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Methodological Approach for the Sustainability Assessment of Development Cooperation Projects for Built Innovations Based on the SDGs and Life Cycle Thinking

Stephanie D. Maier (), Tabea Beck (), Javier Francisco Vallejo (), Rafael Horn (), Jan-Hendrik Söhlemann () and Trung Thanh Nguyen
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Stephanie D. Maier: Global Change Ecology, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth 95447, Germany
Tabea Beck: Department of Life Cycle Engineering, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart 70563, Germany
Javier Francisco Vallejo: Institute for Latin American Studies, History of Transfer of Knowledge, FU Berlin, Berlin 14197, Germany
Rafael Horn: Department of Life Cycle Engineering, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart 70563, Germany
Jan-Hendrik Söhlemann: Energising Development (EnDev), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Dhaka 1212, Bangladesh

Sustainability, 2016, vol. 8, issue 10, 1-26

Abstract: This paper describes a methodological approach for a sustainability assessment of development cooperation projects. Between the scientific disciplines there is no agreement on the term of “sustainability”. Whereas the definition of sustainability within the context of development cooperation frequently highlights the long-term success of an intervention, the United Nations herald the inclusion of social, economic and environmental aspects. This paper proposes to bridge this gap by providing an analytical framework that uses nine impact category groups based on thematic priorities of sustainable development derived from the Sustainable Development Goals. Additionally, the long-term effectiveness of a project is taken into consideration. These impact category groups comprise the analytical framework, which is investigated by the Life Cycle Assessment and an indicator-based analysis. These data are obtained through empirical social research and the LCA inventory. The underlying concept is based on life cycle thinking. Taking up a multi-cycle model this study establishes two life cycles: first, the project management life cycle; and, second, the life cycle of a project’s innovation. The innovation’s life cycle is identified to have the greatest impact on the target region and the local people and is consequently of primary interest. This methodological approach enables an ex-post sustainability assessment of a built innovation of a development cooperation project and is tested on a case study on Improved Cooking Stoves in Bangladesh.

Keywords: sustainable development; sustainability; Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); development cooperation; life cycle thinking; life cycle assessment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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