The Islands and Small States Institute is issuing a call for papers in the GeoForum Journal on the theme of "Multi-Dimensional Vulnerability Indices for Developing Countries: Methods and Models".
Achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires the ability to measure progress along the strategic pathways we set forth. Given the complexity of the agenda and its indicator framework, key questions that arise are what is an appropriate method to summarise information and report progress. The design and use of Index tools for monitoring and measuring progress across sustainable development dimensions continues to grow and expand.
Such tools are typically a distillation of measurement data for suites of selected key performance indicators that are further combined through various mathematical justifications into cumulative scores, values or grades that ‘represent’ the cumulative quantification of the phenomenon under review. They often work to combine multi-disciplinary data and information across natural and social sciences and can accommodate qualitative and quantitative data. The concept of vulnerability is complex but critical for development, and is highly policy-relevant. Researchers have shifted towards a broader view of country vulnerability as reducing exposure to uncertainty and risk in order to minimise the likelihood of a shock resulting in a large drop in wellbeing.
Numerous country vulnerability indices have been created and promoted particularly for usage by developing countries, as an alternative or in addition to country measures such as GDP and the UN HDI. In such indices, vulnerability is often measured as a multidimensional phenomenon consisting of economic, social, environmental, health and governance and institutional dimensions.