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Application options of the Sustainable Child Development Index (SCDI) – assessing the status of sustainable development and establishing social impact pathways

Chang, Ya-Ju; Lehmann, Annekatrin; Winter, Lisa; Finkbeiner, Matthias

FG Technischer Umweltschutz / Sustainable Engineering

The needs of children and their vulnerability to diseases, violence and poverty are different from those of adults. The Sustainable Child Development Index (SCDI) was thus developed in previous work to evaluate the status of sustainable development for countries with a focus on children and triple-bottom-line thinking. This study proposes application options to put the SCDI into practice. The SCDI can be performed similarly to existing development indices, for comparing and tracing the performance of sustainable development on different geographic levels and between population groups. In addition, the SCDI can be integrated into existing social sustainability assessment approaches (e.g., Social Life Cycle Assessment and Social Organizational Life Cycle Assessment) and databases (e.g., The Social Hotspots Database) to take children into account and enhance impact assessment of social sustainability assessment approaches. As an exemplification, this study demonstrates the application of the SCDI framework to support the development of social impact pathways. Due to the importance of tertiary education in reducing poverty, a preliminary social impact pathway addressing completion of tertiary education was established. By putting the SCDI into practice, the SCDI can support decision making in child as well as sustainable development policies.