Indicator-based Evaluation of Interlinkages between Different Sustainable Development Objectives (INDI-LINK)


November 2006 to October 2009

PSI researchers:

Simon Dresner

Robin Vanner

Background, summary and aims

Background and Aims

The INDI-LINK project has three main objectives: (1) further improvement of sustainable development indicators (SDI), (2) assessment of interlinkages between the different priorities of the EU SDS and (3) deriving conclusions for future SD policy making. To achieve these objectives, INDI-LINK will develop new concepts and methods and improve data for the calculation of selected “best-needed“ and proxy indicators; review emerging policy areas, for which no indicators exist so far; develop a solid conceptual framework for interlinkage assessment based on a comparative analysis of analytical frameworks, methods and tools; provide a quantitative analysis of past interlinkages using selected indicators with best-suited assessment methods; test different methods and models for extending indicator time series in the future through forecasting and identify most effective combinations of environmental, economic and social policy measures, focusing on the maximum use of synergies and best possible mitigation of potential trade-offs.

Expected results:

1. Further development and improvement of EU SD indicators

  • Review and evaluation of the existing SD indicator set
  • Calculation and presentation of selected “best-needed” indicators, in particular on level 1 and 2, including data bases and methods to calculate these indicators
  • Review of emerging policy fields and recommendations for extensions of the current SD indicator set


2. Assessment of interlinkages between different priorities of the EU SDS

  • Presentation of a solid and consistent methodological framework for interlinkage assessment, based on a review and comparative analysis of advantages and limits of different analytical frameworks for analysing interlinkages between the different SD dimensions
  • Recommendations for application of these different methods in SD policy making
  • Quantitative analyses of these interrelations applying selected analytical tools and selected indicators from the EU SDI set
  • Tested set of tools and models to provide forecasts of selected SD indicators and an ex-ante assessment of future interlinkages


3. Elaboration of conclusions for future SD policy making

  • Presentation of policy conclusions how to best exploit potential win-win situations and best avoid trade-offs in SD policy making
  • Formulation of concrete inputs for an effective implementation of the EU SDS with a focus on policy integration across different SD dimensions


See the INDI-LINK project website.

Related publications / project outputs

Identification of most synergistic sets of integrated policy instruments

State-of-the-art review of sustainability policy assessment

Recommendations for implementation of the EU SDS

Indicators for Green Public Procurement (GPP)

Policy Conclusions and Implications for the EU Sustainable Development Strategy