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Measurement and Assessment

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Navigating the sustainability transition requires good instruments that orient us and tell us where we are, where we may be headed and what our options are.

There are instruments that can help set goals and targets; others can be used to monitor and report on progress, and some are useful in exploring alternative futures. All of them are essential for effective sustainable development strategies and adaptive management, and inform political discourse about economic, social and environmental goals. IISD has been working to develop, enhance and apply measurement and assessment tools and processes for navigating the path to sustainable development since 1995. 

  • Report
    Comprehensive Wealth in Canada—Measuring what matters in the long run

    Comprehensive Wealth in Canada—Measuring what matters in the long run

    This report seeks to introduce the concept of comprehensive wealth to Canadians and outline why it should be considered an essential complement to the other measures such as gross domestic product.

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  • Blog
    Three Ways Canada Can Make Progress With the Sustainable Development Goals

    Three Ways Canada Can Make Progress With the Sustainable Development Goals

    How can Canada implement the SDGs successfully? We present three steps that will allow Canada to show it is taking the 2030 Agenda seriously.

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  • Blog
    Aligning Sustainability Reporting Between the Public and Private Sectors

    Aligning Sustainability Reporting Between the Public and Private Sectors

    "Here’s the good news: sustainability reporting is now widespread in both the public and private sectors...."  

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  • Blog
    Why We Are Excited About Canada's 2016 Census

    Why We Are Excited About Canada's 2016 Census

    Charles Thrift explains why our Knowledge program shares Canadians' enthusiasm for the 2016 Census.

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  • Briefing Note
    Bottom-up Accountability for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Are subnational indicator systems aligned?

    Bottom-up Accountability for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Are subnational indicator systems aligned?

    This briefing note evaluates, as a test case, alignment between subnational sustainable development indicators and the new Sustainable Development Goal indicators.

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  • Report
    Watershed Indicators: The challenge of consistency

    Watershed Indicators: The challenge of consistency

    In 2014–2015, with support from Environment Canada, the Canadian Sustainability Indicators Network (CSIN) explored the question of watershed indicator consistency and coherency across Canada and between Canada and the United States.

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  • Blog
    Are We There Yet? Five criteria for successfully measuring progress on the SDGs

    Are We There Yet? Five criteria for successfully measuring progress on the SDGs

    To measure progress, we need a starting point. Where are we with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

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  • Paper
    Our City: A Peg Report on Health Equity

    Our City: A Peg Report on Health Equity

    This report shines a light on the gap between the groups in Winnipeg experiencing the highest and lowest health status, and why that gap exists.

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  • Blog
    Why Private Sector Reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals is Important

    Why Private Sector Reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals is Important

    Goals and targets to advance corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability have been widely embraced by the private sector.

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  • Commentary
    Inclusivity and Integration: The new Sustainable Development Goals and a second chance for Bretton Woods

    Inclusivity and Integration: The new Sustainable Development Goals and a second chance for Bretton Woods

    The Sustainable Development Goals have been dubbed “the Bretton Woods moment for our generation.” This paper explores some of the ideas and actors that shaped the earlier vision of the first Bretton Woods system, which laid the economic foundation and institutions of the post-Second World War period. 

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