Document Type


Publication Title

Development Studies Research



Publication Date



As the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005–2014) draws to a close, it is timely to review ways in which the sustainable development initiatives of higher education institutions have been, and can be, evaluated. In their efforts to document and assess collaborative sustainable development program outcomes and impacts, universities in the North and South are challenged by similar conundrums that confront development agencies. This article explores pathways to symmetrical evaluations of transnationally partnered research, curricula, and public-outreach initiatives specifically devoted to sustainable development. Drawing on extensive literature and informed by international development experience, the authors present a novel framework for evaluating transnational higher education partnerships devoted to sustainable development that addresses design, management, capacity building, and institutional outreach. The framework is applied by assessing several full-term African higher education evaluation case studies with a view toward identifying key limitations and suggesting useful future symmetrical evaluation pathways. University participants in transnational sustainable development initiatives, and their supporting donors, would be well-served by utilizing an inclusive evaluation framework that is infused with principles of symmetry.




Publisher's Version:


© 2015 The Author(s). Published by Routledge.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Recommended Citation

Peter H. Koehn & Juha I. Uitto (2015) Beyond outputs: pathways to symmetrical evaluations of university sustainable development partnerships, Development Studies Research: An Open Access Journal, 2:1, 1-19, DOI: 10.1080/21665095.2015.1006732