Can network analysis ascertain SDGs interlinkages towards evidence-based policy planning? A systematic critical assessment

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Abstract

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are set on the principle of leaving no one behind, emphasizing their integrated and indivisible nature that requires a holistic approach to achieve sustainable development. While a general consensus persists, that SDGs are closely interlinked, the tools to define or quantify interlinkages remain debatable and challenging with network analysis being advocated as an integrated approach that may offer such guidance. Past efforts explored the potential of network analysis in identifying SDGs interactions however, many gaps remain evident. Relying on a systematic critical assessment, this study identified such gaps through a system's approach that encompassed several sequential steps, including the selection of the geographic location followed by the definition of SDGs goals-targets-indicators and data gathering from accessible data sources. Interactions are then identified with corresponding methods and qualifiers based on network analysis, ending with the synthesis and interpretation for gap identification. Besides identifying existing gaps, the analysis revealed that only a small percentage of reported efforts argued policy implications with limited to no evidence of translation into policymaking. In closure, we proposed a network analysis framework integrating SDGs interactions with evidence-based policymaking towards enhancing SDGs achievement.

Original languageBritish English
Article number107295
JournalEnvironmental Impact Assessment Review
Volume104
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Keywords

  • Evidence based policy planning
  • Interlinkage
  • Network analysis
  • Sustainable development goals

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