About The Research


Research Focus

SEPN focuses on the following four questions:

  1. What evidence is there of sustainability uptake in policy and practice?
  2. How does this sustainability uptake relate to other priorities in policy and practice?
  3. What are some of the influences on the development and enactment of sustainability policy and practice? (e.g. actors, networks, other policies, local place, political context)?
  4. What are the relationships between practice and existing policy?

Visit our Publications page to see our research briefs, infographics, technical reports, and scholarly articles.

Guiding Principles

SEPN’s research is guided by these principles:

  • An overarching methodological toolkit which includes a core set of methods, with adaptations determined based on local contexts
  • Common data collection processes to enable comparative research
  • Ability to inform monitoring of the SDGs and GAP priorities by sharing project databases with UN and UNESCO evaluation processes
  • Community development via dynamic, two-way policy maker-researcher collaboration
  • Commitment to integrate Indigenous perspectives and considerations throughout the research
  • Innovative postgraduate training deeply integrates students, postdoctoral fellows, and emerging scholars into research activities


SEPN brings an overarching methodological framework, which can inform UN and UNESCO monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. The SEPN methodological toolkit includes a core set of methods, with adaptations determined based on local contexts. Research methods, protocols, and processes are tailored to different international contexts through consultation with local collaborators and partners and the SEPN International Reference Group.

Sustainability Engagement Areas

In conducting its research, SEPN uses a ‘Whole School Approach,’ which examines how educational institutions are engaging with sustainability in five main areas:

  1. Curriculum and Teaching (Education);
  2. Research;
  3. Facilities and Operations;
  4. Governance; and
  5. Community Engagement and Outreach.