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Interlinkages between the Sustainable Development Goals

Jean-Pierre Cling and Clément Delecourt

World Development Perspectives, 2022, vol. 25, issue C

Abstract: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations in 2015 cover the three economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, as well as an additional institutional dimension related to governance. The monitoring framework of the SDGs is composed of 231 indicators. Our objective is to measure interlinkages between these indicators using the UN Global SDG Database, based on the premise that the United Nations from the outset considered that taking into account these interlinkages and the integrated nature of the SDGs would be a prerequisite for achieving these goals. The Multiple Factor Analysis (MFA) used to measure the correlation between indicators shows that SDGs related to human development alone contribute to 30 % of the observed variance of all the indicators at the world level, and that country performances in this field are strongly correlated to their income level. These results suggest that successful development policies contribute both to improving the national productive capacity and the different dimensions of human development. We mostly observe synergies (positive correlations) rather than trade-offs (negative correlations) between indicators. The Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (HCA) distinguishes three groups of countries according to their performance in terms of SDG indicators. Consistent with our MFA results, we find that the differentiation between countries, and hence the composition of these groups, mainly reflects their economic development as measured by their GNI/capita.

Keywords: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); Human development; SDG Indicators; Interlinkages; Multiple Factor Analysis; Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.wdp.2022.100398

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