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Mainstreaming sustainable development in the OECD through indicators and peer reviews


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  • Markku Lehtonen

    (SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, The Freeman Centre, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK)

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    The OECD sustainable development indicators are being used in the various OECD peer reviews so as to 'mainstream' sustainable development. This article examines the ways in which the sustainable development indicators in the OECD economic surveys and environmental performance reviews (EPRs) have been used, and the types of learning they have engendered in the reviewed countries. Largely because of the deficiencies in the process of designing the indicator framework, the sustainable development sections in the economic surveys in 2001-2004 failed to be sufficiently salient, credible and legitimate to the key stakeholders to have an appreciable impact. The EPRs have 'empowered' environmental authorities by legitimizing calls for stronger environmental policies, thereby generating government, social and policy learning. The EPRs will need to appeal to a broader range of stakeholders and thereby generate outside pressure. To do so, the EPRs should develop more standardized 'process' and 'response' indicators, allowing cross-country comparisons. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Sustainable Development.

    Volume (Year): 16 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 241-250

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:16:y:2008:i:4:p:241-250

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    1. Hezri, Adnan A. & Dovers, Stephen R., 2006. "Sustainability indicators, policy and governance: Issues for ecological economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 86-99, November.
    2. Joachim H. Spangenberg, 2002. "Institutional sustainability indicators: an analysis of the institutions in Agenda 21 and a draft set of indicators for monitoring their effectivity," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(2), pages 103-115.
    3. Hukkinen, Janne, 2003. "From groundless universalism to grounded generalism: improving ecological economic indicators of human-environmental interaction," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 11-27, February.
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    Cited by:
    1. Bert Scholtens, 2010. "The Environmental Performance of Dutch Government Bond Funds," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 92(1), pages 117-130, April.
    2. Emma Norman & Gemma Dunn & Karen Bakker & Diana Allen & Rafael Cavalcanti de Albuquerque, 2013. "Water Security Assessment: Integrating Governance and Freshwater Indicators," Water Resources Management, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 535-551, January.


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