Developing a Social Index for Measuring the Public Opinion Regarding the Attainment of Sustainable Development Goals

Abstract

In 2015, United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. Implementing SDGs is an important issue for companies as well as for nations. However, to consistently monitor and evaluate progress towards these goals, major efforts in developing objective indices for measuring the levels of SDGs are essential. Currently almost all SDG studies uniformly use available country-level official statistics to synthesize an SDG index, failing to reflect the feelings and opinions of the general public. In this paper we introduce an SDG Social Index developed by a Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithm. By using social media text data rather than conventional survey data, this index can measure and evaluate the outspoken feelings and opinions of the public toward the SDGs. Here we produce an SDG Social Index for a global company and statistically assess its effectiveness. This framework for producing an SDG Social Index can easily be extended to make other indices where various text data are available. It can also be easily extended to yield country-specific SDG indices across nations. In Conclusion section we summarize the implications of our approach and discuss limitations and future research areas.

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Conceptualization: Raejung Lee, Jinho Kim; Formal analysis: Raejung Lee; Methodology: Raejung Lee; Investigation: Raejung Lee, Jinho.Kim.; Software: Raejung Lee; Validation: Raejung Lee, Jinho Kim.; Writing: Raejung Lee, Jinho Kim; Writing - review & editing: Raejung Lee, Jinho Kim; Supervision: Jinho.Kim

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Correspondence to Raejung Lee.

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Lee, R., Kim, J. Developing a Social Index for Measuring the Public Opinion Regarding the Attainment of Sustainable Development Goals. Soc Indic Res (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-021-02643-5

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Keywords

  • Sustainable development goals
  • SDG index
  • SDG compass
  • NLP
  • Text mining
  • Word2Vec