Read The Dignity Report

Read The Dignity Report

Read and share The Dignity Report – click on the front cover below.


Front cover of the Dignity Report. Click to read the report.


The Dignity Report charts 10 studies and three years of research on dignity and international development. We’ve learned why dignity matters, and how power is always present.

We hope you’ll read and share the report.

In that time, we’ve learned that:
  • Disrespect is common, and it is painful. That matters in itself, and also because it is linked with feeling less happy, less empowered, less cooperative, more tribalistic, less healthy, and less democratic.
  • Dignity matters to everyone, and appears in every tradition, but it has a unique meaning in different cultures – Kenyan activists have told us how to them it is a feminist value, fraught with ideas of power and the freedom you have to be respectful. Around the world there are three common pathways for how to be more respectful: increased representation, better choices, and reduced inequality.
  • Properly incorporating ideas of dignity and respect, as Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee have written, sets off “a profound rethinking of economic priorities.” And there is support for that reordering across the development sector. Those who aren’t considering ideas of dignity are getting left behind.
  • If we want to get started, there’s plenty of practical tools we can use. First we can add measures of respectfulness into our research, and discuss how to be more respectful in our work. Sometimes dignity can seem vague and intractable, but by pinning it down in these studies, we can make it a whole lot easier for you to take action.
The Dignity Project is an ongoing campaign for respectful development. We advocate, conduct research, consult, train and build tools. If there’s a way we could support your organisation to think harder about dignity, we’d love to talk about it – get in touch.
As Dr Neela Saldanha says in her foreword, “I hope you will find it as useful and insightful and hopeful as I did. And I look forward to us collectively building on The Dignity Agenda.” We hope you will share the report with your networks.