Network model-based analysis of the goals, targets and indicators of sustainable development for strategic environmental assessment

Viktor Sebestyén, Miklós Bulla, A. Rédey, J. Abonyi

Research output: Article

5 Citations (Scopus)


Strategic environmental assessment is a decision support technique that evaluates policies, plans and programs in addition to identifying the most appropriate interventions in different scenarios. This work develops a network-based model to study interlinked ecological, economic, environmental and social problems to highlight the synergies between policies, plans, and programs in environmental strategic planning. Our primary goal is to propose a methodology for the data-driven verification and extension of expert knowledge concerning the interconnectedness of the sustainable development goals and their related targets. A multilayer network model based on the time-series indicators of the World Bank open data over the last 55 years was assembled. The results illustrate that by providing an objective and data-driven view of the correlated variables of the World Bank, the proposed layered multipartite network model highlights the previously not discussed interconnections, node centrality measures evaluate the importance of the targets, and network community detection algorithms reveal their strongly connected groups. The results confirm that the proposed methodology can serve as a data-driven decision support tool for the preparation and monitoring of long-term environmental policies. The developed new data-driven network model enables multi-level analysis of the sustainability (goals, targets, indicators) and will make it possible to plan long-term environmental strategic planning. Through relationships among indicators, relationships among targets and goals can be modelled. The results show that sustainable development goals are strongly interconnected, while the 5th goal (gender equality) is linked mostly to 17th (partnerships for the goals) goal. The analysis has also highlighted the importance of the 4th (quality education).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-135
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - máj. 15 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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