being Surveys: Next Economic Indicators How do these economic indicators affect people's well-being? - Income inequality, Benefits and welfare payments, Unemployment, Unemployment rate, Inflation, Type of work, Quality of work, Hours worked, Dept, Commuting
›› Well-being Surveys: Social Relationships and Community Indicators The policy-relevant factors included in this section are: people’s social activity, their community involvement, membership of religious and other organisations, volunteering, the levels of social trust and governance, and personal and familial relationships. These factors are estimated to have a considerable and large effect on levels of well-being, however there has been relatively less research conducted in this area compared to the attention given to economic factors.
›› Will Green Economy Work? Can the Green Economy survive Rio+20? Developing countries already see it as a form of "green" trade protection. Right wing conspiracy theorists see it as a secret conspiracy to engineer a global government. As SD practitioners, do we join the chorus of naysayers, or find good arguments to support the Green Economy?
›› Will Organic Agriculture Feed the World? To clarify what has too often been an emotional debate, environmental scientists at McGill University in Montreal and the University of Minnesota performed an analysis of 66 studies comparing conventional and organic methods across 34 different crop species....
Share Your SD Tool