Focal areas for measuring the human well-being impacts of a conservation initiative

Craig Leisher, Leah H. Samberg, Pieter van Beukering, M. Sanjayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Within conservation, the need to measure the impacts on people from conservation initiatives such as projects and programs is growing, but understanding and measuring the multidimensional impacts on human well-being from conservation initiatives is complex. To understand the constituent components of human well-being and identify which components of well-being are most common, we analyzed 31 known indices for measuring human well-being. We found 11 focal areas shared by two or more indices for measuring human well-being, and the focal areas of living standards, health, education, social cohesion, security, environment, and governance were in at least 14 of the 31 human well-being indices. We examined each of the common focal areas and assessed its relevance to measuring the human well-being impacts of a conservation initiative. We then looked for existing indices that include the relevant focal areas and recommend the use of Stiglitz et al. (2009)-a framework designed to measure economic performance and social progress-as a starting place for understanding and selecting human well-being focal areas suitable for measuring the impacts on people from a conservation initiative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)997-1010
Number of pages14
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodiversity
  • Measurement
  • Objective
  • Poverty
  • Socio-economic
  • Subjective


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