The Dignity Project, a campaign for more respectful development

Is your program respectful?

How, exactly, do you know that? Did you ask people?

Development is frequently disrespectful. We all want to do better. But right now we don’t have the tools to do so.

The Dignity Project creates open access, ready-translated tools to properly measure respect.

There is public support for more respectful development. In our recent experimental study, people upped their promised donations by 60%, when offered the chance to give to a charity that simply addressed its beneficiaries by name.

We’ve made strides in measuring complex concepts like wellbeing, capabilities, and even stress. We talk about dignity all the time, and it is a crucial concept – the philosophical underpinning of egalitarianism and rights, and of many approaches to research ethics. Yet we rarely define it, and right now we don’t measure it.

That’s why The Dignity Project is launching today. There’s already a first set of measurement tools available. So far we’ve used dignity to examine charity donors and the preferences of aid recipients. These tools can support experimental trials or standard surveys.



Tom Wein is the founder of The Dignity Project, a campaign for more respectful development.

Contact him at or visit