A collaborative partnership is developing a values-based indicator framework for use by civil society organisations (CSOs). A key sub-study on the relevance and usability of such indicators was carried out through an action research process with a CSO and it was found that: (1) it was, indeed, possible to develop useful and relevant indicators for the presence of CSO values; (2) it was not useful to tie each indicator to only one value; (3) the indicators were more ‘universal’ than the values for which they had been derived; (4) these indicators were not considered valid by the user CSO without being ‘localised’ (5) the use of our values-based framework caused substantive transformational learning within this CSO. The importance of these findings to studies on values and to design issues central to formal values-based measurement work, such as face validity and catalytic validity, is drawn out. The principles of emancipatory action research used are shown to be key to the results, which themselves form foundational elements that led to key and significant understandings and modifications of the values-based framework.
Bibliographical note© 2012 The Author(s)
- emancipatory action research
- civil society
- sustainable development