ECI Introduces New Ethical Assessment Tool at CIVICUS World Assembly

ECI staff journeyed to the CIVICUS World Assembly, held May 23-27 in Glasgow, to launch EC-Assess – a brand new integrated assessment tool based on the ethical framework of the Earth Charter. Inspired by the Preamble to the Earth Charter, which affirms the 16 Principles as “a common standard by which the conduct of all individuals [and] organizations…is to be guided and assessed,” EC-Assess measures both a subject’s level of declared commitment and level of performance in pursuit of a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world. The tool is designed to be applicable and useful in a very wide variety of contexts, ranging from individual lifestyle assessment to internal or external organizational review – groups seeking to either improve their own practice of Earth Charter principles or evaluate the ethical commitment and performance of other institutions, projects, or initiatives. All participants in the Earth Charter Initiative are invited to download this new tool, use it, and send us feedback.


Using a subset of the Earth Charter’s sixteen Principles and sixty-one Supporting Principles, evaluators identify which Supporting Principles are material (significant, meaningful, relevant) to the subject of the assessment. They then evaluate (1) the extent to which each Supporting Principle is espoused publicly, and (2) the extent to which actual planning and performance reflects the implementation of that Supporting Principle in practice.


The results allow the evaluator to identify areas where either the declared embrace of a Principle is strong or weak, and where the actual practice of a specific Principle is strong or weak. The EC-Assess process helps to harness the power of “cognitive dissonance” — that is, instances where actions do not mirror espoused values. These points of dissonance can be recognized as opportunities for launching campaigns to change personal behavior, strategy, and practice.


Download the tool
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With its focus this year on accountability, CIVICUS provided a timely and receptive atmosphere for the launch of EC-Assess. Many of the World Assembly workshops and plenaries – spread out over 4 days of learning and multi-sector networking – were devoted to media, government, and civil society accountability to the populations they serve; the Earth Charter, through EC-Assess, highlighted an additional understanding of accountability – that is, holding oneself and others to a common set of ethical ideals.


Four ECI staffers, including Executive Director Alan AtKisson, attended the annual CIVICUS Assembly, a meeting point for civil society organizations around the world. Scroll down the blog to read International Youth Coordinator Dominic Stucker’s reflections on the Youth Assembly and closing plenary, as well as Affilate Coordinator Lisa Öberg’s impressions from her day at the High-Level Media and Civil Society