DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING OF A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR ASSESSMENT OF PROGRESS TOWARDS ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN COUNTRIES IN TRANSITION
The insufficient operationalisation of the sustainable development (SD)concept hinders development of widely recognised standards for assessment of SD progress. This paper reports on development and testing of a conceptual framework for assessment of progress towards achieving sustainable development (APASD) of (primarily) countries in transition from central planning to market economy. The framework departs from the core principles of sustainable development and develops them into a set of operational criteria, which in turn are developed into sets of performance indicators. Benchmarking is applied for indicators, and an approach to aggregation of assessment results is described. Application of the framework allows identification of sustainable and unsustainable development patterns, as well as policy failures that lead to unsustainable development. The assessment is concluded with recommendations for policy reforms that address policy failures and unsustainable development patterns. The overview of the results obtained in testing the APASD framework in Estonia is presented to illustrate its application.
Sustainable development, sustainability assessment, operational criteria of sustainable development, sustainable development indicators, countries in transition
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