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Recovery agenda for sustainable development post COVID-19 at the country level: developing a fuzzy action priority surface

Ranjbari, Meisam; Shams Esfandabadi, Zahra; Scagnelli, Simone Domenico; Siebers, Peer-Olaf; Quatraro, Francesco

Recovery agenda for sustainable development post COVID-19 at the country level: developing a fuzzy action priority surface Thumbnail


Meisam Ranjbari

Zahra Shams Esfandabadi

Simone Domenico Scagnelli

Francesco Quatraro


As a response to the urgent call for recovery actions against the COVID-19 crisis, this research aims to identify action priority areas post COVID-19 toward achieving the targets of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development launched by the United Nations (UN). This paper applies a mixed-method approach to map the post-COVID-19 SDGs targets on a fuzzy action priority surface at the country level in Iran, as a developing country, by taking the following four main steps: (1) using a modified Delphi method to make a list of the SDGs targets influenced by COVID-19; (2) using the best–worst method, as a multi-criteria decision-making tool, to weight the COVID-19 effects on the SDGs targets achievement; also (3) to weight the impact of the SDGs targets on the sustainable development implementation; and finally (4) designing a fuzzy inference system to calculate the action priority scores of the SDGs targets. As a result, reduction of poor people proportion by half (SDG 1.2), development-oriented policies for supporting creativity and job creation (SDG 8.3), end the pandemics and other epidemics (SDG 3.3), reduction of deaths and economic loss caused by disasters (SDG 11.5), and financial support for small-scale enterprises (SDG 9.3) were identified as the highest priorities for action, respectively, in the recovery agenda for sustainable development post COVID-19. The provided fuzzy action priority surface supports the UN’s SDGs achievement and implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Iran. It also serves as a guideline to help the government, stakeholders, and policy-makers better analyze the long-term effects of the pandemic on the SDGs and their associated targets and mitigate its adverse economic, social, and environmental consequences.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 23, 2021
Online Publication Date Apr 3, 2021
Publication Date 2021-11
Deposit Date Apr 4, 2021
Publicly Available Date Apr 8, 2021
Journal Environment, Development and Sustainability
Print ISSN 1387-585X
Electronic ISSN 1573-2975
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Pages 16646-16673
Keywords Geography, Planning and Development; Economics and Econometrics; Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Public URL
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