About us

We believe that international development – and many other social processes – are currently disrespectful of people’s dignity.

We want to change development by encouraging people to measure whether they are being respectful, and by giving them the tools to do so.

The Dignity Project is an initiative run by Tom Wein. Tom is an independent research consultant. You can learn more about him, his work and writing, at tomweinresearch.me.

The project was first sparked by a comment by Jeremy Shapiro. Jeremy was presenting his research to the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics. During that presentation, he mentioned that he wished he had a measure of dignity. It was a lightbulb moment for Tom – why isn’t there one already? He spent one very long Saturday reading everything he could, and at the end of it, he sent Jeremy the first version of the first survey scale – rough and ready, in a Google Doc filled with spelling mistakes. A version of that scale was used in Jeremy’s paper on recipient preferences, and the following year the Dignity Project was born in earnest.


Many people have helped. In particular, I wanted to thank the Busara Center for giving me the initial time to develop these ideas; Jeremy Shapiro for the initial inspiration and for trialling a first measure; Remy Debes for philosophical guidance; David Clarance for statistical guidance; David Hudson, David Sasaki, Dave Algoso and Duncan Green for encouragement; Shari and Sidse for timely video editing advice and Helen Brockelbank for web brilliance; and Rachel Strohm for everything else.