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Methodological PLS-PM Framework for SDGs System

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Abstract

Sustainability is the biggest challenge of our generation, because civilization has reached a point where natural resources are in rapid decline. It’s a complex multidimensional phenomenon, which was studied for couple decades already. Nowadays different social concepts, such as sustainability, but also quality of life, satisfaction, are difficult and complex to define. The main problem for researchers is to find appropriate tools to obtain a composite indicator able to synthesize and represent these phenomena. The work focuses on building a system of composite indicators of Sustainability through to Structural Equation Modeling, specifically with the use of Partial Least Squares-Path Modeling. In recent years many advances have been developed, in the context of these models to solve some problems related to the role that the composite indicators play within that system; in particular on the aspects linked to the high level of abstraction, when a composite indicator is manifold, lacks its own manifest variables and is described by various underlying blocks. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate how these recent developments in Partial Least Square-Path Modeling could help you to build a SDGs system and to provide a better measure of this complex social phenomenon.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The concept of sustainable development is quite different from that of sustainability in that the word “development” clearly points to the idea of change, of directional and progressive change (Gallopín 2003).

  2. 2.

    The MDGs were derived from the United Nations Millennium Declaration, adopted by 189 nations in 2000. Most of the goals and targets were set to be achieved by 2015 on the basis of the global situation during the 1990s. The baseline for the assessment of progress is therefore 1990 for most of the MDGs targets.

  3. 3.

    One of the oldest and most famous formative composite indices is the HDI by United Nations Development Programme (United Nations Development Programme 2010). It s a composite measure of human development that include three theoretical dimensions (Health, Education and Income) (Mazziotta and Pareto 2019).

  4. 4.

    For a detailed description of the individual Goals, refer to the site “Sustainable Development Goals” (www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/development-agenda/).

  5. 5.

    The latest changes reflect the decisions made during the IAEG-SDG WebEx Meeting in January 2019. The tier classification of many indicators is expected to change as methodologies are developed and data availability increases. The review of reclassification requests by the IAEG-SDGs will occur when requirements are met at the two physical meetings and via WebEx meetings throughout the year, based on a calendar developed by the Group.

  6. 6.

    https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/indicators/database/.

  7. 7.

    Data presented in this study were mined in September 2018.

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Correspondence to Rosanna Cataldo.

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Cataldo, R., Crocetta, C., Grassia, M.G. et al. Methodological PLS-PM Framework for SDGs System. Soc Indic Res (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-020-02271-5

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Keywords

  • Composite indicators
  • Higher-order construct
  • PLS-path modeling
  • Sustainable development goals