Assessment Based on Indicators of the Sustainable Development Goals in Spain : A Data Science Approach
Abstract: The global sustainable development has been marked by the United Nations plans for more than two decades. These plans have been adopted by most of the developed and developing countries to achieve the 2030 Agenda, currently formed by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Governments and policy-makers cannot make conscious decisions regarding sustainability progress without knowledge about how well the country is performing this path. This study assessed the evolution of each SDG in Spain through their indicators and whether correlation and dependency between the stated targets exist. Goals 1, 2, 6, 8 and 11 were the less evolved, those which were undergoing a slower process or a negative evolution over the years. The correlation analysis delivered a quick guide of relationships amidst targets to help the appropriate ministries to make prompt decisions knowing which fields will be affected largely. Goal 3 (Good health and well-being) was strongly linked with indicators from Goal 4 (Quality education) and also Goal 6 (Clean water and sanitation). Furthermore, indicators from Goal 7 (Affordable and clean energy) shared a high correlation with the ones from Goal 12 (Responsible consumption and production) and Goal 15 (Life on land). All together obtained 60% share of positive interactions and almost 80% of significant interplays between the targets. Correlation does not imply causality, so multiple linear regression analysis set true numerical relationships and revealed how to enhance certain targets by leveraging others. Less developed indicator was taken as dependent variables and the final independent ones were defined using shrinkage methods. The procedure to reach these expressions could be used to establish the dependency between other relevant indicators and getting the assessment of the performance of this country afterwards.
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