skip to content

MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions
Jaspreet Singh (ESD 14-15) Initiative to Value Human Life

The Initiative to Value Human Life (IVHL) is a non-profit organisation seeking to better understand how the value of human lives are measured by individuals, corporations, governments and other organisations.

By doing so, we aim to make the valuing of human life more transparent to enhance the quality of life, enhance sustainability, improve and save lives, and improve decision-making and resource allocation. After all, calculating the value of human lives has been particularly important in  public policy areas such as health care and transport safety; it could be equally as important for international development, disaster management, urban resilience and peace building, international humanitarian law, the protection of refugees, social and ethical finance, and the broader UN Sustainable Development Goals.

IVHL wants to be a catalyst for discussion on indicators and metrics on how we measure VHL to improve methodologies and create new approaches for new contexts.
IVHL was formally launched  at Geneva, Switzerland in November 2017. You can find us at: Since its formation, IVHL hosted a round table discussion in March on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Value of Human Life bringing together  technical experts from UN Agencies and NGOs from diverse sectors such as health, migration, shelter and justice, to discuss tools and concepts they use to value human life. In May, 2018, IVHL hosted a workshop  entitled "How do I value my Life?", at a centre for continuing education in Geneva. The aim was to give participants who were (as of May) migrants, refugees, and domestic workers, additional tools to enhance their personal resilience and well-being  as they overcome socio-economic challenges to integrate into communities. 
If you would like to learn more or know of someone interested in interning or donating, please contact:
Text and Photo provided by Jaspreet Singh

Course Overview


The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.


An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions.


An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.


An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.