Sustainable Development – Measuring Progress

  • Faculty: Azadeh Ardakani
  • Trimester Course
  • 3 hours/week, 14 Weeks
  • Content Category: Knowledge
  • Academic Credit: 3 Credits

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109 Lessons

Course Description:

This course looks beyond the traditional indicators of progress to consider indicators that take into account the environmental and social aspects of progress. These indicators will be studied across a range of disciplines and will help provide the basis for identifying strengths, weaknesses and long terms implications of current decisions and behaviors.

What must we measure to assess progress? The traditional measure for assessing economic development has been Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but a broader set of indicators that take into account the environmental and social aspects of progress are increasingly being relied upon to understand development. Appropriate indicators establish baseline conditions and trends which help provide a basis for identifying strengths and weaknesses to evaluate the longer-term implications of current decisions and behaviors. They can also be used to illustrate to policymakers and the wider public the connections and trade-offs between economic, environmental, and social values. These indicators can help us all understand where adjustments are needed. This course provides an overview of the different indicators across a range of disciplines and explores the local, national, and multilateral frameworks currently in place and in development.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the course you should be able to:

  • Design a comprehensive performance measurement system for your organization / community including sustainability indicators.
  • Assess your organization and/or community using a range of sustainability indicators.
  • Evaluate the design and implementation of an existing set of sustainability indicators in your context.


Azadeh Ardakani As a strategic sustainability professional, Azadeh has over 10 years of experience launching strategic impact-driven initiatives through partnerships, campaigns, annual reporting, conferences, and education. She has completed her postgraduate degree in Corporate Social Responsibility. As the founder of Planet First Collective, Azadeh collaborates with purpose-driven leaders in need of strategic campaign development, execution, research and analysis, course design, impact assessment and reporting. Azadeh is driven by her core values and spends her free time in nature with her dog. Azadeh is a co-contributor of The World Guide to Sustainable Enterprise and an arts book about the challenges of the 21st century.

Course Modalities:

Non-Credit Options

Lite Level – This course is delivered on-demand with no faculty interaction and is perfect for lifelong learners who want to go at their own pace and who are not interested in academic credit but still want to experience the course.

Audit-No Credit – If you would like to participate when this course is offered in our Live Virtual Classroom mode, you may attend the live faculty webinars but will not be required to submit assignments for credit.

If you take a few courses and decide you want to officially enroll in a degree program, you can gain academic credit for Lite versions or Audit-No Credit versions by paying the difference between these course fees and a normal academic fee, successfully completing quizzes, submitting your reflection journals and delivering a Final Creative Assignment that will be graded.

For-Credit Options

Live Virtual Classroom: Study that takes place within Ubiquity University, in which Ubiquity academic coursework is accomplished through attendance in Live Webinars, with faculty and student interaction being a part of the Live Webinar content. To receive academic credit, you must not miss more than 3 live sessions, you must complete the quizzes and submit any other required assignments (if any), and a final creative assignment for grading at the degree level you are enrolled in.

Internal Online Independent Study: Study that takes place within Ubiquity University, in which Ubiquity academic online coursework is engaged in independently on one’s own and does not include faculty interaction. To receive academic credit, you must complete the quizzes and submit your reflection journals and final creative assignment for grading at the degree level you are enrolled in.

Course Contact Information:

Live Virtual Classroom macrocourses are delivered by faculty in live sessions. You will have a course facilitator who is available to answer questions and offer additional assistance. For student support questions for Live Virtual Classroom or Internal Online Independent Study, you may contact our Director of Course Facilitation at facilitator @ (Sorry! Direct email link not provided due to spam bots.)

For on-demand lite versions, click the “Chat” button on the lower, left-hand side of the screen for any technical issues you may have accessing the content.

SDMP - Introduction to Measuring Progress Towards Sustainable Development

SDMP - History and Evolutionary Timeline

SDMP - Frameworks and Indicators

SDMP - Sustainability Principles

SDMP - Societal Dimensions

SDMP - Ecological Dimensions

SDMP - Environmental Sustainability Indicators

SDMP - City and Community Indicators

SDMP - UN Sustainable Development Goals

SDMP - Role of Private Sector and Cross Sector Partnerships

SDMP - Regional Approaches to Implementation

SDMP - National Frameworks and Public Policy Considerations

SDMP - Measurement Indicators, Trends and Future Directions

SDMP Uploads for Grading