Crystal Tremblay Rhianna Nagel Alexandra Haupt Andrea Giles Norah McRae

Knowledge, Democracy and a Sustainable Future: An Institutional Impact Assessment of Community-Engaged Research and Learning

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The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include providing inclusive and quality education (G4), promoting health and well-being (G3), achieving gender equality (G5) and climate action (G13) were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 and provide an important framework and pathway towards a sustainable and just future. Increasingly, institutions of higher education are looking to these 17 goals as a way to measure their relevance and impact on society – and some are doing this through community- engaged research and learning. This article shares insights from an institutional impact assessment linked to the UN SDGs from the University of Victoria (UVic), located on Coast Salish and Straits Salish territories of the Lekwungen and W_SÁNEÅ Peoples, on the west coast of Canada. The case study provides an overview of the methodology, highlights some of the various ways impact is being measured and speaks to some of the opportunities both for UVic and other universities wishing to pursue a similar process. The results point to a wide range and diversity of impact to society in almost all the UN goals, also documented at various levels (i.e. individual, community, systems). This work has helped inform guidelines for recognizing community-engaged scholarship in faculty evaluation.


  • Community-Engaged Research
  • Community-Engaged Learning
  • Impact Evaluation
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals


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