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Differentiating countries based on the sustainable development proximities using the SDG indicators

Mehdi Jabbari, Majid Shafiepour Motlagh (), Khosro Ashrafi and Ghahreman Abdoli
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Mehdi Jabbari: University of Tehran
Majid Shafiepour Motlagh: University of Tehran
Khosro Ashrafi: University of Tehran
Ghahreman Abdoli: University of Tehran

Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, 2020, vol. 22, issue 7, No 18, 6405-6423

Abstract: Abstract For the years of 2017 and 2018, the Sustainable Development Goals index (SDG index) includes around 80 global indicators for more than 150 parties (countries) to the United Nations, which makes it a very comprehensive multidimensional composite index for assessing their sustainable development (SD) achievement rates. As would be observed in the present study, when the comparison between countries on their progresses in well-being and economy is desirable, gathering indicators of both environmental and development pillars of the SD as performed in the SDG index construction can be misleading. Based on the SDG index and with the aim of better monitoring and assessing countries’ SD levels, the current study introduces a composite index called DEVI which merely consists of the “development goals indicators.” The DEVI showed a high correlation with the human development index. The lack of separation between the developed and developing countries in the SDGs is a disadvantage especially when various interactions with different countries are considered according to their different development levels. In this regard, by innovating a combined statistics-based algorithm, compatible with the available conventional lists for developed countries, countries are classified based on the similarities in their DEVI scores into the developed and developing countries. Applying this algorithm, it determined 43 and 40 countries as developed countries in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Keywords: SDG index; Sustainable Development Goals; Developed countries; Development levels (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s10668-019-00489-z

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