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Sustainability 2015, 7(5), 4973-4996; doi:10.3390/su7054973

Assessing Child Development: A Critical Review and the Sustainable Child Development Index (SCDI)

Department of Environmental Technology, Technische Universität Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Helmut Haberl
Received: 26 January 2015 / Revised: 13 April 2015 / Accepted: 21 April 2015 / Published: 24 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Social Ecology and Sustainability)
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Abstract

Children are an important stakeholder group for sustainable development, as they represent the interface between current and future generations. A comprehensive assessment of child development (CD) in the context of sustainable development is still missing. In this paper, as a first step, a literature review is conducted to identify relevant aspects and gaps related to the assessment of CD. The main issues of CD are categorized into seven themes: health, education, safety, economic status, relationships, participation, and newly proposed environmental aspects. The corresponding subthemes and criteria are classified accordingly (e.g., nutrition, child mortality, immunization, etc., are assigned to the theme health). However, gaps in current studies, such as the heterogeneous classification of relevant aspects, regional and societal bias in addressing certain aspects, the limited number of subthemes, and criteria and the missing inclusion of environmental aspects impede the assessment of sustainable child development. To address the existing gaps, a comprehensive framework, the Sustainable Child Development Index (SCDI), is proposed. The SCDI is based on sustainable development as the core value, considers relevant aspects of CD with regard to newly-proposed environmental aspects and includes 26 aspects on an outcome and 37 indicators on a context level to tackle the heterogeneous classifications and interdependencies of relevant aspects. The proposed index intends to strengthen the stakeholder perspective of children in sustainability assessment. View Full-Text
Keywords: child development; Sustainable Child Development Index (SCDI); sustainability assessment; sustainable development child development; Sustainable Child Development Index (SCDI); sustainability assessment; sustainable development
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Chang, Y.-J.; Schneider, L.; Finkbeiner, M. Assessing Child Development: A Critical Review and the Sustainable Child Development Index (SCDI). Sustainability 2015, 7, 4973-4996.

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