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The Sulitest Story 

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 Building a sustainable world together


 

In 2012, the idea that emerged in Rio at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development first led Sulitest to an experimental phase aligned with the commitments of the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) signatories.

Sulitest designed an initial platform to foster the mission to, “support expanded sustainability knowledge, skills and mindset that motivate individuals to become deeply committed to building a sustainable future and to making informed and effective decisions.“

In 2013, universities were the first to begin to experiment with Sulitest’s international tool through the pilot platform. It was also at this time that many regional committees were created and produced their first set of local questions. All of them were convinced, as much as we are, that in order to build a sustainable future, all current and future decision-makers urgently needed to improve their literacy on sustainable development.

Learning from the pilot phase, a new platform was launched at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi (May 2016). In this new Phase 1, Sulitest presented a more user-friendly tool, both for users and for examiners, and questions built on a refined matrix and aligned with one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the Global Agenda.

Sulitest was recognized in 2016 as one of the first featured initiatives of the UN Partnerships for Sustainable Development Goals, and in 2017 as a contributor to the review of the 2030 Agenda through the High-level Political Forum (HLPF).

At the end of 2018, in total, nearly 108,612 people have used Sulitest’s best-known tool, the international "Test", and Sulitest continues to refine existing tools and develop new ones. In 2018, over half the test-takers took an optional survey, and of those, 73% concluded that this kind of test was useful.

Phases of Sulitest Development:

The Pilot Phase of Sulitest from 2013-2016, provided important opportunities for the experimentation and development of RNECs (Regional / National Expert Committees). Based on feedback from the worldwide Sulitest community and the results of the 44,000 tests taken during the pilot phase, Sulitest revised the foundational matrix on which the "Test" questions were based, the "Test" questions themselves, and, the web platform.
The new version of Sulitest was released in May 2016.

 

 

Phase 1: includes the currently available revised tools.

The "International Core Module" is the anchor, with optional Specialized modules (Locational or Topical) also available. All are focused on “knowledge” questions. Demographic data is also collected for research purposes. Sulitest also developed some other tools and functionalities: "Quiz", "Explorer" and "Customized" modules, which have also been made available via the platform.

Phase 2: includes exciting new tools and initiatives requested by the community that are currently in development.

Key tools include a "Community Platform" that will further augment the community’s ability to co-create Sulitest questions and modules (similar to a wiki concept with additional expert review features), and which should be betatested at one partner university in September 2018. These developments also include new tools for teachers such as discussion questions, sample slide decks, case studies and curriculum examples that will be made available on the Sulitest website in 2018-2019. 

Initiatives to take Sulitest to the next level regarding research, robustness and the business model are also underway.The first International Collaborative Strategy Session with Sulitest researchers took place in June 2018, and kicked off a coordinated discussion of the international research community around Sulitest.Two of the pilot studies are focused on the rigor of the tools developed by Sulitest and how to sharpen the interpretation of the data collected.

 

These studies will clearly help to scale up the initiative and to support a continuous improvement process based on collaboration and contributions from the  community.
Also scaling up is the Sulitest business model. A working group is being established that will focus on exploring funding opportunities and models to best support the mission as well as the financial sustainability of Sulitest, with the intention of providing recommendations by the end of 2018.


Phase 3: includes areas we would like to develop in the future.

With the increased rigor expected from Phase 2, we look to the possibility of creating a Certificate. In addition, we intend to develop a Sulitest tool that includes not only a Knowledge Test, but also the Mindset and Skills components, which together would make a comprehensive test of Sustainability Literacy. Sulitest is also committed to creating culturally-relevant tools for any region in which there are people who would like to engage and become active in the community. We look forward to establishing more national committees that can create relevant modules for their areas, and to translating tools into more languages.

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