What are the dimensions and indicators selected? How are the indicators expressed in the dashboard? What are the units of measurement used for these indicators?

Sustainable development dashboard contains a selection of 15 key indicators that cover environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainable development.

  • Environmental sustainability indicators represent a mix of level and change indicators related to:
    renewable energy consumption, carbon dioxide emissions (per capita and average annual change since 1990), change in forest area and fresh water withdrawals. Forest area as percentage of the total land area is also given in the table but it is not used for comparison. Instead, the total change in forest area between 1990 and 2015 is used.
  • Economic sustainability indicators look at: adjusted net savings, external debt stock, natural resources depletion, diversity of economy measured by the concentration (of exports) index and government’s spending on research and development.
  • Social sustainability is captured by looking at: changes in income inequality measured by average annual change in income quintile ratio between 2000 and 2014, changes in gender inequality measured by the average annual change in gender inequality index between 2005 and 2015, changes in poverty measured by the average annual change in population in multidimensional poverty between 2005 and 2014, and old age dependency ratio projected for the year 2030.

Most indicators in the dashboard are expressed in their original units. For example, as an illustrative indicator of economic sustainability, the UNCTAD’s “concentration index (exports)” is used. A value of the index closer to 0 indicates that country's exports are more homogeneously distributed among a series of products indicating a well-diversified economy (and less concentrated exports). On the contrary, values closer to 1 reflect exports concentrated highly on a few products. Indicators of social sustainability are expressed as average annual change (%) over the specified period: for change in income inequality over 2000-2014, for change in gender inequality over 2005-2015 and for change in poverty over 2005-2014. Negative value of change indicates reduction. The old age dependency ratio is given as a projection for 2030 based on the medium fertility scenario.