Adapting sustainability accounting inventions to show local communities the change

Showing national governments change in their jurisdictions toward, or away from, a sustainable development path dominates invention and innovation in sustainability accounting. Helping sub-national governments do the same is rarely considered by accounting scholars.

When a nation’s per capita wealth is not declining over time is accepted as by many as a reflecting a national government’s success in guiding transition to a state of sustainability. Acceptance is based on three main arguments: economic theory, common sense, and simplified decision-making. The World Bank leads inventions in estimating change in a nation’s wealth, using a portfolio of five stocks: natural, produced, human, social, and governance capital.

A pro bono project adapted the World Bank model to assess change in a local community’s capital stocks through two phases during 2005-08. Change in natural, produced, and human capital stocks of the Campaspe community were assessed during 2005, using ABS small area statistics as quantitative indicators. Senior management in its Council then assessed qualitative change in the same indicators. Change in social and governance capital stocks of the Eurobodalla community were assessed during 2008, by combining a social network analysis tool with content analysis of Council’s Annual Reports and Community Services Directories.

| April 19th, 2010 | Posted in Case Study |

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